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Stars Morning After: Pulling For Wedgie

To the novice hockey fan, losing a backup goaltender isn’t that big a deal. Don’t tell that to the Dallas Stars.



Let’s face it, if the Stars were looking for an emphatic way to end their three-game Eastern road trip, that’s exactly what they did. Four spectacular first-period goals paved the way for a hard-fought 6-4 win over the Florida Panthers. Dallas returns home capturing five out of a possible six points on the three-game roadie and has the most points of any team in the Central Division.

All the joy of a big win and red-hot start was tempered by the injury to Stars netminder Scott Wedgewood. With just under six minutes to play in the second period, Wedgewood made his two most spectacular saves of the night, stopping a shorthanded breakaway and the follow up by Panthers Center Anton Lundell. As the netminder reached back with the paddle of his stick to make the rebound save, something went wrong. A pained grimace appeared immediately as Wedgewood rolled over, reaching for his lower back. For an abundance of caution, Stars Head Athletic Trainer Dave Zeis had Wedgewood stay motionless on the ice until paramedics could strap him to a backboard and stretcher him off the ice.

Wedgewood was walking after the game and made the return trip back to Dallas on the team charter, which is good news. He will require further medical evaluation. How long he will be out of commission remains to be seen.

To the novice hockey fan, losing a backup goalie to injury may not seem to be a big deal, but to the Stars locker room, it’s huge. Scott Wedgewood is highly liked and respected among his teammates. Every player who was here last season knows the Stars do not make the playoffs in 2022 without the man nicknamed “Wedgie”. 

Needing a partner for Jake Oettinger, Stars General Manager Jim Nill traded a third-round pick at the trading deadline to bring in Wedgewood, who had played very well on some very bad teams last year. For a team scraping for every point, Wedgewood earned some of the biggest and most unlikely outcomes. His first start was a 44 save, 3 for 3 in the shootout win in Carolina. Wedgewood shut out defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa at home and stole a point with an OTL to Toronto despite the Stars being outshot 41-18. Stars made the playoffs by four points; those three games alone are worth five.

At the Stars team Halloween party this year, Wedgewood went as Moon Knight, a lesser-known Marvel Comic Hero who has more than one personality. This may be the perfect costume to personify the 30-year-old. Off the ice, Wedgewood is gregarious and easy to approach. He has been known to pull out his phone and show off saved prom pictures of Tyler Seguin and him from their time back in Plymouth of the OHL. On the ice the other personality comes out—a fierce competitor who played minor league hockey for seven different teams before clawing his way to the NHL to stay.

Last night was another example of why Wedgewood means so much to the squad. Playing in his first game since November 8, the backup netminder was sharp from the start. Midway through the first period, shots were 8-1 and power play opportunities were 2-0 in favor of the home team, but the Stars led 1-0, thanks in a large part to the man between the pipes. Even the play where he was injured was a spectacular example of goaltending and kept his team up by three when momentum hung in the balance. 

Ever since coming to Dallas, Wedgewood has been on a roll. During the summer, he got married and signed a two-year contract making him a millionaire. Moon Knight has incredible healing powers and is never physically down for long. The hope is the injury is not as serious as first appeared and Wedgewood will be back in a relatively short time frame. When Oettinger was injured just a few weeks ago, Wedgewood stepped up and put three games into the Stars win column. He has earned his chance to stay with one team and finally find a permanent hockey home. Lots of people from the myriad of stops along the way believe Dallas is that place and are pulling for Scott to keep thriving. After all, how can you not root for a guy called Wedgie?

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