Stars’ News & Rumors: Pavelski, Benn, Radulov, & More

In this edition of Dallas Stars News & Rumors, Joe Pavelski is named captain of the Central Division All-Star team, a few key forwards get the monkey off their backs, and more. 

Joe Pavelski Named All-Star Captain 

It has been known for a couple of weeks that Stars forward Joe Pavelski will be heading to Vegas for the 2022 NHL All-Star Game. This will be the fourth time in his career that he has been selected and his first since coming to Dallas in 2019. 

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“I’ve been to three of them and I’ve enjoyed each and every one,” Pavelski said. “It’s a fun weekend. It’s the whole experience sharing it with friends and family and going there and enjoying your time.”

While Jason Robertson was one of the candidates during the “Last Men In” vote, he was not selected, meaning Pavelski will be the lone Stars representative. 

Joe Pavelski Dallas Stars-Stars' News & Rumors: Pavelski, Benn, Radulov, & More
Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“It’s his ability to sniff out loose pucks, his ability to get out into the open,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said on Pavelski’s success. “His anticipation of where that puck is going. Great poise around the net. Goal scorers know where to put the puck. You can put other guys in those situations and they’re not going to have the natural instinct in order to put the puck past the goalie.”

The most recent news though, came more recently when Pavelski was named the captain of the Central Division team, replacing the injured Nathan Mackinnon. This will be the first time that he has served as captain at an All-Star Game although he does have four years of experience wearing the “C” for the San Jose Sharks. 

Pavelski has been hovering around the top-10 for NHL points all season. He currently sits 12th with 48 points (19G, 29A) in 42 games and a plus-14 rating overall. 

Oettinger Responds Well To Adversity 

Jake Oettinger recently went through what felt like the first real adversity of his young career. He was pulled in two straight starts after allowing nine goals and holding a .751 save percentage–and the youngster appeared to be down on himself following a tough loss to the last-placed Montreal Canadiens at home.

“I think we are the better team, we showed that tonight,” Oettinger said following a tough loss to Montreal. “It’s my job to make those saves when our team gives up chances. To not be able to make those saves for the guys really hurts me. I just want to be able to help this team win and I have not been able to do that the last few games, so it’s really disappointing.” 

Jake Oettinger Dallas Stars-Stars' News & Rumors: Pavelski, Benn, Radulov, & More
Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Oettinger responded well, however, winning his next two starts and performing exceptionally well. In two games against the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins, he went 2-0-0, allowed only two goals, and held an elite .963 save percentage over both games. 

“It is great for us as a team and for me personally,” Oettinger said after the win over Philadelphia. “It feels like it’s been a year since I’ve played. You know, when you don’t play well and you have to sit a little bit, it’s hard, you obviously just want to get back in there. I think the guys played really hard for me. We played so well defensively and didn’t give anything up.” 

Related: Stars’ Jake Oettinger Rebounds From First Real NHL Adversity

The 23-year-old goaltender is the clear future of the franchise but is being counted on to play a big part of the present as well. So far, he has handled the responsibility well and given his team even bigger hopes for what is to come. 

“We all love working with young players,” Bowness said.” Especially when he has such a good work ethic and character like Jake. He wants to get better, he’s a great worker and a great teammate. You know they want to get better and you know down the road, they are going to be a lot better.” 

Stars Forwards Get The Monkey Off Their Backs 

For the Stars forward group, Sunday’s victory over the Boston Bruins also removed some weight off of their shoulders. In the game, Alexander Radulov scored his first goal in 28 games, Luke Glendening tallied his first in 24 games, and Jamie Benn ripped home his first in 11 games. While the team was glad to get a big win, it was clear that scoring was big for each of their confidence levels as well. 

“It is always great to score,” Radulov said. “Even if it was a while that I couldn’t score. but I just keep pushing and try to do the little things right for the team. I knew at some point, it was going to turn around and go my way. Hopefully, I can grab it and keep going.”

Alexander Radulov Dallas Stars-Stars' News & Rumors: Pavelski, Benn, Radulov, & More
Alexander Radulov, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

For Dallas to have success in the second half of the season, it is vital that they continue to receive scoring from all lines. The top line has produced nearly 50% of their offense this season so they are in need of a boost from the other three units. 

“That’s what we need,” Bowness said following the win against Boston. “We need the contributions from the other lines. Seguin’s line stepped up big tonight, Glendening got a big goal for us, Rads. That’s what we need. We need some more offense spread out through the team.”

The Stars play their final game before the All-Star break tonight [Feb. 1] against the Calgary Flames. They have won five of their last six games and boosted their position in the Western Conference playoff race. With a victory tonight, Dallas would leap-frog the Flames into the second wild-card spot in the West. 

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