By: Spencer Lussier
The Player: Jack Eichel
Jack Eichel earns player of the week honours for his performances in Buffalo’s three wins this past week. Buffalo kicked off their week in Western Canada with a win over Calgary, their toughest task the entire trip. Eichel scored the game winner in overtime, which capped off a solid game for the 21-year-old. He played the most of any forward in this game with a game high seven shots on net. The next night Jack Eichel took his Sabres into Edmonton where he would face a familiar face. Whenever Edmonton and Buffalo squares off it always becomes Eichel vs McDavid. Eichel won this edition between the top two picks in the 2015 draft as not only did the Sabres shutout Oilers 5-0, but Eichel had his impact on four of five goals, scoring once while adding three more assists for a four-point night. Buffalo would then go on to beat Vancouver 4-0 a couple nights later, and even though Eichel failed to record a point, he was still a threat on offence and had quite a handful of chance. With Eichel being in Buffalo and how bad they have been since Eichel’s debut his talent gets clouded. This season Eichel has quietly put up a point per game clip with 49 in 49 games, which is pretty impressive since there isn’t much on Buffalo. This is best shown by the 13-point difference from Eichel, to Evander Kane who sits in second on the team with 36 points.
The Trend: Brad Marchand's Antics
Brad Marchand is up to no good once again. In a game earlier this week against the New Jersey Devils, Marchand connected with Marcus Johansson with a blatant elbow to the back of his head. Johansson who already spent a better part of a month this season with a concussion, left the game and did not return, and as a result of the hit suffered his second concussion of the season. For his efforts, Marchand was suspended five games which leads me to the trend of the week which is Marchand’s antics. The Bruins' star has previously been suspended five times and fined three times in his nine-year career, and this is his third time being suspended for a hit to the head. Marchand is a special player, being one of the game’s best goal scorers over the past couple of seasons, and with Boston on an incredible run, it would be a shame if one of the team’s best player’s ruins their almost historic run because of his poor decision making.
The Surprise: Gardiner one of the hottest player's last week?
Leaf fans have voiced their opinion about defenceman Jake Gardiner, his inability to tighten up his defensive play and his lack of focus when skating with the puck to point a few out. However, this past week the Leafs defenceman has stepped up in the absence of Morgan Rielly. The surprising part about Gardiner’s play in his past six games is that he has nine points, all of them being assists, and is actually tied for the most points in the league during that span. While he is putting up the points it almost goes unrecognized because of how critical people look at Gardiner’s play. Regardless it is a surprise that statistically Gardiner has been one of the league’s hottest player’s yet he really hasn’t played like it.
The Read: PK Subban on The Daily Show
The read of the week actually is recapping what you can say was a historic appearance on television. Earlier this week The Daily Show hosted by Trevor Noah had a Nashville Predators’ PK Subban on the program. Satchel Price of SB Nation wrote a piece about how Subban’s guest role on the late-night TV program highlighted the defenceman as the NHL’s biggest philanthropist. Subban talked about a wide range of topics such as his charity work and why he donated that much money to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, his time in Montreal and his how Nashville has so far. This can be looked as historic when you consider that PK Subban is the first hockey player to be on the program. The Daily Show has seen its fair share of polarizing figures, many politicians, actors and actresses and musicians, and it’s very rare to find any athlete on the program let alone a hockey player.
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