Saturday, April 16, 2016

Kari Lehtonen Jersey Card

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen this weekend. He started the playoffs with a 4-0 shutout of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday and followed that with a 2-1 win tonight.

He's healthy and has been kept fresh by being in a rotation with Antti Niemi during the regular season, and while both had their ups and downs, both also played well enough to raise the question as to whom would start the playoffs between a goalie who has one postseason round on his resume (Lehtonen) and another (Niemi) who has a Stanley Cup championship on his, but was deemed replaceable by the Chicago Blackhawks that very summer - and who suffered through the Los Angeles Kings' historic comeback from an 0-3 deficit two years ago. Both goalies won 25 games this year.

Head coach Lindy Ruff ultimately went with former first round pick Lehtonen (second overall in 2002), and it's worked so far. It's not like he's never been in pressure situations before; as a member of Team Finland, he has an Olympic bronze medal (2014), World Championship silver (2007), World Cup silver (2004), World Juniors silver (2001) and bronze (2002 and 2003) and U-18 Worlds gold (2000) and silver (2001).

So here he is pictured wearing the Stars' current (and beautiful) green (home) uniform, on card #GJ-KL from Upper Deck's 2014-15 Series 1 set and UD Game Jersey sub-set:
It has a white game-used jersey swatch enclosed.

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