Bad news hit Stars fans like a sack of hammers this week. Goaltender Ben Bishop announced his retirement on Tuesday. Anton Khudobin cleared waivers and now plays for the Texas Stars in the AHL. The tandem that took the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final is gone. Now Braden Holtby and Jake Oettinger must carry the team. 5 consecutive losses after a 7-game win streak is leaving fans tired of this roller coaster ride. The current goaltending situation raises more questions than answers in the fanbase.
Farewell Big Ben
The news Stars fans expected but still feared occurred on Tuesday. Bishop cannot play anymore due to his knee injury. This knee injury first surfaced in the 2019 2nd Round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues. What was most noticeable about this was his lack of play during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Everyone feared the worst when the team announced that he would miss the entire 2021 season. Now a great career ends. Stars fans owe him many thanks and wish him the best of luck in the future.
Khudobin carried the Stars on his back for the 2020 Playoffs. He was a showstopper, only allowing 8 goals in the Western Conference Final. He shared the net with Oettinger last season, playing in 32 games to his 29. The Stars needed him most and he delivered. Dallas will always remember the efforts that made him a fan favorite. News that he was on waivers didn’t hit the fanbase well. Another team could claim him but didn’t. You can find him in Cedar Park with the Texas Stars.
Jake is Great
Oettinger is the #1 goalie of the future. Last season he proved that he can carry the workload of a full season. His stats say the same thing going into 2022. His 1.88 GAA is 3rd best in the league. He is not getting as many minutes as Braden Holtby but he deserves to. The Stars have their primary goaltender for the future.
Stars fans questioned why Braden Holtby signed with the Stars when they already had 3 goalies. Now we know why with Bishop’s retirement. Holtby saved the day coming onto a roster with lots of goaltending questions. Some of those were about how well he could fit into the lineup. We can now say he fits pretty well. His 2.44 GAA and .923 save percentage doesn’t reflect his 5-7-0 record. He should have more wins but the Stars have a struggling offense. Their record could be a lot worse if he wasn’t here.
13-12-2 is not where the Stars want to be right now. They have the 6th worst goals-for in the NHL. After all, Their -7 goal differential is not because of the goalies. Their current 5-game losing streak must come to an end fast. Once the offense starts waking up then it’s high time for another run at the Stanley Cup. Above all, Their goaltenders have to lead the way again.
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars Twitter