When the Carolina Hurricanes traded Jamie McBain and a second-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for Andrej Sekera, it was expected that the Canes got a defensively reliable player with the ability to move the puck, but not an offensive defenseman.
Twenty-eight games into the season and Sekera has proved the original thought was not true as he is tied with the team-lead for goals with six this season. The Hurricanes other players with six goals include Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner and Nathan Gerbe.
The offense has really showed up lately as Sekera has four goals in his last six games, including a goal against the Capitals last night when he made his return after missing two games with a lower-body injury.
But this type of offense hasn’t been around for most of the Slovak’s career. Before this season his career high in goals was four, which Sekera has passed with 54 games to spare.
So what could be bringing around this change in offense for Sekera?
For one it could be the Hurricanes power-play. Although it hasn’t looked good every game, most notably against the Canucks (one of the games Sekera missed), Sekera has been able to score three of his goals on the man advantage.
It’s possible the 27-year-old didn’t get as much time on the power-play in Buffalo and a different system in Raleigh has opened up more chances for Sekera.
Another possibility could be Justin Faulk. The two have played together every game that Sekera has been in the lineup and to say the two of them are the team’s best pairing is an understatement.
They have simply played great together on both ends of the ice and have helped to shore up the defense that was looked down upon before the start of the season.
However, most players go through streaks like this where goals just seem to come their way and then go through stretches where it seems impossible to find the net, just look at Jiri Tlusty.
So will this scoring hold up for Sekera?
No, it probably will not. But that should be expected. Scoring was never Sekera’s forte and while it’s been surprising and welcoming, expecting a defenseman, especially a career defensive one, to score nearly every game is ridiculous.
Andrej Sekera should be able to continue helping the offense sporadically, but expecting a goal total much higher than 10 at the end of the season is an over expectation.