Jack Eichel’s Return to Buffalo Was Inexcusable

Jack Eichel. The New Vegas Golden Knight. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jack Eichel. The New Vegas Golden Knight. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

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The Vegas Golden Knight been starting to play better of late. But yesterday’s game was not quite what we expected.

The Vegas Golden Knights, after finding themselves in the losing column for the last little bit, were starting to get back on the right path. They had back-to-back wins for the first time since February 29th, Jack Eichel was playing well, and Max Pacioretty returned to the lineup. Everything was good. However, yesterday was everything I didn’t want to see.

The Golden Knights came out flat against the Buffalo Sabres, and that bit them in the butt. They didn’t get to the inside enough to create good chances, they weren’t playing great in the D-zone, and they struggled with finding stretch passes in transition.

There were a lot of problems for the Knights yesterday, but here are the top three that I feel should be talked about.

First Takeaway

The Vegas Golden Knights are in a tough division which makes each and every game from this point out, very important. You can’t afford to lose games that you should win, and you definitely can’t afford games when facing in-division teams.

Now that Edmonton has started playing better hockey again along with Vancouver and Anaheim, the Pacific is in a tough and difficult race. Losing games like that, you just can’t have that. It’s going to get you into the playoffs which is the ultimate goal of this team. I mean, it’s no secret that the Golden Knights consider themselves ‘all in’, but if they miss the playoffs, someone will be getting fired.

Losing to Buffalo is inexcusable. It was a bad loss that simply can not happen if they want to get into the playoffs.

Second Takeaway

“Jack Eichel has the clutch gene. That’s what you call ‘clutch’. With 05.2 seconds left on the clock, Max Pacioretty takes a shot from the point and Anton Forsberg directs it out to Eichel who beats Forsberg with a wrister.”

That was what I last wrote about Jack Eichel. Tonight, there is a different narrative.

In Jack Eichel’s return back to KeyBank Center, he had a rather disappointing performance. Which, well everybody has a bad game, but what hurts is the fact that the two people the Golden Knights traded to Buffalo so they could acquire Jack Eichel both scored.

Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch had a combined two goals last night, and yet Jack Eichel only had two shots on goal, a block and had a -1. It was very disappointing. However, hopefully that gives him an edge going into tonight’s game against the Penguins tonight.

Third Takeaway

The Golden Knights passing yesterday, and having a strong transition game, was almost non-existent. They weren’t completing anything in transition which led to lots of turnovers, and led to three goals for the Sabres.

Passing is a undervalued part of the game, the number of passes made in a game is mind-blowing, and if you don’t complete even half of those passes, you are more times than not going to lose the game. It’s impossible to win if you don’t score and in order to score, you have to have control of the puck.

Yesterday, they did not. Therefore, the Golden Knights lost.

Hot. Golden Knights Trading For Filip Forsberg Would Make Sense. light

I expect tonight that the Golden Knights may look to mix up the lines a little bit again. Without Reilly Smith in the lineup, there are a lot of different options for Pete DeBoer. However, I’m not quite sure what he is thinking heading into the game, but if he’s anything like my thoughts, you can expect some movement on the lines.