In spite of McDavid and Eichel, the Oilers and the Sabres still draw from the paw

Malgré McDavid et Eichel, les Oilers et les Sabres tirent encore de la patte

Photo: Drew Hallowell / Getty Images / Agence France-Presse
The captain of the Edmonton Oilers, Connor McDavid, admits that the accumulation of defeats this season is difficult to bear.

While not rejecting the hope of a push of late to make the playoffs, the captain of the Edmonton Oilers, Connor McDavid, admits that the accumulation of defeats this season is difficult to bear. In Buffalo, Jack Eichel, the counterpart of McDavid, showed signs of impatience when questioned about the fact that the Sabres have not won two games in a row since mid-December.

“I don’t have an answer for you at this time “, has launched Eichel result of a reverse of 5-2 in Toronto on Saturday, 24 hours after a win against Pittsburgh.

What becomes increasingly clear since that McDavid and Eichel were two of the first chosen players when the session selection for 2015, it is that it takes more than the arrival of a star with talent out of the ordinary in order to transform a training losing a club that can aspire to great honors.

“It is a team sport. A single player can’t solve all the problems, ” noted Monday, the attacker Kyle Okposo, Swords, a few hours of their appointment against the Oilers, Buffalo, new york. A duel that the Oilers won 4-3 and in which McDavid (0-2-2) and Eichel (2-0-2) have not been able to master.

“They can certainly help. But it is a collective effort, ” added Okposo.

On the individual level, McDavid and Eichel, who are both aged 22, are the faces of their respective organizations, by virtue of their performance and their pay. McDavid has started the first season of a contract of eight years, with an aggregate value of $ 100 million. Eichel is in the first year of a contract with a duration similar to that of McDavid, that will bring 80 million at hockey american.

On the collective level, their respective team fails to climb the rungs of the general classification, and each of them is threatened to miss the playoffs, with about a month remaining in the regular season.

The similarities are astounding.

With McDavid, the Oilers have reached the playoffs only once, in 2016-2017, and were eliminated in the second round by the San Jose Sharks. The Sabres are at the heart of a famine of seven years without having participated in the series, the longest of their history, and have finished in last place in the general classification two times, despite the arrival of Eichel.

The two organisations have changed as a managing director and coach from 2015. In the framework of separate measures, the Oilers have fired the general manager Peter Chiarelli and head coach Todd McLellan. The Sabres have shown the door of exit to the director-general Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma in April 2017.

This is far from the expectations that have followed the draft of 2015 in Florida. Expectations unfair, say McDavid and Eichel.

“I don’t think this is possible “, slice McDavid about the power of a player to change the trajectory of an organization alone.

“In this league, where the competition is so relieved, night after night, I do not believe that a player alone can change everything”, ” McDavid, who has won two trophies Art Ross, awarded to the top scorer, and a Hart trophy as the most valuable player in the NHL in 2017.

The lack of regularity came to spoil the hopes of the Sabres to take part in the playoffs.

With a record of 13-22-6 from a happy sequence of ten wins in November, the Sabres have gone from a brief stop at the first rank of the classification of the Association Is until 11th level, which is nine points of the Montreal canadiens and the last place giving access to the series.

During this slide, Eichel has been one of the few players to show a certain regularity, so that its longest sequence without getting a single point was of five parts.

“It is a team sport and everyone has to pull in the same direction,” said Eichel, who totaled 72 points, including 25 goals.

“It is the best league in the world. You can’t expect it to be easy. I think we realized all that this would be difficult and it was. “

The Oilers are harmed by knowing a sequence of 1-8-2, effective 19 January. They have since bounced back with a record of 5-1-2 in their past eight parties, but remain in 11th echelon in the Western conference, six points of a place in the series.

By virtue of its individual record of 33 goals and 59 helpers, McDavid is the first player the Oilers to cross the 90 points in three consecutive seasons since Jari Kurri (1983-1990) and Mark Messier (1987-1990).

“‘connor accomplishes a lot of things for us. Statistics offensive are obvious, but it is more than that, pointed to the attacker Sam Earn when questioned about the fact that the Oilers could miss the playoffs despite of the contribution of McDavid.

“We believe that we still have a chance to go up the coast, has added Win. We are still in the fight. We hope to get there to stop talking about it. “