October 26, 2014

The Streak: Petri Skriko

Petri Skriko was a very paradoxical hockey player.

Nicknamed "The Streak" because of his streaky scoring exploits, Skriko was a consistent 30 goal threat in the NHL. Though most of his goals came in bunches followed by long dry spells, Skriko scored 38, 33, 30 and 30 goals in 4 years with the Vancouver Canucks. He possessed a tremendous wrist shot which made him quite a power play specialist.

When Skriko was on a torrid scoring streak, often a 4 or 5 game stint where he'd score as many goals if not more, he was a dominating force, often scoring at will. An electrifying player when hot, Skriko was down right unstoppable at times. By contrast however, when he wasn't scoring in bunches, he was, to put it bluntly, below average. A suspect defensive player with little muscle to work the boards, Skriko accomplished little when he wasn't scoring.

Like most Finnish players in the early to mid 1980s, Petri was labelled as a soft European when he entered the league in 1984. In truth however, Skriko was an admirable little player. He wouldn't back down when he did get hit. He was a hustler on the ice, using his speed and shiftiness to outsmart his check to get open near the net. However at 5'10" and 175lbs, he was small, and had little upper body strength, making him easy to knock around.

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