Last Tuesday’s game over the Los Angeles Kings was the Dallas Stars’ first game since losing Jake Oettinger to a mysterious lower body injury. In years past, surviving without the team’s top goaltender might have warranted miraculous backup goaltending from Scott Wedgewood while eking out a one-goal win. Instead, the Stars won handedly 5-2, thanks to their much improved offense this year:
Last year alone saw the Stars score a good 35 goals fewer than expected given the chances they generated… this year’s Stars are actually scoring goals they should score, and isn’t that nice?… At 5v5, Dallas is solidly mid-pack in both expected and actual goals scored this season. That might not sound impressive, but I’d urge you to recall how Dallas was third-worst in the NHL last year in 5v5 goal-scoring, and to be grateful.
Not only that, but the Stars’ offense has not come at the expense of the team’s defense, as the old coaching staff always lamented would happen if they played less conservatively. That’s a very good system for your backup goaltender to thrive in, and is cause for optimism moving forward:
Last season ended with the solemn realization that the Stars were only in a position to steal the Calgary series because Jake Oettinger carried the team on his back. This year, the Stars can carry their goaltender, for a change. It’s not ideal, but thanks to a new coaching staff and fresh balance up and down the roster, it is possible for a little while.
You can read more from Robert Tiffin here.
That all being said, some hopeful Oettinger news:
Pete DeBoer said that Jake Oettinger will not join the Stars as they leave for ARIZONA this afternoon but did not rule out Oettinger joining the team mid-trip, depending on how rehab (lower body) goes.
Stars play in Arizona Thursday, Edmonton Saturday and Winnipeg Tuesday.
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) November 2, 2022
Around the League
Alas, no love for Johnston or fellow rookie Nils Lundkvist in The Hockey News’ Calder Trophy watch:
All season long, I’ll be tracking the race for the Calder Trophy for @TheHockeyNews!
Check out the first monthly Calder Trophy Tracker! https://t.co/ZjVw43wjmD
— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) November 2, 2022
At least Jake Oettinger gets some love from the ESPN crew:
The latest NHL Awards Watch, in the Hart Trophy race is a two-player contest right now. Enjoy!https://t.co/fMyKKzUwym
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 2, 2022
Scott Wheeler talks Connor Bedard and more about the upcoming draft class in a mailbag:
Rumors of Connor Bedard’s perceived “generational” talent have continued to percolate as teams jockey for the right to draft him.
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) November 3, 2022
It’s finally time: the Ottawa Senators are up for sale:
The Ottawa Senators have retained an outside firm to assess the valuation of the franchise and explore the possibility of a sale.
Here’s everything we know ⤵️https://t.co/l9KbJzk5xX
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) November 2, 2022
Names are already getting thrown out, including… Ryan Reynolds?
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 3, 2022