Dallas Stars Daily Links: Goaltending Decisions
Were the Stars right to ride Jake Oettinger for back-to-back nights instead of giving a game to Anton Khudobin? Plus, interviews from last night’s loss, the NWHL plans to complete its playoffs, and more.
It’s hard to look at last night’s 4-3 loss against the Nashville Predators and blame goaltender Jake Oettinger for the loss. But that doesn’t mean the Dallas Stars’ decision to go with the rookie goaltender was not at least somewhat puzzling.
Oettinger had played the previous night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording his first career shutout. Given his play and relatively low workload (21 shots against), Rick Bowness and Jeff Reese decided to stick with Oettinger against Nashville:
“This kid works hard, in the gym and on the ice. First on, last off,” Bowness said. “(His) conditioning is great so we’re not worried about that one bit. If it was a tougher game (Saturday) night, like 40 or 50 shots against, then you re-evaluate that.”
In the past, however, the Stars have typically chosen to split starts between goaltenders during back-to-back games. It’s also worth noting that Anton Khudobin has historically performed very well against Nashville:
Against teams he’s started at least 10 games, Khudobin’s best save percentage is .935, against the Predators (13 games) and Ottawa Senators (10 games). With an ultra-condensed schedule, Bowness has emphasized the importance of having two goaltenders ready. This would seem like a prime opportunity to help get Khudobin back on track against a team that’s bad and he’s personally enjoyed success against in the past.
You can read more about the decision from Saad Yousuf here.
Regardless of who was in net, ultimately the Stars were at least able to salvage a point, although it wasn’t enough:
Stars rally for point, but fall behind in race for final playoff spot https://t.co/hwDQBDLMBY via @NHLdotcom— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) March 8, 2021
Here’s Rick Bowness’ full post-game interview about the comeback loss:
🎥 Coach Bowness: "We are creating scoring chances. We missed open nets; we missed breakaways."@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/QueEkA8WRN— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 8, 2021
Here’s Jason Robertson, who scored the game-tying goal because he’s been on fire lately:
🎥 Robertson: "Bones puts a lot of trust in me ... but I am just trying to make the most out of it and give our team the best chance to win.”@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/P2NbjkdD6u— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 8, 2021
And here’s Pavelski on how the team is still striving for success:
🎥 Pavs: "There is no quit in the team, obviously. We are still going, and we still got some belief."@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/7s7lQiRrVz— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 8, 2021
Around the League
The Tampa Bay Lightning also overcame a 3-0 deficit last night, except they ended up winning their game against the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3:
Lightning erupt for six unanswered goals in 6-3 comeback win over Blackhawks #GoBolts https://t.co/CDepErObqc— Raw Charge, a Champa Bay Lightning web site (@RawCharge) March 7, 2021
The other Central Division matchup featured the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes, with Carolina securing the 4-2 win:
Canes storm past Cats for fifth-straight win https://t.co/8Uvxzh8aSm— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 8, 2021
Washington Capitals forwarded Tom Wilson was suspended seven games by the Department of Player Safety, but was it enough?
Why Does the #NHL Keep Enabling Tom Wilson?— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) March 7, 2021
The 7-game sentence is the 5th suspension of his career, but by not penalizing him for what it acknowledges to be a direct blow to the head, the NHL once again is sending the wrong message says @THNKenCampbell: https://t.co/LZ2VeJhZ7R
Panic is starting to set in for some NHL teams, with two coaches fired already and more potentially on their way:
Weekend rankings: You can sense the panic setting in around the league, with coach firings, GM press conferences and potential deadline selloffs. Plus thoughts on Tom Wilson, power rankings and more. https://t.co/j4zXt7EyS3— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) March 8, 2021
Finally, Happy International Women’s Day — the NWHL is planning to complete it’s playoffs later this month:
The NWHL plans to complete its playoffs and award the Isobel Cup later this month.https://t.co/zTg4v4xp61— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 8, 2021