Jiri Tlusty has been a great fit on the Carolina Hurricanes top line with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin. While he may not put up the same amount of points as his linemates, he can contribute offensively and defensively for the line.
Tlusty had his best NHL season last year, being fourth on the team in points with 36. He began the season playing on the bottom two forward lines in a defensive role. He played well but didn’t get much of a chance to put up offensive numbers.
About halfway through the season, he jumped up to the top line and developed some chemistry with Staal. Tlusty also helped Staal have a terrific end to the season. While playing on the first line, he still contributed on the penalty kill and was fourth on the team in plus minus rating.
This season, Tlusty has been a superb fit for the Hurricanes first line. With him being able to play more defensively on the line, Staal and Semin can run wild. His offensive game has also been strong with nine points in 12 games. Staal has already had a great boost playing on this line too, leading the Hurricanes in points with 16 in only 12 games.
Tlusty has been one of the Hurricanes’ best defensive forwards, playing regular time on the penalty kill, and he is third on the team with a plus-10. He had his best game so far against the New York Islanders on Monday with two goals and two assists. He scored all four points in the third period to lead the Hurricanes to a nice comeback victory. Tlusty also had a fantastic game against the New Jersey Devils Tuesday with two goals.