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Golden Knights Analysis

Jack Eichel Breaks Down His Heroic Overtime Game-Winner vs Jets



Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

Call it a jack-o-light-the-lantern goal. Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel played overtime hero Sunday night to give his team a 2-1 overtime win at home over the Winnipeg Jets.

He did it all himself, waiting patiently for the Jets’ defenseman to bite, and right before the buzzer to usher in the shootout happened, he made a power move to the net with slick hands and a finish.

This is one of the many reasons the Golden Knights traded for Eichel. Truly a superstar hockey player.

Eichel, Stone Break Down Goal

Mark Stone and Shea Theodore got the assists on Eichel’s goal. But the real MVP was the Golden Knight’s bench, who alerted Eichel of how much time was left on the clock. Eichel says after knowing this, he wanted to make one last desperate move to the net to see what would happen.

“I wanted to take it to the net. I could hear the bench saying there wasn’t a lot of time left, and I knew they had some tired bodies on the ice. I just wanted to try and challenge it,” said Eichel.

This was Eichel’s first overtime game-winner for the Golden Knights and first since Feb. 1st, 2020. This is Eichel’s most electric goal since his goal on March 6th against the Ottawa Senators with four seconds left.

“It’s been a while since I had a game-winner in OT. So it’s always a nice feeling,” said Eichel.

Eichel explained postgame how he wanted to get on the backhand to beat Connor Hellebuyck.

“I wanted to try and get to my backhand side just to be a little more dynamic that way. Obviously, I circled the net there on my forehand to start. Theo (Shea Theodore and Stony (Mark Stone) brought some attention to them.”

“I knew we didn’t have a ton of time I didn’t know exactly, and I heard the bench when I turned, say 10 seconds or so. So I just wanted to get a quick play to the net, and I was able to get a step and find a way to score,” said Eichel.

Mark Stone described his view of the overtime winner as well.

“When I saw Jack with the puck I was almost trying to take it as like basketball and let him kind of isolate. We tried to run a little criss-cross to get them a little bit confused. He just took a power move to the net, and it was a beautiful goal and a timely goal,” said Stone.

Hellebuyck’s Performance

What likely will be forgotten once this goal hits the highlight reels is just how great Jets’ goaltender Connor Hellebuyck played all night. Shots were 48-24 at the end of the night for the Golden Knights.

“Sometimes those are some of the hardest teams to play. He (Connor Hellebuyck) is one of the best goalies in the world, and he made some incredible saves. If you let a team hang around when a goalie plays really well like that, those are tough games,” said Eichel.

Hellebuyck made outstanding saves on Nicolas Hague, Brett Howden, Nicolas Roy, and multiple others. Jonathan Marchessault hit the inside of the post on the powerplay, and Howden hit a post off the rush.

“It was almost comical, honestly. But at the end of the day, we have won four in a row not capitalizing on all of our chances. So there are things that we can do to make sure it was going in (more). But we’re still really comfortable with how we are playing,” said Stone.

The Golden Knights controlled the majority of the game but just couldn’t score on Hellebuyck until the third period and in overtime. It took Stone’s goal out of mid-air and Eichel’s OT heroics to score.

“The whole game, we felt good about the way we were playing. It was just a matter of getting one by Hellebuyck and just bearing down. We had a lot of chances. I don’t know what the numbers were, but we definitely gave them a lot, so it was just a matter of sticking with it,” said Eichel.