Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel continues to carry team with dominant season

Putting up three points against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jack Eichel continues to show this season why he deserved his big payday.

If there was any doubt about whether Jack Eichel deserved the big contract he signed with the Buffalo Sabres, Friday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs should serve as a reminder.

Eichel scored two goals and had an assist as the Sabres took the first game of the back-to-back against their divisional rival which certainly made the home crowd happy considering the number of fans in blue and white jerseys made the trip.

The Sabres captain had three or more points for the sixth time this season as Buffalo found a way to overcome a tough 2-0 hole to win 6-4. Eichel garnered some extra attention from the Leafs defenders at times and made sure they paid for overplaying him especially on Victor Oloffson’s goal late in the game.

This isn’t new territory for the second overall pick from the 2015 NHL Draft but unlike in past seasons, he certainly has more support around him which could be the key to helping him break the 100 point mark. Right now he’s on pace to score 50 goals and 107 points if he can stay healthy the rest of the way.

In this game, he was a bigger factor than Auston Matthews who usually makes it a point to step up in these games against Buffalo. The Leafs star centre was clearly outperformed by Eichel but we won’t have to wait long before they battle again.

Buffalo also knows how important games against teams in the Atlantic division are considering they moved up to third with the win on Friday. Of course, Sabres fans know not to get too ahead of themselves in the first two months of the season considering how last season ended.

Eichel’s play should hopefully provide some hope that better things are coming to Buffalo and if he keeps it up or improves on it, it wouldn’t be out of the questions for him to see some Hart Trophy consideration.

Next: Old habits cost Leafs against Sabres

What do you think about Eichel’s season so far? Can he continue to produce at this level or get into the MVP conversation? Let us know in the comments below.