Hamilton: Eichel dominated McDavid

January 23, 2018

(WGR 550) - When Jack Eichel goes up against Connor McDavid, you hope for some of those Crosby/Ovechkin battles. The first time they matched up, McDavid was the clear winner, but this season, it was Jack Eichel from start to finish.

McDavid was invisible in the game in Buffalo and was close to invisible in tonight’s head-to-head match up too.

Marco Scandella had McDavid bearing down on him four different times and only once did number 97 get the better of it. On that play, Scandella still made McDavid go wide and Robin Lehner made the save on a weak backhand shot.  

Victor Antipin and Justin Falk also had times when McDavid came at them and they were up for they task too.

McDavid played just under 20 minutes and had three shots. He was never a factor because for two games this season because Buffalo took away his time and space as five man units.

Eichel basically walked into McDavid’s house and stole his lunch money. Eichel is playing the best hockey of his career and was in on four of the five Buffalo goals.

He’s skating and seeing the ice better than ever which has helped the power play catch fire for about eight games.

Eichel has points in seven straight games scoring five goals and nine assists for 14 points. This streak has given Eichel 49 points in 48 games and he’s now up to 16th in league scoring. He’s just four points behind last season’s league MVP.

Eichel was able to pull the Oilers over to him on the first goal setting up Rasmus Ristolainen giving him a clear shooting lane to the net.

It was just on Sunday when he was so frustrated with himself and the team that he could hardly speak. He scored the overtime winner in Calgary and then picks up four points in Edmonton. That’s what’s called leading people. The kid is growing up in front of our eyes and in the process, outplayed Connor McDavid twice in one season.

I joined Brian Koziol post-game giving more takes on the Sabres' 5-0 win over the Oilers.