The Carolina Hurricanes were a team that wasn’t short on disappointment in 2013. Despite a strong start, they were unable to maintain their pace and eventually found themselves eliminated from postseason contention pretty early on. Most of that was due to health. A lot of the rest was due to struggles of a few players. Some of the two were combined.
One player who fits the latter description, as a player who struggled with his health and his performance was Jeff Skinner. He didn’t go down with anything too specific injury-wise during the season, but took a beating on more than one occasion that resulted in him missing six games as the season wore on.
But when he was actually in the lineup, Skinner wasn’t all that impressive. While many expected him to reach that next level, in an already potent Hurricanes offensive attack, he was a ghost for much of the season on offense.
Skinner finished the regular season playing in 42 games, but posting only 24 points. Coming off of a season in which he notched 44 points in 64 games, including 20 goals, Skinner managed only 13 goals and 11 helpers during the 2013 regular season. Nine of his points came on the power play.
The thing about Skinner’s overall production in 2013 was the fact that he actually got off to a very strong start. He had points in nine of his first 11 games. Exactly half of his points came in that stretch, with seven of his 13 goals coming over that span.
Since his Calder Trophy-winning season back in back in 2010-2011, Skinner hasn’t been able to put it together. Last season, most of that was health related, as he missed almost 20 games. Along with his point production this season, he finished with a putrid minus-21 rating, worst on the team.
It will be interesting to see if Skinner can bounce back for the Hurricanes next season. After he finishes representing Team Canada in the IIHF World Championships, he’ll have a full summer to rest up. Perhaps coming in completely healthy, on an improved Hurricanes team, will pay off for him and he’ll bounce back in 2013-14.