While the goaltending logjam the Dallas Stars started with before the season began, it doesn’t seem to be quite as dominant as many predicted. Ben Bishop has retired. Anton Khudobin struggled, and got sent to the American Hockey League. Jake Oettinger is dealing with the ups, and downs of a young netminder. Braden Holtby looks to hold down the starting goaltender role, and help the Stars get back into contention for a playoff spot.

What was once an acquisition that had some scratching their heads, Braden Holtby has emerged from the pack as the number one goaltender. While the Stars have been up, and down in every category on the ice Holtby has been at the very least respectable all season.

This is not to say that Jake Oettinger is not a good goalie. Otter is still young, and it takes time to become a regular in net in the NHL. It benefits both the team, and the young goalie that there is a veteran presence in net to set that example of bring a proven NHL netminder. Having a Stanley Cup ring strengthens the case.

Jake Oettinger is the future in net, and Braden Holtby is the present. Not only can having a vet in net lead to success in the win column, it’s also shown throughout NHL history to help young goalies.

Back to Braden Holtby. Who has earned the role of the starting goaltender for the Stars. Even with recent struggles Stars’ Head Coach Rick Bowness has voiced his support for him after some struggles, but still getting wins in Buffalo and Detroit.

“He’s a pro, a strong character guy, good teammate, and he’s handled it very well. I’d never question his mental side. He knows when the goals go in that he should’ve had and he’s the first to admit it, but he doesn’t let it linger, he doesn’t dwell on it. He moves on to the next shot or the next game and that’s the approach we need from him tonight.”

Recently back from covid protocols Braden Holtby, even on nights where he’s not at his best has found a way to earn wins for the Dallas Stars. Which included four game road trip road sweep. Starting in out of four games. Where Holtby won three of the four games, and Jake Oettinger earned a win vs the Philadelphia Flyers.

Another plus side to having Holtby as your goaltender is watching him make highlight reel saves like this. Anytime you’re talking about a world class, Stanley Cup winning goalie you are going to see saves that will make you jump out of your seat.

On Friday January 28th Braden Holtby made the start vs the team he won a Stanley Cup with in 2018; the Washington Capitals. The end result of the game wasn’t anything to reflect on going forward. Stars’ Coach Rick Bowness made it clear that it was a bad team effort, and didn’t pin it on Holtby. “When the whole team is bad in front of him, we’re not going to point fingers at anybody.”

Featured photo: Featured photo: Juan Figueroa/Dallas Morning News

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