Jack Eichel: A New Hope
by Ted Mallwitz - posted 2:29 pm, September 23, 2015
One year ago Sabres fans both new and old faithfully walked into the pre-season hoping for the best, but expecting more of Regier’s prophetic “suffering” with a franchise still in the midst of a total rebuild and still lacking that powerhouse center to pull the team together. Along with a record breaking winter courtesy of mother nature, Sabres nation had a rough go of it. But as anyone in the know is already aware of, Buffalonians have a diehard resilience and a persevering will to be reckoned with. We’ve survived the mountains of snow and the piles of at times embarrassing Sabres losses. On the ice, players like Tyler Ennis, Matt Moulson, and Zemgus Girgensons gave everything they had in the tank each game even when fans cheered for them to lose in order to win the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.
Monday night marked the first pre-season appearance for Sabres phenom Jack Eichel who notably refuses to change the number on his sweater to his signature #15 until he earns a roster spot. Now that shows integrity and a desire to compete, which this team needs moving forward. Many were apprehensive about Eich’s game away from the puck. Eichel faced top competition and shined in every situation on the ice.
Eichel played top minutes in Monday’s pre-season game against the Minnesota Wild on a line with Moulson and Girgensons, which one would expect to be the second line going into the regular season. Notably, Coach Bylsma chose to sit Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, and Tyler Ennis for the first game. It’s clear that this was a trial run for Eich to see how well he could compete facing top competition and he did not disappoint. Eich was the #1 star of the game with the short-handed game-winning goal and assisted on Moulson’s tying goal. However, Eichel’s spin-o-rama move along the boards in the video above (watch the bottom of the screen) is not only jaw-dropping, but foreshadowing of the good things to come. Fall is here and a new winter of Sabres hockey is coming. Do you believe?