After an unprecedented break-out season in the 2013 shortened season, Jiri Tlusty had very lofty expectations in the 2013-2014 season with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Jiri Tlusty finished in the NHL’s top-five in goal scoring during the lockout-shortened 2013 season. His 23 goals that year was among the elite goal scorers in the league, but his goal production dropped off severely the next year.
The 26-year-old Czech forward finished with 16 goals in the 2013-2014 season. His goals, assists, time on ice, and plus/minus all went down from 2013 to 2013-2014.
In the Canes’ exit interviews, Tlusty said that he had to much pressure on himself early in the season. After starting the season with an 8-game pointless streak, many started to doubt if he could get back to where he was in the 2013 shortened season.
Jiri Tlusty had an emergency appendectomy in late December. He missed a few weeks with the injury, but when he returned, he looked much better than he did prior to the surgery.
Tlusty finished the season with 20 points in 31 games, but his best stretch of games was March 3 to April 14 where he tallied 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in 12 games.
Jiri Tlusty said that he just started to play his game after the appendectomy, and it certainly worked in the final few months of the season.
Can Jiri Tlusty be a 20+ goal scorer once again? I think so, but he needs to focus on playing his game. He can’t worry about getting 30 goals in a season. If he just focuses on the right things, the stats will come.
If Jiri Tlusty returns to the Carolina Hurricanes next season, he will be a big part of the offense as they look to come back from what was an incredibly disappointing season in 2013-2014.