Heading into this season, Ray Whitney had 376 goals in 1,261 NHL regular-season games. He tallied 11 goals in 32 appearances for the Dallas Stars last season. Even at 41 years old, his offense was considered a given.
Alas, in hockey, there are no guarantees, outside of Mark Messier in 1994 andSteve Tambellini's Oilers being in the draft lottery. Whitney has played 25 games for Dallas this season. He has one goal, scored on Nov. 3 at even strength against the Ottawa Senators.
One goal in 25 games. Whitney says it’s the worst stretch of his career offensively, a career that began in 1991-92.
So what is he doing to try to break the slump? Whitney explained it to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News:
“It’s probably the worst stretch of my career, and I’m trying everything I can to get out of it.
Whitney said he has tried to take his time on shots and either lost an opportunity or shot high. He said he has tried to hurry his shot, and that resulted in shots that have gone wide or were missed. He said he even tried to consistently buzz the net against Chicago and had no success.
“There is pressure there, because if we want to win, we have to have secondary scoring,” he said. “I mean, I look back at some of these games, and if I could have scored a goal or the power play could have scored a goal, it would have been a different outcome.”
Whitney’s not the only Dallas player currently mired in an offensive rut – Jamie Benn, so torrid to start the season, doesn’t have a goal in 11 games – but like he said, it’s been a season-long struggle. And considering over half of the Stars’ games (16 of 30) have been one-goal games, Whitney’s output has been a factor in Dallas being outside of the playoff picture.