Buy Low or Sell High?

Justin Goldman





If the season ended today, Kari Lehtonen would probably win the Vezina Trophy. As crazy as that sounds, when you consider just how well he has played for the Stars, all poolies come to the realization that each and every year is totally unpredictable in the realm of goaltending. No matter how much research you do, you almost always end up drafting one fantasy killer and one fantasy gem.


While that might stem from strokes of good or bad luck, it's an aspect of fantasy hockey that you can't control. If you don't snag one of the Big 5 (Miller, Rinne, Lundqvist, Price, Ward), hang on tight. Predicting is unpredictable; that's a lesson we all learn rather quickly, so we have to learn to focus on what we can control. With that in mind, now is the time to start determining which goalies are worthy of selling high and which ones are worthy of buying low.


At the top of the list you will find Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak. I've personally been peppered by numerous poolies wondering whether they should buy or sell. In my opinion, you need to hold on or try to buy low. Brian Elliott isn't in a position to split the workload in St. Louis, so no matter how much Halak is struggling, he's still going to play 60 games. He's traditionally streaky, so it could be one big save or one timely win that turns everything around.


As for Lehtonen, I've seen a few outlets (ESPN) discuss how he's a perfect sell-high candidate right now. To me, that's crazy talk. Lehtonen is an elite goalie, more durable than ever before, and the team is confident in front of him. Sheldon Souray is contributing, Trevor Daley is improving and they can still score goals. Whether he faces 40 shots (which is great for volume categories) or 25, Lehtonen's focus and intensity is always at the forefront of his game. That's part of what makes him elite, and that's part of the reason why I'd cling to him like a winning lottery ticket.


There are many other good buy-low and sell-high candidates out there. Take Jacob Marksrom, for example. Even though he gave up two greasy goals in a 3-0 loss to the Capitals, the Swedish beast still stopped 30-of-32 shots in his first NHL start. If that's not a sign of things to come, nothing is. So what happens if Jose Theodore falls off the rails over the next 7-10 days? He's what I consider to be a rhythm goalie, and now that he sat on the bench for a game, that rhythm could be thrown akimbo. If I had a chance to snag Markstrom as a #3 or #4, I wouldn't think twice.


Ultimately, you'll come to find that just about every fantasy-worthy goalie is a buy-low or sell