Jake Oettinger must return to his Vezina-contending form from 2022-23
Last season, the Dallas Stars had a Vezina contender on their hands when Jake Oettinger logged an outrageous 2.37 GAA, a 0.919 save percentage, and five shutouts, plus 37 wins in 62 appearances. Like Wedgewood, however, Oettinger has fallen on tougher times, with his GAA dropping to 2.96 while his save percentage sits at just 0.905.
To be fair, these numbers aren’t terrible, but for a young goaltender who was a Vezina contender last season, they need to be better down the stretch. It’s also not like Oettinger is facing an incredible number of shots on goal per game, with that number sitting at 29.6 before their game on Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Like Wedgewood, Oettinger can also peak at the right time, and if he and Wedgewood both get hot, Dallas could be the toughest team in hockey. But he must revert to doing what made him such a force last season that gave opposing skaters headaches just trying to figure him out. Either way, at least one of these two needs to embark on a hot stretch from now until the regular season ends to put Dallas in a prime position for a No. 1 seed.