Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Flyers

Skinner Turns 100

Monday, 11.14.2011 / 12:19 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Flyers

Just over a year after he was drafted seventh overall by the Carolina Hurricanes, Jeff Skinner will be skating in his 100th National Hockey League game tonight.

Michael Smith
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For a 19-year-old, those 100 games happened fast. But Skinner did skate in all 82 of the Hurricanes’ games last season. Tonight is the team’s 18th game of the season and his 18th as well. Simple math, for him.

“I looked at the milestones six games ago, and then I realized it’d be the 18th game with 82 last year,” Skinner said. “It’s exciting. It’s cool to have a milestone like that tonight.”

Head coach Paul Maurice has been behind the bench for all of Skinner’s games, and he has said that he learned last season not to put any restraints on the young forward.

“He certainly has made things happen in those 100 games, hasn’t he?” Maurice said. “There’s a lot of guys that run 100 games and you have a hard time putting a highlight reel together, but for him, you get your money’s worth out of those.”

When the second-year forward reaches the century mark tonight, he’ll have plenty of accomplishments under his belt already – an All-Star Game appearance, a dynamic rookie season that earned him the Calder Trophy and even a ticket package built around him. These are accomplishments that young hockey players dream about, let alone live out.

“It’s weird to think of playing 100 games,” he said. “As a kid, you’re not really worried about getting 100 games, 200 games. You just hope to make the NHL and see where it goes from there.”

In 99 games with the Hurricanes, Skinner has amassed 80 points (38g, 42a). Seventeen of those points have come through as many games this season (7g, 10a), as he leads the team in all three scoring categories. This puts him on pace to eclipse his 63-point total from his rookie season.

Over the course of his career with the Canes, though, Skinner said the most important thing he has learned hasn’t been physical- or technical-based, but rather mental.

“Just keeping a positive attitude,” he said. “I know I say it a lot, but I think keeping an even keel is important. There are so many ups and downs in the season. We’ve been through a few of those downs and ups so far this season.

“But there are a lot of games. You’ve got 82 games in a season, which is a lot, so you can’t get too down on yourself when things are going bad.”

In his career against the Flyers, Skinner has recorded 2 points (1g, 1a) in five games. The team went just 1-3 against Philadelphia last season, and they are 1-6 vs. the Peter Laviolette-coached Flyers team since he began coaching there. The lone win for the Canes came on February 18 of this calendar year on Rod Brind’Amour Night, as they topped #17’s former team, 3-2.

The Flyers come into Raleigh tonight off a 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers last night. The Canes ended a four-game losing skid in a 5-3 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. Tonight, the Hurricanes will look to take advantage of the potential fatigue factor with the Flyers, and also string together some confidence via a winning streak.

“The effort has been there for most parts of the season,” Skinner said. “We just have to play with some confidence. When a team loses two, three, four in a row, they lose that confidence and mental toughness. I think we got a little bit of that back last game, and hopefully we can keep it going here tonight.”

In his 100th game, Skinner would figure to be a big part of that potential success again tonight. Against the Penguins on Saturday, the “Finns and Skins” line of Skinner, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu combined for 7 points. Skinner led the way with 3 points (1g, 2a), and Ruutu (2g) and Jokinen (2a) chipped in with two points a piece. This line has been the most consistent and productive for the Canes this season.

NOTES: Maurice said there would be no lineup changes for tonight … Anthony Stewart will once again be the healthy scratch among the forwards … Joni Pitkanen will miss his second-straight game with a lower-body injury … Line combinations for tonight can be found here.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72