While the Oilers and Sabres get prepared to go head to head tonight, I was able to catch up with Jack Goods and get his opinion on Jack Eichel and the Sabres. It was supposed to be McEichel 1 tonight, but unfortunately that isn't happening.
C&B: Over the offseason, the biggest story around was Eichel vs McDavid. How has Jack performed with the Sabres so far?
DBTB: Eichel has been pretty much everything we expected. It seems that he can only score goals in spectacular fashion, but it is more than just his scoring that has been impressive. He has elite puck skills and although he may not be as agile a skater as McDavid is, he has such a strong stride that it looks like others are skating in slow motion. He is the future of this franchise, no doubt about that.
C&B: The Sabres have had a solid turnaround after one ugly tank-year last season. What’s been the biggest component in this seasons success?
DBTB: This team is almost completely different than last season. It goes beyond Eichel too. Ryan O'Reilly has been the team's best player and leading scorer. He's been even better as expected, showing off a great shot, wonderful possession skills and has many pegging him as the future captain of the team. You watch him and you are very confused why Colorado ever wanted to move him, and as a Sabres fan, it's very exciting that he'll be here for another seven years.
Evander Kane has also played very well since returning from injury. The Kane-O'Reilly-Reinhart line seems like one that can really stick. Kane's best attributes are his shot and physical nature.
The reason the Sabres can really make a step now over a team like Edmonton is their future top defenseman, Rasmus Ristolainen. He plays with a calm nature that you wouldn't expect from a player so young. He's already looking like a 1D and he just turned 21 a few months ago.
C&B: What does the future hold for this club? When do you think you guys will be a playoff team or a cup contender?
DBTB: The goal for this team is clearly a Stanley Cup in the future. There is just so much young talent. Eichel is 19, Reinhart is 20, Ristolainen is 21, Kane and O'Reilly are both 24. I still think the team needs to add one more defenseman to be a real contender, so I haven't been too upset with some of the losses this season. I made the bold prediction that the team could make the playoffs this year at the start of the season, but undersold some of the chemistry issues at the start. Although the postseason is still possible, it's probably best to call the Sabres a work in progress.