Jeff Skinner has now scored 9 goals in the past 6 games. Let me say that again – he has scored 9 goals in only 6 games. In an NHL where it is a stretch even for good goal scorers to average a goal every other game (that’s 40 in 80), his run is utterly astounding.
I started in my game recap today to say that this is the hottest that I can remember Jeff Skinner being. But with near-term memory much greater than long-term memory and Jeff Skinner having some incredibly hot streaks, I decided to check it out.
I looked only at goals, so it is possible that there are more assist-heavy stretches that are equally impressive, but in terms of raw goal scoring it is correct that Jeff Skinner has never been hotter. His best runs from recent years are:
2014-15 — His best run was 6 goals in 8 games.
2013-14 — Jeff Skinner came closest maybe with 9 goals in 9 games.
2012-13 — He had 5 goals in 4 goals but nothing much around that hot stretch.
2011-12 — Jeff Skinner had 3 goals in 5 games 3 different times but nothing close to the current run.
2010-11 — Even in his magical rookie season, he mustered runs of only 5 goals in 5 games and 5 goals in 7 games.
Disclaimer: I tallied these runs after a long day by working through game logs manually for each year, so someone holler if I missed any bigger runs.
What is maybe most impressive and most significant for success of the Carolina Hurricanes is that this run is coming at a time when Jeff Skinner continues to play the best 2-way hockey of his career and is coming without any compromises/gambling defensively. By virtue of his dynamic offensive ability, Jeff Skinner has always had the ability to find scoring streaks, but up until now he has not been able to find streaks of just playing solid 2-way hockey regardless of whether the goals were coming or not. The difference is everything for NHL team success. The elite players on good teams score goals obviously, but they are also competent or often better defensively. The result is that they are a net positive on the scoreboard not an exciting scoring who are break even or worse scoreb0ard-wise.
I will continue to enjoy Jeff Skinner’s current scoring surge while it lasts especially when it leads the way to Hurricanes wins, but I am actually more encouraged by the other part of his game that has him trying to grow from dynamic scorer to all-around top 6 forward.