Dallas Stars: Anton Khudobin is Goalie 1, Henceforth

Anton Khudobin #35 of the Dallas Stars (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Anton Khudobin #35 of the Dallas Stars (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

Anton Khudobin has been a beast for the Dallas Stars and deserves to keep his starting job.

Eventually Ben Bishop is going to come back. The Dallas Stars top netminder has been out almost the entire restart, nursing undisclosed injury and has remained “unfit to play” game after game. If and when he eventually gets cleared to return, he’s going to have to accept the situation has changed in Dallas.

While Bish has been on ice, the man affectionately known as “Dobby” has been nothing short of spectacular. Over the past five games Anton Khudobin has been 5-0, he’s allowed 13 goals on 182 shots, for a saver percentage of .929 and 2.49 GAA. Not too shabby for a backup goalie, eh?

Last night, things started horribly for the Dallas Stars. The Avs utterly dominated, putting up 20 quality shots on goal in the first period alone. All Dobby did was stop 19 of them, minimizing the damage and keeping the Stars in the game.

The fact that this game should have been over in the first, cannot be understated. The Avs were head-and-shoulders Dallas’ superior and could have easily been up three. But Dobby showed how goalies can make all the difference in a series. He took his hot streak and made save after save, keeping hope alive and bidding time for his teammates.

As we know by the 5-3 score, Dallas eventually turned it around and decisively claimed victory, but none of that could have happened if their netminder didn’t keep his cool early. At the end of the day, Anton Khudobin would stop 39 of 49 shots.

Khudobin is 67-72 on the series thus far and has been the Stars clear MVP up to this point. Before the NHL season restarted, I spoke specifically of the Dallas Stars pair of goalies as their one big advantage. Both had been playing like All-Stars and both were capable of carrying a franchise through the postseason.

The best team doesn’t always win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s often the team with the hottest goalie that advances. The Stars doubled their odds of this by entering the restart with a pair and wouldn’t you know it, they hit big.

Riding the hot hand is nothing new and both veteran goalies understand how it works in the postseason. Ben Bishop wants to start but he’ll certainly understand it if the Dallas Stars make him the Robin to Khudobin’s Batman. Besides, Bishop has only played in two games since the restart. It would be preposterous to elevate an ice cold goaltender even if Dobby wasn’t playing lights out.

Next. Dallas' Goalie pair is their biggest advantage. dark

Assuming Ben Bishop gets healthy, he’s going to be needed at some point. Giving Anton Khudobin a game off holds some value for the veteran. But Bishop can’t replace Dobby. Not now. The Dallas Stars now belong to Anton Khudobin and that’s just fine with me.

  • Published on 08/26/2020 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 08/26/2020 at 08:55 AM