Sabres' Housley is turning to Ullmark

Jack Eichel talks about scoring goals as opposed to setting them up

Paul Hamilton
November 08, 2018 - 2:15 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Montreal, QC (WGR 550) - Phil Housley is playing a hunch and going with Linus Ullmark in net for the second time in three games. Ullmark is 3-0-1 this season with a 2.00 goals-against and .934 save percentage. Buffalo has not been winning lately and Housley decided a change was needed, "I just thought we've won one game in regulation in our last five and we lost our last game although I thought Carter played well, so I wanted to give Linus an assignment for tonight."

Evan Rodrigues will move back to center with Vladimir Sobotka playing on his left wing and Sam Reinhart on his right. Housley said, “It’s just to get them both going, I thought Rodger did a terrific job when he was playing with Z and Pominville. He gets good position in the defensive zone, he’s good on the breakouts with good outlet passes and with his speed I want him to attack the game through the middle of the ice and Vladdy, we’re going to try to spark his game as well.”

Rodrigues has no goals and four assists in 12 games, while Sobotka has one goal and one assist in 12 games.

Jack Eichel didn’t get any points in New York, but he still has 12 points in eight games. I have many fans criticizing him to me because he only has four goals this season and one in his last 12 games. Eichel knows he’d like to score more, but at the end of the day, does it really matter if he gets a goal or an assist as long as he’s producing? Eichel said, “Nope, it doesn’t at all. I love when other guys score too, so I don’t care if I’m scoring or someone else is scoring, I mean anytime the puck goes into the net for this team, I’m pretty excited.

“However I can help this team win whether it’s scoring goals or setting guys up or doing something else, I’m not like, ‘I need to score goals,’ obviously I want to score goals because that’s who I am and I want to start finding the back of the net more, but I think I’m helping our team as well, but I’m not losing sleep because I have five goals right now (four). Should I have more? Yes. Have I had my opportunities? Yes. So I’ll start burying them.”

If you take Eichel’s numbers over 82 games, it works out to 22 goals and 71 assists for 93 points.

Eichel has a great shot, but is an excellent passer too. He always has a message for his wingers, “For me I usually tell them to just find the slot and when I have it in the O-zone if I’m working and trying to play the cycle, there’s usually some set spots where I like to have them.”

Nate Beaulieu returns after being injured or scratched for seven out of eight games. He replaces Casey Nelson. Tage Thompson and Remi Elie will also sit. Elie has been out 10-of-12 games and Thomson has been benched for six out of eight.

Montreal comes in alternating a win for a loss since it beat St. Louis on Oct. 17. Shockingly, goaltending has not been good as Carey Price is 5-4-2 with a 2.81 goals-against and .901 save percentage. Price has given up 13 goals in his last three games.

Price has really weird numbers against Buffalo. In 36 games, he has a 1.94 goals-against and .936 save percentage, but is only 16-20. That works out to 16-12-8.

If you want to talk about a hot player, look no further than Max Domi. The former Coyote has goals in four straight games, six out of seven games and eight out of 10 games. In his last 10 games, Domi has nine goals and 12 points.

Montreal and Boston have 18 points in the Atlantic Division, while Buffalo has 16. Toronto is four points in front of Buffalo. The Bruins host Vancouver tonight while the Leafs are idle.

Join Bulldog at 6:30 for the pre-game show when he’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Jack Eichel and Nate Beaulieu.

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