Tag: jack eichel

Top Fantasy Hockey Players of the week (Nov. 19- Nov. 25)

Patrik Laine: Well, how are ya Patrik Laine. Laine had 11 goals in the last week, which the Jets played 4 games, he scored in every game and was known for his 5 goal performance vs St. Louis recently. Laine now has 19 goals on the year and, the greatest thing about this weeks number one fantasy player of the week, Laine had zero assists this week. 

Nikita Kucherov: I believe this may have been Kucherov’s first time on the list, sure we have been doing it for three weeks now but Kucherov comes in at #2 due to his 2 goals and 7 assists on the week. In four games Kuch had a point in every game and three of them were multi-assist games. Kucherov now has 9 goals and 23 assists on the year. 

Johnny Gaudreau: This may be Jonny Hockey’s first time on the list too but Gaudreau had 2 goals and 5 assists in four games this week for Calgary, helping the Flames to three of four wins this week. Gaudreau had a point in every Flames win this week and the one game they lost he was kept off the score sheet. Gaudreau now has 8 goals and 19 assists on the year. 

Jack Eichel: Have to throw on the Sabres star and captain on this list as the Sabres run through the NHL on a 9-game streak and in first in the NHL. Eichel had 1 goal and 5 assists in the Sabres four games last week, the only game he scored in was the Penguins game November 19th which was an overtime winner. Eichel leads the team in points with 5 goals and 23 assists. 

Max Pacioretty: About time the former 30-goal scorer gets going. Patches had 5 goals this week in the Vegas four games. The Golden Knights three game streak Patches has four goals, one assist in that span. On the year Pacioretty now has 8 goals and 3 assists on the year. For Vegas to stay hot and make a run it will come from players like this guy producing more. 

Sabres win six straight, two points behind Toronto for the Atlantic lead

The story of the NHL this season, the Buffalo Sabres and their 28 points in 21 games. They have won six straight and head back home for two games vs the Flyers and Canadiens. The Sabres sixth straight win and 13th on the year came off the stick of captain Jack Eichel in overtime. The Sabres fell into a three goal hole early in the second period. They trailed the Penguins 4-1 with nine minutes remaining in the second.

Note: Three goals this game came off the fault of rookie Rasmus Dahlin (1) Derek Brassard beat him to the inside cause he was caught cheating. (3) Bad front net positioning and kicked the puck the Jake Guentzel. (4) Shot from the point from Penguins Jack Johnson again Dahlin could not get good front net positioning, didn’t tie up the forward and Tanner Pearson scored. 

The Sabres quickly answered back with a goal from defenseman Zach Bogosian. Off a Jack Eichel forecheck and Jeff Skinner puck protection/foot work, Bogosian stepped in and let one loose to make it 4-2. 

The Sabres struck late in the second period off a broken play, Sabres defenseman took a shot form the point and what looked like Conor Sheary tipped it, it seemed it hit off the skate of defenseman Jack Johnson infront to make it 4-3. 

Mid way through the third the Sabres tied it off a terrible break out attempt by the Penguins that led to open ice for Casey Mittelstadt and sure goal with the amount of room he had. Mittelstadt tied the game at four. Note: that was the Penguins second break out blunder that lead to a Sabres goal. (1) Penguins forward tried to chip the puck out was kept in to Sam Reinhart to Tage Thompson. (4) Again a bad break out attempt on the wall that lead to a keep in by Dahlin to Kyle Okposo and Mittelstadt goal. 

Eventually the game would go to overtime which only needed about 40 seconds as Evgeni Malkin was entering the zone and tried to delay for time in the neutral zone, coughed the puck up Ristolainen passed to Jack Eichel for the game winner and the Sabres sixth win. 

What went wrong: Buffalo Sabres

Well here they are again, on the what went wrong platform. Maybe, and I know this may be hard for some of you to handle but maybe, just maybe Buffalo actually just sucks. No that couldn’t possibly be it because they have the talent to get it done. So why has it not got “done”, well because they are terrible plain and simple.

On the bright side, the Sabres have one thing going for them though drafting Rasmus Dahlin with the 1st overall pick, the only thing for the Sabres is Dahlin and Eichel right now. But the Sabres finished 31st in the NHL posting a 25-45-12 record ranking 31st in goals for(198), 3rd in goals against(278)22nd in penalty kill percentage(77.9), 20th in power play percentage(19.1). All in all the Sabres again struggled and have nothing but excuses for another poor season. Some of the reasons Buffalo went down the loser side again is because of…

What went wrong…

(1) A new coach, I’ll give them that, they were dealing with a different coach, different systems and it is tough to adjust quickly on the fly under new management especially when your team is battling injuries the coach has to make adjustments based off players he does not know too well, it’s tough so they’ll get the fact Phil Housley was new, but no excuses next year.

NHL Buffalo Sabres(2) Another year of under performing by Robin Lehner. For some reason and I fully back this because I thought Lehner was going to be better but a lot of people thought like “oh Lehner is at the brink of a new deal hes playing for a contract hes going to perform this year.” What were we thinking, he definitely wants to leave Buffalo so he played a mediocre season and said alright I’m ready to go, which also played into Buffalo’s poor season. Lehner posted a 14-26-9 with a 3.01 GAA and .908 save percentage. Pretty bad numbers for a starting goalie, but he is not all to blame but definitely a piece to the messy pie in Buffalo.

(3) James Pominville, Kyle Okposo, Josh Gorges, Marco Scandella, Benoit Poulit all did nothing this year some of these players Buffalo signed to make a difference and help them be more competitive but they did the opposite. Okposo posted 44 points in 76 games, Pominville 34 in 82 games, that’s real bad, Scandella 22 points, -15 in 82 games, Poulit 19 points in 74 games I mean three forwards that were suppose to be veteran guys just did not get the job done. Something needs to be re tooled in Buffalo maybe the veteran style is not what you need anymore, I mean only every other team in the NHL has realized that by now, but we’ll wait for you to catch on Buff.

(4) Eichel and Ristolainen not playing full years, these are Buffalo’s two best players, and Eichel has played now one full season his rookie year but the last two years have been cut short due to injuries, and when he is playing he makes an impact surely, not having this guy for 15 games will play a factor into your teams success. Ristolainen as well has played 2 full seasons in his five years, and if he did not get hurt this year would have been on his way to a career high points. 41 points in 73 games for a defenseman is pretty solid numbers especially when that’s a Buffalo defenseman.

Really there is not much to say about the Sabres I think we touched on all the major reasons, they had a poor defense, very little offensive production, a new coach, an under performing goalie and yet again high expectations that should not be placed on them.

Will things get better next year for Buffalo?

mittel-500x281Probably… I mean they are getting Dahlin, Eichel back healthy, hopefully a healthy Ristolianen, paired with Dahlin will be awesome to watch. They have Ryan O’Reilly who can be a solid top center in the league, he did come out and say he was dealing with personal struggles this year. Casey Mittlestadt coming up, Alex Nylander, Even Rodrigues who played some NHL time last year so he has experience under his belt now, Cliff Pu and a list of other prospects who can be of use for this Sabres team. How much better not a lot probably, they will be in the basement again I would say, maybe a little higher in their division, but around 10 games below .500 which is great for Buffalo but nothing special.

Off-season outlook 

Sign a goalie: Lehner’s contract expired so either resign(don’t do) or find someone else. Chad Johnson’s contract is up as well. Carter Hutton, Jaroslav Halak, Jonathan Brenier, Eddie Lack, Anton Khubdoin are all available so one someone needs to be landed. Will they be the answer to the goalie sitaution, probably not. Maybe a trade will do?

They need to resign Sam Reinhart and Viktor Antipin now while keeping in mind, Rodrigues, Larsson, Pomminville, Girgensons in 2019-20 so they are going to be doing some re-tooling. Would not be surprised if Reinhart is traded or not resigned by the way.

Develop your young players and actually play Mittlestadt, Rodrigues, Pu, Nylander, Dahlin, Eichel all year and don’t swap them out when they are doing badly for two games.

NHL Headlines 10/16

Vegas’ Golden Chips: The Golden Knights were in shambles last night having to put Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault on the IR, they could call-up Vadim Shipachyov and Alex Tuch from their AHL team. These players, originally supposed to be top 6 forwards to start the season, made an immediate impact. At 14:38 of the 2nd period Tuch potted his first NHL goal, then late in the 2nd Shipachyov scores his first NHL goal. Malcolm Subban, who Vegas was not sure if he was NHL ready, but still claimed him off of waivers anyway made a great impact stopping 21-22 against his former team. These Blue-Chip guys for Vegas are looking solid in their first game.

Buffalo Won one! The Buffalo Sabres finally won their first game of the 2017-18 campaign. A 3-1 victory over the ducks with prime goal scorers Justin Bailey, Johan Larsson, and Benoit Pouliot being the difference makers. The Sabres have not looked awful this season as the record may suggest. Eichel and Kane are off to very strong starts and both goaltenders have look competent, yet Buffalo still had not won until last night. As a team with a bright future and strong core, lookout for Buffalo getting hot soon and go on a little streak. With a strong-minded team, it would not be surprising if they are the streakiest team in the NHL this year.

LA Remains Undefeated (In regulation): Who would have thought the two teams without a regulation loss to begin the year would be Erik Karlsson-less Ottawa Senators and the Los Angeles Kings. With a win on Sunday night against the Islanders, the Kings’ record moves to 4-0-1. Anze Kopitar looking for a bounce-back year already has 4 goals and 8 points in just 5 games. He had another 2+ point game last night with a goal and assist. My hopes are not too high on this team, but they are clicking right now looking to right their ship with new management. Not a bad way to start the new regime.

NHL Preview: Buffalo Sabres Season Preview 2017-2018

Buffalo Sabres(8th Atlantic Division: 33-37-12): Buffalo has been an up and coming team for a few years, after many unsuccessful and no post season play in the last 7 years and four consecutive 7th place or worse finishes the Sabres offseason transactions hope to turn their fortune around and be a middle of the pack NHL team. After rookie sensation Jack Eichel suffered an injury and Kyle Okposo battling an injury last season, the Sabres found themselves with no identity and inconsistent regular season play. With some proven additions, Jack Eichel healthy and strong defense the Sabres are looking to become a playoff team in no time.

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Buffalo F Jack Eichel 16 points in month of Feb.

Some key players for the Sabres heading into next season on the front end and back end are endless, plus a hopeful and confident Robin Lehner in net, the Sabres have a lot in store for the future and next season. But with these five guys performing at their expected status, the Sabres success will be a bit easier in a tough Eastern Conference.

  • Jack Eichel: Eichel was sidelined for 21 games last season, but in his 61 games played the 20-year-old forward managed to total 57 points and 24 goals. Eichel was almost a point per game player once he returned and posted numbers during February that have not been seen in quite some time. With a healthy Eichel, alongside Ryan O’Reilly the Sabres offense will be molded around Eichel’s strong shot, power play and puck moving ability.
  • James Pominville: Pominville was brought over in a trade with Minnesota, the once Buffalo Sabre returns to the city that he started his career in. Pominville saw great success with Minnesota last season with 34 assists, 47 points through 78 games. Pominville played nine seasons with Buffalo where he posted a total of 271 assists and 456 points and saw some of his best hockey in Buffalo. Pominville was brought here for his play making ability and veteran ship for the younger players rostered. Pominville will see time among the second powerplay and second forward line with Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart most likely, hoping to give Okposo his scoring touch back.
  • Ryan O’Reilly: O’Reilly is one of the more undervalued forwards in the league, being on the Sabres he gets thrown under the radar a bit, but playing alongside Eichel has brought him out into the limelight as of late. O’Reilly possess great two-way ability and leadership for this inexperienced Buffalo team. O’Reilly paired with Eichel will be one the better one-two punches in the NHL, if both are healthy year round these two can be among the top two linemates for points. O’Reilly posted 55 points, 20 goals, 35 assists through 72 games last season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen: The 6’4 22-year-old defenseman has made a name for himself in the NHL pretty quickly. Bringing himself within the top 10 defensemen, and reliable fantasy option, Ristolainen will be the forefront of this Buffalo’s new and improved defense. Ristolainen 6 goal, 39 assists and 25 powerplay point season brings him into contention for another successful in Buffalo. With a number of minutes he plays and how much Buffalo relies on his size, speed and puck moving ability to get out of the zone Ristolainen will be a vital role player in Buffalo’s success.
  • Robin Lehner: Lehner did not post awful numbers last season, and definitely showed some signs of being the starting goalie Buffalo can rely upon next season. Lehner posted 23 wins in 58 games started and 2.68 goals against average. Buffalo allowed 34.3 shots per game, the most allowed among all NHL teams. With their new improved blue line and Lehner’s recent boost in confidence and demand in wanting to play an immediate role in the team’s success, Lehner is in store for one of the more successful seasons while in Buffalo’s yellow and blue.  

NHL Forwards: FIVE FORWARDS To Look out for the 2017-2018 Season (PART ONE)

We spoke on some of the up and coming defensemen to keep an eye on for the 2017-2018 season, switching over to the forwards now. Everyone knows Crosby, Kane, Matthews, Laine, etc are the players to watch, this list will be the players to keep an eye on that don’t get much attention around the league.

  1. Andre Burakovsky– Burakovsky has been with the Capitals for three seasons now, he’s been through ups and downs this organization has had. With the free agency news and signings that happened, the Capitals lost two key forwards recently. Therefore it is time for 22-year-old Russian left winger to step up and turn some heads in Washington. Burakovsky missed 18 games last season, but still managed to post 35 points during 64 games, along with 23 assists. With Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams gone, Burakovsky steps into the top six spot and will be playing alongside Kuznetsov, Backstrom, and Ovechkin, with that type of star power around him the left winger will soar to new heights next season, barring he plays a full 82 games next season, I think we can all expect Burakovsky to produce 40 plus points during the 2017-2018 season.

2. Rickard Rakell– After a career season and an unbelievable playoff performance, Rakell is finally amounting to the production Anaheim expects from him. Rakell buried 33 goals, along with 5 on the powerplay and 51 points on the season.

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 10.22.57 AM
Ducks F Rickard Rakell looks to topple season high 50 points next season.

During his 15 game appearance in the playoffs, Rakell managed to post almost a point per game, with 13 points and 7 goals. Last season was Rakell best season all across the in terms of production and reliability. Rakell turned some heads and brought the spotlight onto him last season, with 10 game winning goals. It’s going to be tough for the 24-year-old to step out of the spotlight now after a 51 point season, but Rakell has the right tools around him in Anaheim and I think we can expect the center to put up even better numbers next season.


3. Jack Eichel– Now the reason being Eichel is on here is because, although the former 2nd overall pick got injured last season and missed 20 games, the Boston product posted more points in 61 games last season then he did in 81 his rookie year. When Eichel returned he almost a point per game type of player and in the month of February he had 16 points. Eichel flys under the limelight of Connor McDavid being the two were drafted the same year and McDavid recently just ran away with four awards this year. But now that Buffalo added some more defensive weapons, brought in Jason Pominville, and added some more key pieces up front the once basement team is looking to make a run at the playoffs this season. We all know how competitive Eichel is as well the 20-year-old center will thrive in the winning environment if Buffalo can string together some momentum next season. If Eichel is healthy all 82 games next season I think we can expect a 70 plus point year.

4. Elias Lindholm– Another player that fly’s way under the radar being that he plays in Carolina and the team has not been all that successful. Although last year the Hurricanes took major strides forward and with their offseason transactions they are taking, even more, strides forward. Lindholm posted a career-high 45 points last season and 34 assists along with 11 power play points. Hoping Justin Williams can help propel this offense a bit and possibly will be paired with the 22-year-old center along Sebastian Aho. Lindholm’s season was not a fluke last year, the right-handed forward now has some more tools with him to get the job done and we can expect Lindholm to produce similar if not better numbers next year.

5. Anthony Mantha– The former 2013 20th overall pick finally saw 60 games last season with Detroit, although Detroit was not as successful last season and missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years the 22-year-old flashy left winger brings some brightness to the young culture in Detroit. Mantha posted 36 points, with 17 goals and 19 assists last season, his first official season as an NHL’er. With the direction Detroit is going it seems as if the Red Wings are not going to be back in the playoffs again next year, but with Mantha and a few other up and coming prospects, in no time Detroit will

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 10.24.33 AM
Anthony Mantha on the rise for young Red Wing forwards.

be back. Mantha’s size and big frame allows him to be a force on the offensive side of the puck and cause some havoc from defenseman down low, paired with the right guys, Mantha will exceed 36 points next season, especially with a full 82 games under his belt too.