Sabres' Eichel is not happy with his suspension from the NHL

The Sabres captain does not think it's an illegal hit

Paul Hamilton
March 11, 2019 - 2:07 pm

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing - USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres aren’t too happy about Jack Eichel’s two-game suspension from the NHL. Eichel was suspended for a head hit to Colorado’s Carl Soderberg. Eichel said, “You don’t want to miss two games with the team, but it’s the league’s decision and we have to stand by it, but I don’t agree with it.

“If you look at the hit and you look at the rule book, I just didn’t think that it matched up.”

Many are saying because Soderberg went low and reached out to get to the puck, that doesn’t make it a head shot. Eichel said, “That’s not an illegal hit, I don’t move myself to lower into him. If you watch the hit, he is actually at fault for dropping his head down there. He puts himself in a vulnerable position, leans over and his head goes off my back, his head’s on my number.

“It’s a 50/50 puck that I’m trying to make a play on. I had my eyes on the puck the whole time and actually make a play on the puck after, so it’s kind of frustrating, if they’re going to have a rule I think it needs to be pretty black and white. I mean if all head shots are suspendable then suspend all head shots and it’s tough to see them picking and choosing what they think is suspendable, but it’s a decision you have to live with.”

Phil Housley was brief in his opinion. He said, "I don't agree with the decision, but we have to live with it, that's all I'm going to say."

So the Sabres must move on for two games without their captain. Sam Reinhart said, “No one tries to do too much, no one is going to be able to replace him, that’s just a fact with the talent he has, so we need to settle ourselves down and play with some composure.”

As far as the suspension goes, Eichel’s former roommate said, “From being behind the play and turning and seeing the hit occur, from my perspective it didn’t look bad, but I hope the guy’s alright and it’s unfortunate the way it happened.”

Many feel the Sabres are too soft and don’t standup to their opponents. Reinhart said, “There’s times when we bring it and we have that element, but there’s a consistency level that we have to get that up on a daily basis,”

With Eichel out and Alex Nylander up from Rochester, Housley had to do a lot of line shuffling. Here were Monday’s lines:


Sheary - Rodrigues - Nylander

Wilson - Larsson - Okposo

Skinner - Mittelstadt - Pominvile

Thompson - Sobotka - Reinhart


Hunwick - Ristolainen

Dahlin - Bogosian

Scandella - Montour

Girgensons - Nelson


PP 1: Sheary - Rodrigues - Reinhart / Ristolainen - Dahlin

PP 2: Skinner - Mittelstadt - Okposo / Nylander - Montour

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