The irony of Jacques Eichel’s trade in November

The Buffalo Sabers made the decision to tweak the franchise by trading Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights and so far it’s been a story of two teams.

Former Buffalo Sabers striker Jack Eichel made his Vegas Golden Knights debut on February 16, 2022. Since then, the Knights have been 12-12-2, having won three of their first five games in April.

The Cypresses were 11-13-3 in the same time slot, having lost six straight games to the end of February 2022 before turning things around in March and April. What’s even more impressive about Al Seef is that most of their competition since March 2 has been against high-caliber teams.

Meanwhile, the Golden Knights struggled against some of the league’s inferior talent. Since February, Vegas have lost to the Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets.

The Buffalo Sabers-Vegas Golden Knights have had eerily identical records since Jack Eichel debuted

While the Eichel and the Golden Knights have had time to turn things around, it’s interesting that the Sabers have improved since the transfer of Eichel in November. Winger Alex Tuch has become a key player in the top-scoring streak, and Peyton Krebs has been serviceable in the second and third streaks this season.

Since debuting in his hometown Sabers, Tuch has earned 35 points in 43 games. And, having averaged an ice time of 18:40 per game, he’s on easy going to score the highest of his career. It’s clear that Touch will become a key player at the top of the scoring line for the foreseeable future.

Striker Peyton Cripps also witnessed his moments. He, as expected, was not as productive as Touch, with only 19 points in 41 matches with Al Saif. However, he made the most of his chances with a remarkable 16.3% shot percentage for 75 shots on target.

As for Eichel, he looked good for the riders, scoring 20 points in 26 competitions with a shooting ratio of 10.5. However, his presence has not significantly improved the team, despite a better performance in April.

Overall, the Sabers haven’t been without their flaws since Eichel debuted in Vegas back in February. But they have proven that they can survive the best NHL teams without him.

It’s not often that you improve as a team after trading one of your most productive players. But Buffalo Sabers could certainly claim otherwise. This is the irony of Jacques Eichel’s trade.

(Stats provided by hockey reference)

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