I am dedicating Throwdown Thursday to the Seven Days to Skinny series. Instead of comparing the Hurricanes to another team in a fictitious throwdown, we are going to pin Jeff Skinner against his fellow Calder Trophy nominees, Michael Grabner and Logan Couture, in a skills competition based on regular season statistics.
The suspenseful shootout round is the final determining factor in an overtime game. It is no contest which rookie wins in this category. Grabner is out as he had no shootout goals. Couture had 2 goals in 8 attempts. However, Skinner has a 40% success rate under pressure in the goaltender showdown. He claimed 4 goals in 10 shots. Skinny also had his first shootout goal in his second career NHL game. Hands down to Skins.
Skinner may be the most skilled skater, but I wouldn’t say he is the swiftest on blades. The Sharks rookie is quick, but the trophy goes to Gremlin. He proved his speed during the All-Star competition in Raleigh. He has the lower body strength compared to Couture’s upper body advantage.
Extra man goals:
While an opposing player knits a sweater in the box, the other team has the numerical advantage. Creating results from this opportunity can alter a contest. Power play goals go to Logan Couture with an impressive 10. Although, I will point out Couture spent most of the season on the first unit, whereas the others did not. Skinner follows with 6, and Gremlin squeaks by with 2.
Game Winning Goals:
Lighting the lamp is the highlight of a game and Michael Grabner takes the cake in this category. He played the fewest amount of games (76) and scored the most goals (34). Logan Couture comes up second with 32 goals in 79 contests while Jeff rounds out the trio with 31 goals in 82 games.
Few goals are unassisted, so let’s give credit where credit is due. Lending a helping pass is just as imperative as the goal itself. Despite Skinner playing in more games, he still trumps his peers with 32 assists. Grabs earned 18 helpers, and Couture generated 24 goal-inducing sequences.
Best Victory Celebration:
Logan’s 1st playoff goal…
Gremlin against Blackhawks…
Skinner’s spin and stuff…
And the winner is…
Although evenly divided among the six skills categories at two wins a piece, Skinner clearly takes the edge with the best post goal celebration. Nothing compares to seeing the 18 year old beam after proving he belongs in the NHL with the best of the best.