Saturday: While head coach Ralph Krueger was unable to disclose a timeline, he did tell reporters including John Vogl of The Athletic that Eichel is out “for the foreseeable future” and that he is unable to put a date on how long he will be out. Krueger also declined to specify if his top center needs surgery or just rest.
Tuesday: The Buffalo Sabres don’t need any more bad news, but they got some anyway. Jack Eichel will miss tonight’s game with an upper-body injury and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet tweets that there are “rumblings” that he could be out for longer. Eichel was seen grabbing his neck over the weekend after being pushed into the boards behind the New York Islanders net, though it is not clear if that is the injury he is currently dealing with.
At Sabres practice, Dylan Cozens has moved into the first-line center role between Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart according to Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News. While that is certainly exciting for the young forward and his fans, losing Eichel for any significant length of time would all but guarantee that the Sabres season is over. The team is already sitting in last place in the NHL with just six wins in 23 games.
This has been a season to forget for Eichel personally too, even though he does have 18 points in 21 games. Only two of those are goals, one of which was a powerplay marker. That means the $10MM center has exactly one even-strength goal on the year, a huge reason why the team is struggling so much. Even Eichel’s ice time has come down this season, which has had some speculating over whether he was already playing hurt.
It’s injury to insult now the Sabres these days, who can’t seem to find a silver lining in anything that happens. The team takes on the Philadelphia Flyers this evening.