So far in 2018-19 Skin­ner’s been a win­ner for the Buf­falo Sabres

StarMetro Edmonton - - SPORTS - Kevin Mc­Gran More notes from the hockey world at thes­tar.com/hockey

Jeff Skin­ner won’t win a post­sea­son NHL award, but only be­cause there isn’t one that fits.

The Buf­falo Sabres winger could very well be the come­back player of the year, but the league doesn’t have such an award; he could be part of best trade of the year; he might just be the rea­son Sabres GM Ja­son Botterill wins ex­ec­u­tive of the year honours.

It’s safe to say that Skin­ner in­di­vid­u­ally, and the Buf­falo Sabres as a whole, are among the big­gest sur­prises at the half­way point of the NHL sea­son.

From the mo­ment he was put on Jack Eichel’s wing Skin­ner took off, and so did the Sabres.

Skin­ner, who’d never scored more than 37 goals in a sea­son, has 28 goals in 42 games and is sec­ond over­all to Alex Ovechkin’s 30.

“I don’t think the chem­istry be­tween him and Jack was to be ex­pected,” says for­mer NHL goalie Martin Biron, who is now an an­a­lyst on Sabres games.

“But right from the first game, Jeff had a hat trick and you could tell there was some­thing brew­ing.”

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