Hurricanes fans don’t want to think about this, especially considering all the other problems the team is dealing with right now, but Jeff Skinner is marred in a pretty terrible slump.
The former Calder Trophy winner has scored just three goals in his last 15 games, recording only two assists in that span.
This rough patch comes following an incredibly strong start for the young winger, who racked up 14 points (7 G, 7 A) in his first 14 contests of the year.
That all happened before going on injured reserve. Since then, it’s been a different story.
There’s no question that Skinner’s recent concussion — suffered on Valentine’s Day versus Toronto — has affected his play since returning on Feb. 28.
This is the second time in two years that the former seventh overall pick has been sidetracked by a concussion. Each time he has struggled considerably upon his recovery.
“The game happens so fast and it’s always an adjustment when you come back from an injury, especially when you miss five or six games,” Skinner said recently. “I think coming back you sort of realize there’s a time and a place to take a hit to make a play, and there’s a time and a place to sort of back off and just get it deep or something like that.
“So maybe a little bit. But I think it’s so minimal, the difference in trying to adjust your game. You’re always going to wind up playing the same way.”
When Skinner was put on the shelf on Feb. 14, SportsClubStats.com had the Hurricanes’ playoff chances at 83.55 percent. After losing to the Canadiens on Monday night (April 1), that figure has plummeted below 50 percent.
Of course, not all of Carolina’s troubles fall on Skinner; not even close. That said, the way the offense — particularly the power play — has been performing of late, it’s hard not to wonder how different this team would look with a healthy and productive No. 53.
Skinner will look to get back on track tonight when the Washington Captials visit Raleigh. We’ll have a full slate of coverage for you from PNC Arena.
See you at the rink.