Jack Eichel is 'fed up and frustrated' with Sabres' losing ways

Ross Houston
May 31, 2020

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel had to once again talk about the season coming to an end without making the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the captain is exhausted of coming up empty.

"It would be a tough thing not to get motivated when he's speaking", Kyle Okposo said.

"I want to win, if it's in Buffalo or somewhere else", Ristolainen told reporters during a video call Thursday, including WIVB-TV's Heather Prusak.

"I want to coach Risto next season". He is also the franchise's top-paid player in completing the second season of an eight-year, $80 million contract. In Krueger's first season as coach, Buffalo finished 13th in the Eastern Conference with a.493 points percentage (30-31-8) and will not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs; they did not make the Eastern Conference Qualifying Round as part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, which was announced Tuesday and has a 24-team format.

"I think we took a step this year", he said. He's had personal success in five seasons with Buffalo, but it hasn't translated to winning.

"(Teams) are gaining valuable, valuable experience as a group.

Frustrations aside, Eichel enjoyed a breakout season that at one point had him in the MVP conversation. On a personnel level, Eichel set a new career-high in goals this season with 36 and was on pace to break his career-high in points before the pandemic ended the season early. "I'm already doing things to try and better myself for the start of next season whenever that is".

Coach Krueger, who I believe is an absolutely unbelievable coach, responded in the ideal way.

Though the Sabres endured lapses in consistency, Eichel credited Krueger for keeping the team focused through several rough stretches. "I see both those guys as winners because of how they compete, I see them both as winners because they care".

And Eichel wasn't the only Sabre offering straight-up depressing quotes about the organizational struggles to right the ship.

"I am a competitor", he said.

"I've got to be better as a coach", Krueger said Friday. But yeah, I'm definitely not in the greatest place where the last little bit went.

NOTES: Defensman Rasmus Ristolainen acknowledged he would be open to being traded, while adding he enjoyed playing under Krueger.

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