Jeff Skinner may have had a disappointing 2013 season with the Carolina Hurricanes, but he’s proving to be a valuable addition to Team Canada’s roster at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. Canada has won five games in regulation and one in overtime, while also losing one game in overtime. They are +15 in goal differential, and sit atop Group “S” as the preliminary round comes to a close. They move on to the quarterfinals on Thursday, and it was a clutch goal from Skinner that helped them get there.
Skinner has two goals and four points in the tournament, but both goals have been game-winners. He scored the go-ahead goal in Tuesday’s game against Norway, which would hold up as the game-winner but he wasn’t done with big goals just yet. On Sunday, his third period goal led Canada past the Czech Republic by a 2-1 score and guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals. After battling concussion issues during the season, it has to be a good sign for the Hurricanes that Skinner is still playing and seems to have found his scoring touch once again.
In 42 games, Skinner scored 13 goals and added 11 assists, although most of that production came in the season’s first two months. He was a team-worst minus-21 and suffered a second concussion scare near the end of the season, causing a lot of worry about his durability in future seasons. The Hurricanes will need him to bounce back next season, and his performance at the World Championship seems to be a good indication he can do that.