Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel let his former fanbase have it after the Golden Knights 3-1 loss on Thursday in Buffalo.
The Golden Knights have lost seven of 11 games since Eichel was activated following the neck surgery that Buffalo organization refused him. Thursday night he returned to KeyBank Center. Poetically, both Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, who were traded in the November deal, scored for Buffalo.
Eichel did not.
Eichel was booed every time he touched the puck. Eichel, who was the second overall pick behind Connor McDavid in 2015 was to be the Sabres savior. Instead, Sabres fans Bronx Cheered their former captain.
“That’s the loudest I’ve heard this place, ever. It only took 7 years and me leaving for them to get into it,” Eichel said postgame.
We all know the story of Eichel’s departure from the Sabres. He left the organization with a bitter taste in his mouth. The Sabres prevented Eichel from having his preferred neck surgery for the entirety of the 2020-21 season. Eichel’s doctors and Sabres’ doctors disagreed on the procedure.
One thing led to another and Eichel was stripped of his captaincy and is now a Vegas Golden Knight.
The Golden Knights lost the game 3-1. They have now dropped three games against basement-dwelling NHL teams in the Arizona Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, and Buffalo Sabres. They are one of only six teams who have lost to both the Sabres and Coyotes this season.
Both the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames have passed the Golden Knights in the standings and with another pair of points dropped, it is only a matter of time before the Edmonton Oilers are next.
The pressure is on in the Vegas Golden Knights organization. They have made big moves to try and recapture the magic of their inaugural 2017-18 team that went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
On paper, they are a far better team with weapons like Eichel, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Alex Pietrangelo. But it seems as if the Golden Knights are losing their identity as they have no chemistry and simply cannot score goals.
They have made goaltenders look like Vezina-caliber goaltenders with the
Everyone needs to be better. From Peter DeBoer all the way down to Jonas Rondbjerg. If things continue, this team, who were expected to be Stanley Cup contenders, could miss out on the playoffs altogether.
The Golden Knights play the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow at 4:00 pm PST at PPG Paints Arena.