Jake Oettinger is such a stud between the pipes. Naturally, one would expect the Dallas Stars' goals-against average to be significantly higher when he's not breakdancing between the pipes! Isn't it ironic that arguably one of the best breakdancers of ALL TIME has the nickname "ROCK STEADY". Well, breakdancers have been known to LITERALLY stand on their head while performing. With that being said, if you're a regular voyeur of the Stars, you've seen "Jake "Otter" Oettinger stand on his head on several occasions as the Stars netminder. Imagine that, a dancing Otter. Uuuuughhh!!! It’s going to be difficult to "SHAKE” that image from my head. Okay. Let me refocus and hone back in. With Matt Murray in goal for only the third time of his NHL career, and his second time facing the Vancouver Canucks, you knew the Stars were going to have to muster up some robust offensive support. Losing a 3 to 1 sleeper to the Canucks Saturday night at the American Airlines Center, you can clearly see that didn't happen. Stars Coach Pete Deboer stated during a post-game presser,
"I thought Murray was fine. You put a young guy in like that, you'd like to give him some run support. You know I think that's on us. That game's not on him. That's on us not giving him some offensive support. I thought he did what he was supposed to do. "
Let's take a closer look at the numbers to see how they bear out. When the dancing Otter is in goal, the Stars boast a per-game goal against an average of 2.5 goals. When another Stars goaltender is in net, (Scott Wedgewood or Matt Murray), the per game goals against average is 3.16 goals. That held true almost to the exact number last night. When Jake "The Dancing Otter" Oettinger is in goal, the goals scored per game average is 3.08. When another Stars goaltender is in the saddle the goals scored per game is 3.6. It seems that the offense usually shows up when Oettinger is on a night off. Unfortunately, as Coach DeBoer said after the game,
"We didn't play with any energy. We didn't play with enough desperation. We didn't play with enough hunger in our game. This time of year, you can't do that".
"They were the hungrier team, and that's inexcusable this time of year for us”.
Once again, AGREED COACH! My breakdancing analogy from earlier aside, they had better find an energetic rhythm, get with the beat, stay on the beat, and they better do it soon.
The Stars fell to second in the Central division standings, with 92 points, just behind the Minnesota Wild at 93 points. With a three-game road trip commencing Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks, Friday against the Arizona Coyotes, and wrapping up Saturday at the Colorado Avalanche, the Stars have got to find a way to get their early season magic back. Let's just hope the Dancing Otter, keeps dancing baby!
- Ivan "King Dawk" Dawkins
Follow Ivan Dawkins on Twitter and Instagram at @ikingdawk for more Stars content.
Find more Stars coverage from BS3 Network here: www.bs3network.com