While there haven’t been a whole lot of negatives to this point in the Vegas Golden Knights’ 2022-23 season, they are currently on a three-game losing streak that has resulted in them falling to second place in the Pacific Division.
As for what has led to this recent skid, there are a number of factors that could be looked at. For one, this team has had some injury troubles as of late, with the most recent being Mark Stone, who is rumored to be looking at a lengthy absence. While injuries are unfortunate, however, head coach Bruce Cassidy doesn’t believe they are the biggest problem at the moment.
Instead, what Cassidy has been upset with, is the play of Jack Eichel, who has just two points over his past five games along with a plus/minus of minus 8 during that span. While the 26-year-old has had himself a solid season overall given his neck injury a year ago, Cassidy believes he has more to give moving forward.
“Jack (Eichel) just hasn’t been the same driving force for us as he was at the start of the year on both ends of the ice,” a frustrated Cassidy told reporters after a Thursday night 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. “The expectations are not being met from Jack. He needs to be better for us especially as we’re down a few guys that create offense for us. He needs to be one of the drivers.”
It is worth noting that Eichel himself was recently banged up, as a lower-body injury forced him to miss numerous games during the month of December. That said, his overall season stat line of 15 goals and 34 points in 33 games, while not bad, is not nearly as elite as you would expect from a player commanding a $10 million salary. Like Cassidy said, they will need him to be better moving forward, especially if they hope to pass the Seattle Kraken and reclaim top spot in the Pacific.
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