The Carolina Hurricanes have advanced to the Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. During their Round 1 tangle with the New York Islanders, the Hurricanes had players like Seth Jarvis, and Paul Stastny step up, and next level play from Sebastian Aho. But for the line of Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei, the series was neither boom or bust. Not exactly inconsequential, but not exactly in the thick of things, the Pesce and Skjei have room to fill looking forward to Round 2 next week.
As the regular season closed both components of the Pesce/Skjei line had become paragons of the consistent, offensive defensive play being perfected in Raleigh since Rod Brind’Amore became coach.
Brett Pesce finished the regular season with a career high 30 points. Twenty-five of those were a career high number of assists. His 5 goals are the 2nd most he tallied in his career with Carolina. For the season, Pesce also ended the season +11. At one point, the Hurricanes were winning 51% of the time when Pesce was 0 or better. Carolina certainly benefited from Pesce’s consistently solid play and his timely points.
Brady Skjei doubled his career best of 8 goals in just his 3rd full season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Eighteen times Skjei lit the lamp for the Canes leading to the 2nd best season of his career in points with 38. It would appear that Skjei has found a home in the “defense scores or bust” system that Carolina plays.
However, in the 5 game series with the New York Islanders the line combined for 4 points all in the form of assists. Pesce had assists in games 3,5, and 6. Skjei’s assist came in the Game 3 loss. But both were held scoreless. This is less uncharacteristic for Brett Pesce, but a five game scoreless streak for Brady Skjei is one of the longer spells of the year.
While somewhat less productive than the Carolina Hurricanes fans were used to from the Pesce/ Skjei line, there is plenty of potential for this line to explode in Round 2. And the Hurricanes could very much use this line having a big series.
For a career, Brett Pesce has 3 playoff goals and 19 points with appearances in 46 games for the Hurricanes running back to the 2018-19 season. Brad Skjei on the other hand has 56 games and 5 career playoff goals. Needless to say there is playoff scoring potential.
Round 1 was not by any means a bust for the Pesce/Skjei line. Still it was not as productive as the Hurricanes might have wanted. Going into Round 2 of the playoffs, the Pesce/Skjei line can kick things into a higher gear. And the Carolina Hurricanes could use the boost. Which ever team they face (it is undecided at this point) the Canes will need to have all their pistons firing to keep moving.