Being that the Buffalo Sabres ARE a professional hockey franchise (I feel like this could be debated after offering its fans six straight years of trash), I'm sure they have a fleet of sports psychologists at their disposal. And if they do...I feel like they are fitting right in with the rest of this teams less-than-mediocre performance. It scares me when your teams two "leaders" consistently spew out negative vibes. If you don't think this has an effect on the other 20+ players on the team...you're gravely mistaken.
Jack Eichel, who recently signed an $80 million mega-contract that will have him as our teams focal point for the next 10-years, has ALL the skill in the world. Size, strength, speed, power, wizardry with the puck, a laser shot, blah, blah, blah...but none of that matters if he can't get past his immature, defeatest attitude. How many times have we seen Eichel dazzle us with rush up the wall, followed by a sick toe-drag, fire the puck wide, drop his shoulders and give up on the rest of the play. His body-language is so evident it's disgusting. I've never seen a professional hockey player mope more than this guy. In my opinion, it's the only thing that separates Jack from legitimately being in the conversation with the likes of Crosby (most-skilled grinder in history), McDavid, and Matthews. Those three never stop working. They are relentless. Relentless is not something you ever associate with Jack. The frustrating part of this is...we've seen flashes. We've seen Jack get so angry that he actually backchecks...which leads to him stripping the puck, wheeling back up ice and producing a high quality scoring chance that often results in a goal. It's just...a play like that is the exception for Eichel, and not the norm that it is for those other three.
O'Reilly? While he may have the work ethic...every time I turn on the post-game interviews he's sitting there telling us how bad he sucks. It's great to not throw blame around and to hold yourself accountable...but talk is just talk. And constantly taking the negative approach sucks the life out of you and everyone around you.
This team needs an attitude adjustment. The skill is not the problem. The work ethic, belief in themselves...the overall vibe of this team needs to change. Cause if it doesn't...there really is no end in sight.