Whether it’s playing on the second half of a back to back on the road, filling in as the starting goalie, Dallas Stars’ “backup” goaltender Scott Wedgewood has delivered. From highlight reel saves to giving the Stars a chance at winning every single night. Wedgewood has quietly been the man in Dallas.
Ever since 2023, the Stars have had a top five goaltending tandem in the NHL. Signing his first contract with Dallas late into the 2022 season the team, and Stars fans have been happy to keep him around since.
It shows that Stars’ GM Jim Nill is not only committed to a goalie duo, but shows he understands team success stemming from it. Nill knows that if you want to make the playoffs in today’s NHL, relying on one goalie is not a reliable option. As we all saw with the Stars in 2018.
Matt Duchene, and Joe Pavelski have rightfully been praised by the hockey world. You need to score to win games. In football you hardly ever hear about the offensive linemen who protect their quarterback getting their props. Goaltending in hockey, especially from the backup sometimes gets the same little attention.
When you watch commentators on TV or social media, the Stars’ centers or wingers are the names that get the shout outs. Which is fine. It’s the team scoring the most goals that night that win the hockey game. But true hockey fans know that there’s a lot more work that goes into team victories, and success.
Goaltending depth is a must have in today’s NHL. Aside from Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Tampa Bay Lightning, you don’t see teams winning the Stanley Cup over the last eight years with one goalie playing a lion share of regular season games. Goaltending in the NHL has become like pitching in the MLB. Position depth has become required for access.
With Oettinger out with a lower body injury, Wedgewood has gotten some recognition from the press. Dallas has not only been winning, they’re also not getting blown out since Oettinger’s injury. Come April, the Stars will need Oettinger fully healthy. In the meantime though Wedgewood has gone above, and beyond to keep the Stars near the top of the central division.
Both the team, and Stars fans will take results over publicly every time. Dallas hockey is well accustomed to lack of media attention for over 30 years.
Photo credit: Michael Ainsworth/AP
Since Oettinger’s lower body injury from December 15th vs the Ottawa Senators, Wedgewood has been rock solid as the starter. Posting a record of 5-1-1 heading into tomorrow night’s New Year’s Eve tilt vs the Chicago Blackhawks.
Featured photo: Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports