Jake Oettinger knows what the NHL expects from a first-round draft pick. He also knows that the short list of goaltenders who have received that honor in the past decade includes only one unquestioned big-league success.
The path to becoming the Dallas Stars’ answer to Andrei Vasilevskiy is long and uncertain. But Oettinger’s time with the team in Edmonton’s Western Conference bubble is already changing his game, writes Sean Shapiro:
He’s not playing games, but Oettinger is getting more NHL-level work in Edmonton than he’s ever received in his life. Oettinger is getting one-on-one work with Stars goalie coach Jeff Reese while serving as the third goalie for the Stars’ main group before continuing to practice with the taxi squad. When Bishop was unfit to play on Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche, Oettinger also served as Anton Khudobin’s backup in the Stars second round-robin game.
But the observation time watching other NHL goalies from the Stars’ suite in Rogers arena has helped him just as much as his time on the ice. Oettinger has recognized key attributes from both Khudobin and Bishop that he needs to steal if he’s going to be a successful NHL goalie.
The opportunity to watch Bishop in action every day has been especially educational (and is an opportunity that Oettinger and Vasilevskiy have had in common). There’s also been much to learn from Khudobin, one of the league’s shortest, and most assertive, netminders:
For Bishop, it starts with the mental game. The Stars’ starter isn’t the greatest technical goalie, in part due to his massive 6’7 frame, but his hockey IQ is amongst the best in the NHL. Oettinger called Bishop’s hockey IQ the highest he’s ever seen, and the veteran goalie hasn’t had any issue sharing notes with the prospect....
“[Khudobin] reads the plays so well, but he knows his game so well,” Oettinger said. “His battle and compete level is second-to-none, I think if you can combine the patience and poise that Bish has and then have the battle and compete that Dobby has, those are the best assets from both guys. Those are the things I want to have in my game.”
There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Mike Heika and Razor take on the most pressing issue of our times.
Meanwhile, The Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw sticks his head into the NHL action long enough to draw some conclusions.
Unusual format merely adds to Dallas Stars’ misery https://t.co/HfUw8cOedy— Tim Cowlishaw (@TimCowlishaw) August 6, 2020
Does Denis Gurianov just need more playoffs experience? Matthew DeFranks examines his play against the Colorado Avalanche to look for answers.
Let's talk about The Denis Gurianov Issue and the Search For 91. https://t.co/WKYGPguyxo— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) August 7, 2020
Around The League(s)
In On The #Kill Taker
- The Minnesota Wild got blanked 3-0 by Jacob Markstrom and the Vancouver Canucks, with Quinn Hughes and Antoine Roussel helping to lead the charge. [Nucks Misconduct]
- Alex Tuch and Shea Theodore each got two biscuits as the St. Louis Blues lost a high-scoring sweepstakes to the Vegas Golden Knights, 6-4. [St. Louis Game Time]
- And the injury-hobbled Winnipeg Jets are going home after taking a third loss – this one a 4-0 shutout – from Cam Talbot and the Calgary Flames. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
Friday will be a busy night for bubble teams. Who will you have your eye on?
Six teams can advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with wins on what should be a busy Friday. https://t.co/mopAIvCuYO— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) August 7, 2020
Recent history suggests NHL teams need two goalies to win the Stanley Cup, but the Hurricanes' decision to have already used each of theirs as part of a planned rotation is unique. More in the latest Unmasked.https://t.co/Blc6ssIiYi— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) August 7, 2020
In the midst of all this Stanley Cup action, let us not forget that this happens on Monday at 5 p.m. Central time.
The likely landing spot for Alexis Lafreniere will be decided next Monday when the NHL will hold Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.https://t.co/sG0jwEeCcd— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 6, 2020
Because yeah, you still miss this guy. Enjoy.