Ray Whitney Set To Return To Lineup For Dallas Stars

By Dustin Manko
Ray Whitney
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars have been in need of another veteran presence since Ray Whitney was placed on injured reserve after a Nov. 9 game against the Chicago Blackhawks. In the five games since, the Stars have gone 3-2, but have fluctuated from looking like a playoff team to looking like a minor pro team. I have written about the how the Stars have been making rookie mistakes, along with special teams problems that were contributing factors in the losses during his absence.

Hopefully for fans of big D, some of those problems should be alleviated Tuesday night when the Stars host the Anaheim Ducks, as Whitney is set to return to the lineup. He is expected to be on the left wing side of the Cody Eakin line with Alex Chaisson on the right wing.

Despite having several veterans on the roster, the Stars have desperately missed the veteran leadership that Whitney provides. Excluding the seven-goal outburst against the Calgary Flames last week, the Stars only have eight goals in their last four games. Needless to say, not only will the return of Whitney help the offense, but he has a calming nature that is undoubtedly going to help on the defensive side of the puck as well.

The return couldn’t have come at a better time, with three games in the next three weeks against the Blackhawks, along with tilts against the Western Conference-leading Ducks, the Toronto Maple Leafs (who are currently second place in the Atlantic division, third in the Eastern Conference) and division rival Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets on the near horizon.

The Stars lately have made several costly mistakes that have cost them momentum, goals against and ultimately games lost. The Wizard returns to action for Dallas and the Stars could use some of his magic touch.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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