Following the first game of the season, Robin Lehner was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. His timetable for return was set at 6-10 weeks. As we sit in the 11th week since the injury, Lehner is still yet to return.
Lehner said himself that he had a set back 8 weeks into the injury. He finally returned to the ice a few weeks ago in individual drills. Lehner got his first full practice in Tuesday with the team since the beginning of October.
Dan Bylsma in his press conference said they'll monitor Lehner for 7-10 day and then he'll get a game in Rochester on a conditioning stint. Assuming all goes well, that sets Lehner's return at about two weeks.
The question is now approaching of what will Tim Murray do with Linus Ullmark and Chad Johnson? At this point it has become more clear with the good play of Johnson over the past stretch. While Ullmark has been good, he hasn't been good enough to make Murray think he's ready to be the only backup to an injury prone, unproven starter in Robin Lehner. In that scenario Johnson would have to be put on waivers, or the Sabres would carry 3 goalies. Neither of those things are going to happen. Ullmark is going back to Rochester and he'll get to play a lot of games.
Lehner is a wild card in net for the Sabres. If he gives them consistent goaltending, it could be a spark to a potential playoff push. If he's really good that could happen. If he plays like he has, or worse the Sabres will be going nowhere.