The Dallas Stars haven’t had much to celebrate this season. From coronavirus to injuries to scoring issues to an ice-storm stoppage, their 2021 season has been marked by “one damn thing after another” and “the same damn thing over and over again.”
So the emergence of a rookie superstar is something to trumpet to the skies. That’s right...Jake Oettinger is your hero now.
Jason Robertson’s show-stopping season to date has gotten a fair measure of well-earned national attention, but Oettinger’s emergence in net deserves equal time, writes The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks:
Oettinger, the team’s first-year goaltender, has been the Stars’ best netminder this season, owning a .918 save percentage and 2.23 goals against average that ranks second among rookie goalies with at least 10 games played. On Monday night in Florida, Oettinger dragged the Stars into overtime by making 27 saves in relief of Anton Khudobin....
“Whether I’m backing up or starting, it’s my job to be ready to go no matter what,” Oettinger said. “You never know what the situation is. As a goalie, sometimes the biggest times you’re needed is when the guy that was supposed to play goes down. We’ve had that a couple times this year, and it’s my job to be ready to go.”
Otter’s ascendance, like Robertson’s, also came at a moment when the team needed it badly. And it leaves the Stars with a big decision about the future:
Oettinger’s performance this season has been needed — he has a .938 save percentage when replacing Khudobin — but also arrived to the NHL roster a year earlier than expected. In an ideal world, the Stars would have opted for Oettinger to start for AHL affiliate Texas this season, gaining another year of experience before making the jump.
But Ben Bishop’s knee surgery and absence for the entire season meant Oettinger was needed in the NHL. Oettinger has responded by proving he belongs. Now comes the hard part for the Stars: What do they do with Khudobin when Bishop is healthy in the fall?
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Last night was emotional for everyone, in the good and bad ways.
Jubilation of Tyler Seguin’s return to anger of a loss and a lot of emotions in between, the Stars were an emotional roller coaster last night https://t.co/OGVKZ2Zj4o— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) May 4, 2021
“It’s been...it’s been tough, you know, watching our team going through everything they have this whole year and not being able to help.”
If only the Stars hadn’t been suffering all season from Not Enough Tyler Seguin, and the high-event hockey he brings....
Around The Leagues
- Sebastian Aho racked up a hat trick as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. [Canes Country]
- And the Nashville Predators solidified their hold on fourth place in the Discover Central by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in OT. [On The Forecheck]
It turns out Connor McDavid is actually a pretty big deal.
Elsewhere in the North, it’s always good to hear good things about Jason Spezza.
The best Jason Spezza stat is that he's 5th in the NHL this season in 5v5 points per minute, but 3rd on the Leafs.— Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti) May 3, 2021
Has Tom Wilson finally gone too far, even for him? And will the NHL go far enough in disciplining him this time?
Incorrect. Pulled his hair and then slammed his head on the ground. Slow-no video, watch Wilson’s left hand pic.twitter.com/CLT1t2blSm— dantelives13 (@dantelives13) May 4, 2021
Aaaaaaand that’s a no.
Washington’s Tom Wilson has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for Roughing NY Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 4, 2021
The Washington Capitals are facing even more fire for a tweet – later deleted – that celebrated Wilson’s antics.
Yeah, this one.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
They’ve suffered from a few holes in the roster this season, and here’s the story of why Julius Honka hasn’t suited up in a month.
You’ve already heard that the great Max Fortunus has retired. The Texas Stars have put some pertinent stats (and a few memorable photos) into this infographic tribute.
One of the best to wear the Stars jersey. The longest captain in club history and top defenseman in all categories.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) May 3, 2021
Congratulations on a great career and good luck in your retirement Max! pic.twitter.com/4WyR27Kt8t
And Ringo in an X-wing, with a dog, is something I had no idea I needed until just now.
May the Fourth be with you... but most importantly with this space doggo! pic.twitter.com/1X5JtcyY68— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) May 4, 2021
It’s true – and, at this point in the season, it’s also heartbreaking. Enjoy...?
Tyleer Seguin at 80% is still better than 90% of the NHL.— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) May 4, 2021