No One Has Ever Looked Like They Cared Less While Saving a Game than Jake Oettinger Did

Sports Hockey
No One Has Ever Looked Like They Cared Less While Saving a Game than Jake Oettinger Did

This is not one of our Remembering a Play series in this new Splinter sports vertical, but it is a crucial highlight from last night’s game between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues that everyone must see, even if you don’t care about hockey.

The context here is that Dallas and St. Louis were in overtime where the game is played 3-on-3 and there is a lot of ice for tired legs to defend. The NHL’s goal of taking two players off the ice is to open up offense and end the game before the five-minute OT expires. Goalies are constantly exposed and hunted in this format, and Jake Oettinger’s body language in this clip masterfully demonstrates this fundamental reality as soon as he sees that he’s beat.

The problem for St. Louis is that Robert Thomas offered him an opportunity to not get beat, and I guess he’ll take it or whatever.

I cannot ever remember watching a goalie who looked like they cared less while making a more crucial play. He just calmly sticks his paddle out towards a shot that Robert Thomas should have aimed towards the left post. If he had, then this post wouldn’t exist, and Jake Oettinger would have looked like every other helpless goalie failed by their tired defense and the NHL’s cruel OT system. Oettinger’s wry smile after he watches his art play back to him from the jumbotron is just perfect.

I love this play so much. And I hate the Dallas Stars. Oettinger is one of the NHL’s best goalies, and this just adds to his legend. You can find all sorts of awesome sprawling desperation saves to the other side of the net across all levels and eras of hockey, but this one is special. It is like all of those other saves, but it is neither sprawling nor desperate.

This effort aligns with the Splinter sports ethos of not taking your job too seriously, set by official Splinter athlete Nikola Jokic (spoiler alert: he will be the subject of tomorrow’s Remembering a Play). Jake Oettinger, this is some extremely cool shit, and we here at Splinter sports thank you for this opportunity to sports-geek out over your legendary nonchalance.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin