Whitney channeling 2006 Cup Run, offering hope to Stars youth

Whitney Ray Dallas Stars 2014
There are many guys around the NHL who never disappoint with their amazing quotes, regardless of the situation. Yet, if you want to get to the best of the best conversationalists, Dustin Penner, Willie Mitchell, and Rich Clune are just a few of the names who quickly come to mind in any such discussion. Equally up to the task is Dallas Stars forward Ray Whitney. Who could ever forget his awesome thoughts about young players in the NHL from just last season (linked here)?

After the Stars dropped Game 2 in Anaheim on Friday night MayorsManor caught up with the grizzled veteran for these exclusive thoughts on how their opening round series vs. the Ducks is starting to unfold…

Whitney on the Stars resiliency:

“I think once we get to a position where we play a little more relaxed and little more free with what we do, we’re a better team. That means, using our speed getting it in their zone as quick as possible, just getting it in a position where our speed can get in there and get on them quicker. When we’re not doing that we’re not as effective, obviously, than games when we are doing that. Usually it’s when we’re behind that you see that, but it’s trying to translate that in the game when were even.”

Whitney on whether he was more satisfied with the team’s effort in Game 2, compared to Game 1:

“For sure. We had a better start, we had a couple mistakes on our part that cost us a couple goals though. Aside from that, I thought we played pretty well. I’m not sure what the final shots were, but we played hard and played well. It was certainly encouraging after the other night, for sure.”

Whitney on turning the page after a tough loss:

“In ’06 we lost the first two at home against Montréal [ed. note: this was when he was playing in Carolina] and then went on to win the Stanley Cup, so it’s not like its not doable. It’s going to take some work, but I think, as a group, we believe that we can play with them. It’s just a matter of limiting our mistakes or costly mistakes. It’s a game of mistakes, but the ones we’re giving, and mistakes we’re making, are kind of big ones and they’re costing us. If we can limit those, we’ll be fine.”

Whitney on sharing his playoff experiences with the Stars younger players:

“The young guys will have to draw off the experiences that the older guys have had. That’s a good one [the ’06 run in Carolina], but that team wasn’t the only team that’s come back from 0-2. That’s the one I can directly relate to, but these young guys, they watched a lot of playoffs in their day. They know it’s possible and I think they believe that if they play the way we played most of this game, and the last period and a half of the other night, we can play with them. The Ducks ended up first in the Conference for a reason, so were going to have some work ahead of us, but I think we can do it.”

BONUS CONTENT FROM THE STARS LOCKER ROOM…

Ryan Garbutt on the series:

“It’s hockey. Every game is important from here on out. If we take care of business at home, we are going to be fine. I thought we played hard. We got a lot of pucks on net. Next game we just got to make sure we bury a few more. It is going to be paramount, going back home that we play even better.”

Garbutt on how to get pucks past Frederik Andersen:

“I think just keep doing what were doing. He made some good saves there in the third there, but we’re funneling the puck on net, and if we keep shooting like that were bound to get some by him.”

Garbutt on if the Stars resiliency gives them optimism:

“I think so. We have a lot of character guys in this room and guys that have been there before and will fight through it. So I think we just have to get on the plane here tomorrow, head back home and take care of business.”

Garbutt on playing at Honda Center:

“They’re a good team. It’s fun to play against teams that are the best in the league. I try to get up to play a team that has a good defense like they do, and just try to use my speed. For whatever reason, I just seem to get chances in this building. It’s been nice to bury a few of them.”

Sergei Gonchar on the game:

“Obviously losing two (games), nobody is happy about it. At the same time, it is a seven-game series. I think we are playing better. We had a good chance to tie this game. I think the referee missed that penalty, on me, behind the net. In my opinion we should have been 5-on-3. Those mistakes happen on their side, too. We have to keep focused and make sure we are playing the same way we’ve been playing in the third period.”

Gonchar on the start:

“I think we started better, definitely. But it doesn’t matter. We have to make sure to keep playing like this. All game, 60 minutes is what counts. I think we have to be consistent with that, through 60 minutes.”

Stars Head Coach Lindy Ruff on the game:

“At the end of the night, we handed them their opportunities and their goals. We skated well, the effort was great but we made a couple mistakes that cost us.”

Ruff on the playoffs:

“Part of becoming a good playoff team is to improve from the first game and I saw the improvement. We made some individual mistakes that we are going to have to try and eliminate. They made some big mistakes, too. We didn’t capitalize on some of their big mistakes, which was the difference. But I actually like where our team was at, the pressure they were putting on. There was a lot to like. We missed the net on a couple big mistakes and you got to give them credit. We handed them a couple. They didn’t have a lot but what we handed them, they took advantage of.”

3 MUST-READ ARTICLES:

Ray Whitney explains what’s wrong with the NHL today

Whitney weighs in on the dirtiness of Dustin Brown

Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne talk Ducks taking a 2-0 series lead over Dallas

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