One of the hardest things the Carolina Hurricanes have had to deal with is finding the perfect lines, especially for winger Jeff Skinner who has played with quite a few players so far this year. Yet Friday night’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs may have suggested that Skinner might have finally found a perfect line as he had one of his best games alongside Derek Ryan and Justin Williams, according to The News & Observer’s Chip Alexander.
Skinner has found himself with almost everyone at different points in the season. The former seventh-overall pick in 2010 had 37 goals last year, but while he has tallied nine goals this year, has had a harder time adjusting. He has found himself playing next to Ryan, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, Brock McGinn, Josh Jooris, Phillip Di Giuseppe and Janne Kuokkanen.
With the combination of Ryan, Skinner and Williams on Friday, the line combined for 13 shots and two assists. “It’s a long season and things are going to change,” Skinner said. “You’ve got to be able to adapt and communicate with your linemates and try and find that success and get on a roll.”
- Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports writes that Boston Bruins’ rookie Jake Debrusk has started to look more comfortable out on the ice after head coach Bruce Cassidy made him a healthy scratch a week ago. In four games since, the 21-year-old winger has two goals and five points and was instrumental with a pair of assists in their 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. “It goes back to the mentality of playing fast,” said Debrusk. “I think that was one of the focuses. And ever since I got scratched, I think that I’ve had some jump in all the games or at moments.”
- Mike Coppinger of The Los Angeles Times writes that the Anaheim Ducks’ biggest problem is the team’s lack of speed. Obviously, the injuries to Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler doesn’t help, but the team is getting outskated. “We have fast players, too,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “I just don’t think we’re playing fast enough for 60 minutes.” The Ducks currently sit in sixth place in the Pacific Division with a 10-9-3 record.
- Scott Billeck of NBC Sports writes that after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety handed down a $3,763.44 fine to Winnipeg Jets’ Ben Chiarot for butt-ending Anaheim’s Corey Perry, Winnipeg fans came to his defense. They have started a GoFundMe to raise the amount of money that Chiarot has been fined with the intention of donating the money to the Christmas Cheer Board, a charity that donates food and toys to children that are less fortunate during the holidays. The fundraiser has already reached half its goal as of earlier today, according to Billeck. Perry has been infamous for pestering Jets’ players for years.