Let me just start off by saying I am a huge Jack Eichel fan. I think he has found away to defy the odds and live up to the enormous expectations that came with getting drafted by the Buffalo Sabres after the “tank” years. He is certainly young and has areas where his game needs to improve, but he is the real freaking deal. I mean the guy has 38 points in 57 games his ROOKIE season. On top of being fantastic from a mere hockey standpoint, he is also beyond entertaining. He has helped infuse life back into a fanbase that were more like zombies the prior two seasons. As much as I love Eichel though, there’s this other guy you might have heard of that is pretty good too…
Since returning from a broken collarbone, Connor McDavid has been sensational. He’s played 20 games and already registered 24 points. To put that in perspective, McDavid is on a 95-point pace. It’s not hard to believe he could have achieved that if it hadn’t been for his injury. If he was able to keep it up, his 1.2 points per game average would lead the league and it’s not even close. He’s played 20 games and the Gretzky comparisons are flooding in left and right, he’s just that good.
The purpose of this piece wasn’t to compare Eichel and McDavid (believe me I know we all suffered through enough of that leading up to the draft and there’s still plenty of it going on.) The reason I’m writing this is because it gets exhausting having to be secretive about being blown away by McDavid’s play, merely because I’m a Buffalo Sabres fan. Matthew Collar from WGR put it perfectly the other day.
Just because the Sabres landed a different amazing player, doesn’t mean as hockey fans we shouldn’t be able to appreciate McDavid for what he is… a once in lifetime talent. Right now despite how good Eichel has been, McDavid is in a league of his own. Why should Sabres fans not be able to enjoy that? Why should we look back and constantly dwell on the “what if?”
Maybe it’s just because this is their rookie season. I’m hoping as time goes on we can all just let it go and realize both of these guys are fantastic for the game of hockey. If not and we have to conceal our reverence for McDavid and hear about how we lost out on him for the next 20 years, that would be such a shame. Maybe Eichel will help lead the Sabres to a Cup before McDavid does in Edmonton. Maybe the Sabres stumble into drafting Auston Matthews and then two is better than one. Whatever happens, even as a Sabres fan, I won’t be hiding my admiration for McDavid and I hope you don’t either. Can’t we all just appreciate that we are witnessing what appears to be our generation’s Gretzky and still be psyched that we have Jack freaking Eichel for the foreseeable future? I sincerely hope so.
Tweet of the Week:
This pretty much sums it up…
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