In The Cage: Consider Kari Elite

Feb 14th 2013, 2:10pm EST

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, the Director of Goalie Scouting for McKeen's Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Kari Lehtonen

Poolies everywhere are raving about the surprising value of Roberto Luongo and Craig Anderson, and for good reason. They're running away with the key statistical categories, and they're arguably playing the best hockey of their entire careers.

But when it comes to discussing goalies entering the truly "elite" category, nobody deserves to be included in that conversation more than Kari Lehtonen.

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So far this season, Lehtonen has been the Dallas Stars' backbone and MVP. He went 2-2-1 in his first five games, posting a .926 save percentage and allowing just 13 goals on 176 shots. This month he's on fire, going a perfect 5-0-0 with a .940 SV%, allowing just nine goals on 151 shots.

Even in his three losses, Lehtonen is still posting a respectable .906 SV% and giving Dallas a chance to win. Of the 22 goals he has allowed, only one has come while trailing by one goal, and only once this season has he allowed more than three goals in a game (4).