Three weeks ago, Sabres captain Jack Eichel felt confident he would shake off his underwhelming start and, in his words, begin to “take off.”
Eichel, understandably, had trouble adjusting to the dizzying pace of the schedule earlier this season.
An upper-body injury sidelined him the first five days of an abbreviated training camp. Then he played 10 games in 18 days following barely a week of practice.
So the COVID-19 pause that began Feb. 2 helped refresh Eichel, who used the time off to rest his body and study video of his exploits from last season.
But Eichel, 24, hasn’t resembled his old self since the season resumed. In seven outings – a lower-body injury shelved him two games last week – he has registered zero goals and three assists.