Ramblings: Eichel Out Indefinitely, Panarin Returns, The Top ES Line By Far (Mar 14)

Ian Gooding

2021-03-14

Another chapter to the Sabres soap opera unfolded on Saturday, as Jack Eichel will be out "for the foreseeable future" with an upper-body injury. The question lingers as to whether this is a legitimate injury that isn’t something minor, or a trade request that the Sabres don't want to make public. Either way, Eichel is already in bust territory with just two goals (but 16 assists) in 21 games. He's too elite of a talent to drop from fantasy rosters at this point, yet fantasy owners might receive little to nothing else out of the Buffalo captain over the rest of the season.

There's many different ways that you could break down how awful the Sabres season has been. If a team's best players need to be their best players in order to win, I present you with this:

Total Sabres goals: 56 (worst in NHL)

Taylor Hall goals: 2

Jack Eichel goals: 2

Jeff Skinner goals: 1

Debate if you wish whether these are actually the Sabres' top players, but they represent the three highest cap hits on the Buffalo books.  

I was able to type those numbers before Saturday's game and leave them unchanged afterward, as the Sabres were shut out 3-0 to Pittsburgh. Both our Daily Fantasy and Game Picks writers recommended going all in on the Penguins, which made perfect sense. Casey DeSmith stood out for the Penguins, stopping all 24 shots he faced. He's been great for spot starts, as he's allowed just three goals over his last three games – all quality starts.   

After a slow start, Evgeni Malkin appears to be back on track. His assist on Saturday extended his point streak to seven games, which is tied for the longest current point streak. He has 10 points (3 G, 7 A) over that span. Hope you were patient.

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Artemi Panarin returned to the Rangers lineup after missing the past nine games due