The Dallas Stars and the rest of the NHL are enjoying the offseason right now. Enjoy may not be the best term to use. The Stars are in the middle of the offseason might be a better phrase. Dallas, like other teams, are trying to project towards the 2022-23 season in hopes of making a playoff run.
What is the Dallas Stars biggest strength going into the season?
Despite him being an restricted free agent, the Dallas Stars seem to have their franchise goalie. If there were any doubts at the beginning of the season, Jake Oettinger silenced them with his play this season, especially in the playoffs. At 23 years old, Oettinger single-handed lay kept the Dallas Stars in the playoff series with the Calgary Flames. He was by far the only reason it went seven games.
During the regular season, Oettinger had a goals-against-average of 2.53. Meaning that he gave up an average of 2.53 goals against him every game. His save percentage was a .914. Where he shined, however, was in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jake Oettinger dropped his goals against average to 1.81 and his save percentage was a staggering 9.54.
During that playoff run, Oettinger saw 285 shots and he only allowed 13 to get by him. What he did was absolutely incredible during that series. Oettinger played in 48 games for the Dallas Stars during the regular season. He started 46 of those.
And did I mention he’s only 23 years old? Yes, Dallas has their goalie for the next decade it would appear. The only concerning part of this whole scenario is the contract situation. The rules and restrictions are very lengthy. You can read them here if interested.
I am not too concerned (at this point) about the contract. If you’ve been around the NHL long enough, you understand that a good goalie is the key to success. We’ve seen it time-and-time again. It doesn’t matter how great the offense is. If the other team has a good goalie, they have a chance at winning the series.
That’s the reason why I think Dallas gets a deal done with Oettinger. If he plays like he did this last regular season and playoffs, he will be worth every dollar the Dallas Stars throw at him.