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Hoffman Talks Longest Goalscoring Slump of His Career



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

It’s been a tough season for Mike Hoffman.

The 34-year-old winger was an offensive force in his prime with the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers, scoring over 20 goals six times. But now, he’s in the longest goal-scoring drought of his career and worst point-per-game pace since becoming a full-time NHL’er in 2014-15.

Up to last Monday against the Vegas Golden Knights, the San Jose Sharks winger has gone 26 games without a goal. His longest previous goalless streak was 21 games with the Montreal Canadiens in 2021-22.

“The biggest thing is not to let it get to you mentally,” Hoffman, goalless since Dec. 10 said. “Try not to let that negative mindset kick in. You’ve still got to have confidence, because if you don’t, it can get even worse. So, try to keep the confidence up and it’ll eventually happen.”

Head coach David Quinn and Hoffman share similar views on how he can return to the scoresheet.

“He’s got to shoot more pucks and get inside more,” Quinn assessed. “That’ll help him create more scoring chances for himself and score more goals.”

Hoffman agreed: “Get to the net a little bit more, try to get open in the O-zone a little bit more, get myself into shooting areas where I can actually get shots off, and it’ll eventually go in.”

Underscoring that, Hoffman is averaging a career-low 4.84 Shots Per 60 in All Situations. His previous low was 8.09 with the Canadiens in 2021-22. 

However, Quinn still likes Hoffman as an experienced presence on a roster filled with unproven players.

“He’s a smart player, he gives us some good decision-making,” Quinn said. The head coach has notably kept Hoffman in the lineup during this slump while healthy scratching other offensive wingers like Anthony Duclair and Alexander Barabanov and Kevin Labanc.

Hoffman does not attribute any of his slump to the stress that regularly affects pending unrestricted free agents before the Trade Deadline.

While he’s never been dealt at the Deadline, Hoffman has been traded multiple times in his career.

“It just is what it is,” he said. “It’s part of our business and I don’t really think about it too much.”

Hoffman lamented his season: “I want to be scoring goals to help his team. When it’s not happening, it’s not a very good feeling.”

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