There’s no doubt that this entire season has been a mountain of frustration. From the day that Jack Eichel went down with an injury one day before the 2016-17 season opener, Sabres fans have once again started to look toward the draft.
It’s hard to remain positive about pretty much anything when your team is dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Some people think the problem is the coaching. Others think it is the goaltending. Some think it may be too much dead weight. Perhaps it’s a combination of all three of those, or even something else.
However, there’s one positive sign that Sabres fans should take out of the season right now as we celebrate the first day of the new year.
Jack Eichel plays with heart, and it’s evident time and time again. He’s gone quiet in a few games this season, but that’s to be expected as teams begin to find way to effectively cover him. The expectation is that he’ll continue to adapt and excel on this team, helping them become a playoff contender.
Eichel has been pissed after the last couple of losses, and he has every reason to be, but it’s a great sign. It at least shows that Buffalo’s franchise player is just as frustrated as the rest of us.
“I think every one of us should be,” Bylsma said. “We know the situation we’re in and we know how desperate we are at this point in the season to win hockey games. We should all find that desperation, that urgency and that anger.”
The Sabres are nearing the halfway point of the season and unless they flip a switch and start rattling off wins, they won’t be anywhere near a playoff spot come February or March.
Whatever the problems may be, at least the Sabres have Jack. Now all that’s left is to help support him by making a better team around him.