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Cassidy Vows To Help Eichel Learn How To Play Winning Hockey

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s no secret for the Golden Knights that if they want to have success, and ultimately raise the Stanley Cup, they are going to need to get the best out of Jack Eichel.

After being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres, Eichel was able to play in 34 games with the Golden Knights. He started out hot scoring five goals in his first 13 games including two game-winning goals. But he cooled off mightily down the stretch as he went scoreless in five of the team’s final six meaningful games and was held to just one point in that span.

Vegas lost all but one of those games and watch their playoff hopes slip right through their fingertips. Understandably, as a player whose career has been marred by regular season team failure, Eichel took the brunt of the blame. Over that span, he posted a -5 rating, missed all three of his shootout attempts, and was on the ice for seven goals against.

Fair or not, it didn’t look good for a player who has been criticized consistently over his career for being more focused on his offensive game than team success.

New head coach Bruce Cassidy is not shying away from the stigma that surrounds Eichel and he’s ready to step in and help.

You’ve got a high-end offensive player that hasn’t won and now he’s got to put the crest first. And I’m not saying he didn’t do that in Buffalo because I don’t know what happened there, but at the end of the day that will be the conversation. –Cassidy on TSN 1200

Cassidy elaborated in another interview.

It’s a matter of him valuing the team aspect, the team success, and what that does to your individual success. It may or may not take away from it, but knowing the (team’s success) is the most important thing. Our job now is to get him to learn how to play winning hockey and to relish that. –Cassidy on Sportsnet 590

Here’s how Cassidy intends on doing it.

It will be about how he can build his overall game and be our hardest working player in practice right there with Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo. Start with leadership skills and build his game from there, kind of from the inside out, and value keeping the puck out of his own net. We know what he can do offensively. It’s one thing to talk to a player and it’s another for a player to want to live it and that’s where I think Jack has to go through the process and we’re here to help him get through it. –Cassidy on TSN 1200

The relationship between Cassidy and Eichel will be paramount to the success of the Golden Knights. Cassidy has been critiqued in the past about his communication style with players while Eichel can’t seem to outrun his impact on his team’s lack of success.

The two both have something to prove and a symbiotic relationship between the pair is the only way it will work. If it does, Eichel and the Golden Knights may once again take the league by storm. If it doesn’t, it’s going to get ugly and it probably won’t take long to get there.

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63 Comments

  1. Carl

    Somehow, this doesn’t strike me as the way to win friends and influence Eichels. It smells the same as the DeBoer-and-his-goalies debacle. Not a good start, Butch.

    • THE hockey GOD

      i somewhat agree Carl, picking on one player when you have a whole room full of them just doesn’t sit well. What about Patches (who wasn’t a winner in Montreal), Stone (loser in Ottawa), and a few others. Only real winners are Marty and no. 7 (whose game took a big down turn). The rest are middling. You have a lot of “captains” on this team. But “captains” don’t get r done in finals.

    • Blitz

      Alot of ways to look at it. I think the message is fine, but the wording could use a little work. Cassidy’s style is to put it all out there and say it like it is. I personally appreciate the directness as a fan versus PETER’s back stabbing ways (literally). PDB’s speak was so calculated that he was constantly lying, but yet not lying. Players with thin skin probably won’t like Cassidy’s approach. I do hope his praise is as strong as his other comments. A good coach knows when to kick trash cans, when to praise even in a bad situation, and when to say nothing at all.

  2. Tim

    Take the league by storm? I hope you have your ticket because the train has already left the station. Cassidy had the perfection line very successful maybe The Misfit line can be our perfection line. They know each other so well they just have to put the puck in the net more often. Stone, Eichel, and Patch I’m going to call the infirmary line. I’ll be curious how Cassidy weeds out the third and fourth lines, Maybe he’s got some fresh ideas.

  3. Herby

    I already love Bruce. He is spot on.

    Hope he can teach Eichel how to play defense and become a team player.

  4. Eichel is an elite offensive talent. Something Vegas hasn’t had before.

    Molding the individual talent into a complete player and team is what coaches do.

    I like Riley Smith on Eichel’s line.

  5. Pistol Pete

    The more Bruce talks the more I like him.

  6. MARK

    For Vegas to be successful next year it’s important to keep the team and line chemistry together. You play Pacioretty-Eichel-Stone and keep the misfits line of Marchassault-Karlsson-Smith together. Then you put that together with a good solid defensive group and get a better goalie instead of Robin Lehner and your a Stanley Cup contender 100% as long as they stay healthy. The 3rd and 4th line you build using young, inexpensive talent. They must keep the top 6 forwards in tact or Vegas will become a rebuilding project. Especially after trading Dadonov away for absolutely nothing in return just like in the MAF trade, Vegas got zero in return value to use on the ice. With their cap situation they need to re-sign Reilly Smith and keep the team together. Maybe add a cheap veteran via free agency to help the 3rd and or 4th line. Cassidy’s coaching style will definitely help too next year.

    • BT

      The value they got for trading Dadonov for nothing was more cap space…so that way they could take that $ they cleared up and give it to someone who will be of more value on the ice then Dadonov was last year. Same with MAF except they screwed up and traded the wrong goalie. But it was all to create cap space to acquire players using that free’d up space. Just because they aren’t receiving a player in return doesn’t make it a bad move. The cap situation has made it crystal clear that one of the top 6 forwards is for sure gone. Trading for Eichel cause this. I think it will be Karlsson as he is the least productive of the 6. And Lehner is staying for atleast 1 more year. DeBoer threw Lehner under the bus towards the end of the season with comments he made to the media. Lehner obviously had a huge problem with this. Firing Deboer goes to show they sided with Robin. He now had ZERO excuses. If he doesn’t perform well to start the season, they can just give the job to Thompson and start searching for a new goalie. Not an ideal scenario, but its also not the worst. Thompson has alot of potential. And Lehner is still very much a talented goalie. He gets a bad reputation because he speaks his mind and doesn’t apologize for it.

      • THE hockey GOD

        @ BT

        welcome to jungle

        PS I will have a BLT with swiss cheese on rye, light on the mayo. Thank you very much.

        • knights fan in minny

          rubber room rubber room for the hockey dunce

          • THE hockey GOD

            sorry buy you have it reserved for rest of the year, as usual.

            stalker
            pervert
            psycho
            creep

      • Galdom

        Agree with your comments BT

      • BT,

        I agree with your comments except I’m not sure one of the top six has to go. I could be wrong but if Lehner starts on long term LTIR that frees up cap space until he comes off.

    • Mark-Love your thinking. Management needs to implement your set up.

  7. Obvious

    Cassidy… I’m goaltender friendly

    Cassidy… I will reach Eichel how to play hockey

    OMG ROTFL this is going to be like watching a comedy show this season

    Lehner is a complete nut job. He isn’t playing with a full deck. Every team he played for realized that right away and dumped him. Team leadership wants him out. Players have had enough of this psycho.

    Eichel must be bent over a bucket puking his guts out. Leaves one shit show only to jump into another.

    Amazing how clueless Cassidy is about the situation he is jumping into.

    Old injury prone team, psycho goalie, an underperforming superstar, a 2 faced owner and fat bastard mcriminal who has completely destroyed this team.

    After a couple of months fat bastard will go back into hiding in Winnipeg never to be seen in Vegas

    Cassidy shud take his mother’s advice … “be seen, not heard”

  8. MARK

    Once we put Shea Weber’s contract on LTIR, Vegas will have about $6 million in cap space. They could also put Lehner and Brossoit on LTIR while they recover from offseason surgery. So that would open more then $13 million in available cap space to re-sign everyone and go shopping for depth players or an aging veteran for the bottom 6 forwards. I’d personally trade Robin Lehner and roll with Brossoit/Thompson OR go sign a veteran goalie to pair with Thompson. Both options are much much better then having Lehner in goal.

  9. Galdom

    Obvious, your life must suck! I hate to be judgemental but holy shit are you ever negative. I’m assuming you’re negative about absolutely everything. When is the last time you had a happy day in your life? My goodness, you’re a miserable sounding person who seems to want to make everyone else as well. Do you boo safe landings at the airport?

    • BT

      Lol. A negative response to a negative person. That’ll show em! I see your point. Mostly i just think he’s a troll, or one of those fans who are angry that the VGK have been a very successful team in their short existence. Now the teams full of “old injury prone players.” Lol. Just let them talk, its all they got.

    • knights fan in minny

      i like that one boo safe landings at the airport

    • THE hockey GOD

      @ galdom
      ROFLMAO

      you know there is a spot at McCarren Airport (the real name) where you can
      watch airplanes land in your car while you are waiting to pick someone up? You can see the strip from this location, and a security guard said some of the bullets from the freako in Mandalay Bay landed in the area.

      • knights fan in minny

        wow just what i wanted to know more babble from the dunce

        • THE hockey GOD

          yet another post by the resident psycho stalker creep

          • knights fan in minny

            yet another babble by the hockey dunce

  10. Henderson One

    VGK will never win Stanley Cup with Lehner in goal.

    • Paco Taco

      Fans in Buffalo and Ottawa have already made that comment. You could have copied and pasted that here. 🙂

  11. 68 Is Still Great

    Was he answering a direct question? If so this is a 0 and a fair critique. 9 would say as much. Two type “A’s” with thick skin.

    Did he (coach BC) navigate his way through a random question to elaborate on 9? Then,,, maybe some drama meat on the bones.

    This wreaks of non issue. 9 welcomes the challenge as one of 3 “C’s” on this team, these comments are right up his alley.

  12. VGS 28

    What does the Mandalay Bay incident have to do with this topic about our coach and players… your obviously an idiot… I’ve played hockey and sometimes your coach will call you out. It’s how you deal with it to make your self better.

  13. Good luck with teaching this spoiled brat how to win.

    From Deadspin: His M.O. has always been to be at the head of a ship that crashes into the rocks. His BU team lost the NCAA Championship game at TD Garden to a much lower seeded Providence team. The world junior team in 2015 he captained (that featured no less than 15 future NHLers, including Auston Matthews and Dylan Larkin) got stonewalled by Igor Shesterkin in the quarterfinals. The year before that the US team with Eichel on it spit it against Russia in the quarters as well. That time it was Andrei Vasilevskiy doing the honors at the guillotine. His Sabres never even got within a sniff of the playoffs.

    • Galdom

      Here’s another unhappy human being who probably boos safe landings at the airport. Erik Vornoff. Hockey isn’t basketball. One player can’t make a massive impact like in basketball where a player will play 42 minutes of a 48 minute game. In hockey affordable play about 18 minutes of a 60 minute game. How is it Eichel’s fault at the world junior tournament when you said that Matthews and Larkin were also on the team. Why isn’t it Austin Matthews fault? Why isn’t it Dylan Larkin’s fault?

      The Buffalo Sabres never won shit because they suck. All Eichel did on Buffalo was lead the team in scoring every single year so he did his part. You lose and win as a team in hockey. There’s only so much a position player other than a goalie can do. I watch the world junior championships which you probably never do. I’m sure you didn’t watch Jack Eichel play in that tournament. your whole argument is absolutely retarded. You’re basically almost saying what I’m saying when you mentioned that Vasilevskiy and Shesterkin stonewalled teams. A goalie who is on the ice for 60 minutes can actually do that and have that impact. A position player cannot do that unless they are absolutely awful and make a glaring errors which Eichel clearly does not.

      Further to my point and I guess your point in regards to goalies stonewalling teams here is an example of a former VGK goalie completely losing a game for a team at the most inopportune time.

      In 2004 with the game tied 3-3 in the gold medal game with less than 60 seconds to play A former VGK goalie made an absolutely horrible error which led to a goal and gave USA the gold medal. this goalie literally handed the gold medal to the United States. As a Canadian that was particularly painful. however, these are 18 year old kids playing in a tournament so a mistake like that can be inexcusable. Unless, this error eventually is not an anomaly and actually becomes a part of this goal his personality which is making horrible game changing errors at the most in opportune times.

      Here’s the horrible gaff that ripped the gold medal away from Canada. Click on link.

      Remember, this was the gold medal game tied 3-3 with less than 60 seconds left.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir7Ha6NqyHs

      FYI….. I’m not seeing what I want to see here. This actually happened.

      • How did you know that I boo safe landings at airports?

        • Galdom

          Lol. It just seemed obvious

          • Erik Vornoff

            Did you read that I re-posted the comments from Deadspin? I didn’t write it, it was Deadspin. It appears to have set you off. It is the truth though. Obviously the writer from Deadspin doesn’t like Eichel. I’m a Sabres fan and tried really hard to like him but I had seen enough of his childish tantrums. He is a very good player but I think Jack Eichel tops out at Ryan Getzlaf. He’s not a superstar. Too many things wrong with him and he’s not a leader. But that’s not my problem, it’s yours now. Relax, have a cup of Lemon Balm tea and try not to take things too personally. Your front office screwed up on Eichel and they’ll probably get rid of him soon too.

      • Erik Vornoff

        Did you read that I re-posted the comments from Deadspin? I didn’t write it, it was Deadspin. It appears to have set you off. It is the truth though, in a way. Obviously the writer from Deadspin doesn’t like Eichel. But I’m a Sabres fan and had seen enough of his childish tantrums. He has always had an immature streak. But that’s not my problem, it’s yours now. Relax, have a cup of Lemon Balm tea and seek help.

  14. THE hockey GOD

    Democrats haven’t been this angry at Republicans since Lincoln abolished slavery.

    And it appears that Eichel needs a mental reset ?

    • knights fan in minny

      and you need a rest home where the nurse can wipe drool off your chin

    • GOP has changed a lot since then. Not the same as it was with Teddy and Abe.

    • THG: Well, since it is because MEN can’t keep their JUNK in their pants, and they impregnate the WOMEN. . .YET, the WOMEN are now ( again) being PUNISHED for MEN’S INABILITY TO KEEP THEIR JUNK IN THEIR PANTS. THEY RAPE STRANGERS AND RELATIVES. ALL ACCEPTABLE, RIGHT? FUNNY HOW OLD MEN FEEL THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTROL WOMEN AND THEIR BODIES.
      Other than THAT, women everywhere MUST BE CELEBRATING, RIGHT??

      • TS,

        Well said but you won’t get a response from him because his kind doesn’t care about victims of rape, incest or a womens life in general.

        They in fact don’t care after a baby is born they’re against child income tax credit Universal health care or help kids who live in impoverishment. They are for tax breaks for the rich and asualt weapons.

        • VGK FAN, yes, I realize, unfortunately.
          Humans with no humanity toward OTHER humans is so disturbing. The hate is unlike any in my lifetime, except the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s.. That hate and white racist persecution was severe. This divide now in America is the result of the ” enemy is the ‘other'” doctrine Trump instilled in his followers…and here we are today.
          I told myself not to respond to his hate, but at SOME POINT, I felt I HAD TO CALL HIM OUT FOR IT.

  15. Obvious

    “ If it doesn’t, it’s going to get ugly and it probably won’t take long to get there.”

    Grab some popcorn and watch…. It’s gonna be entertaining

    Hope is a losing strategy that almost always leads to disappointment

  16. Galdom

    Here’s another unhappy human being who probably boos safe landings at the airport. Erik Vornoff. Hockey isn’t basketball. One player can’t make a massive impact like in basketball where a player will play 42 minutes of a 48 minute game. In hockey a forward will play about 18 minutes of a 60 minute game. How is it Eichel’s fault at the world junior tournament when you said that Matthews and Larkin were also on the team. Why isn’t it Austin Matthews fault? Why isn’t it Dylan Larkin’s fault?

    The Buffalo Sabres never won shit because they suck. All Eichel did on Buffalo was lead the team in scoring every single year so he did his part. You lose and win as a team in hockey. There’s only so much a position player other than a goalie can do. I watch the world junior championships which you probably never do. I’m sure you didn’t watch Jack Eichel play in that tournament. Your whole argument is absolutely retarded about Eichel, only valid point is goalies stonewalling teams. You’re basically almost saying what I’m saying when you mentioned that Vasilevskiy and Shesterkin stonewalled teams. A goalie who is on the ice for 60 minutes can actually do that and have that impact. A position player cannot do that unless they are absolutely awful and make a glaring errors which Eichel clearly does not.

    Further to my point and I guess your point in regards to goalies stonewalling teams here is an example of a former VGK goalie completely losing a game for a team at the most inopportune time.

    In 2004 with the game tied 3-3 in the gold medal game with less than 60 seconds to play A former VGK goalie made an absolutely horrible error which led to a goal and gave USA the gold medal. This goalie literally handed the gold medal to the United States. As a Canadian that was particularly painful, however, these are 18 year old kids playing in a tournament so a mistake like that can be understandable. Unless, this error eventually is not an anomaly and actually becomes a part of this goalies personality which is making horrible game changing errors at the most inopportune times.

    Here’s the horrible gaff that ripped the gold medal away from Canada. Click on link.

    Remember, this was the gold medal game tied 3-3 with less than 60 seconds left.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir7Ha6NqyHs

    FYI….. I’m not seeing what I want to see here. This actually happened.

  17. Tim

    Years ago there was a song ( Why Can’t We Be Friends ) we sure can use a little more on this site.

    • Galdom

      I like that song

    • Tim, this is a rough bunch, isn’t it? Lots of harsh judgenent of other’s opinions, as if THEIR OPINION is the ONLY one that matters, and everyone ELSE is just blowing smoke!! This is JUST A VGK OPINION SITE. We ALL have them.

  18. Mike StG

    Some thoughts on Eichel:

    1) I don’t believe the article’s claim that he’s been consistently criticized thruout his career for “being more focused on his offensive game than team success.” I think …”than his defensive game” would be more accurate. This could be said of Matthews, McDavid as well. I think if Eichel could make the same kind of improvement Matthews has in the last year that it would be sufficient. He will never be a 200-ft F and I don’t think that should be expected. Look what putting Karlsson in a mostly defensive role has done for his offensive game.

    2) I don’t believe anyone should expect Eichel to start laying hits and becoming very physical defensively. He’s not Carrier, or Reaves. Do you really want that from him, considering the injury and surgery to his neck?? And we saw flashes of good defensive play from him last year, good stick checks and stealing pucks. If you recall in 2018 Paul Stastny was injured against BUF when Eichel dived towards the net attempting to block his shot attempt and landed on the back of Paul’s leg. That wasn’t a lack of defensive effort.

    3) I think the drop off in his overall play in the past few years could be attributed in large part to both injury and being demoralized by the lousy team and inept coaching in BUF. They brought in a soccer coach — really??? Having an excellent coach and a competitive team in Vegas should help a lot. Look what it did for Ryan O’Reilly and Sam Reinhart.

    4) The fact he played with a broken thumb from March on is a pretty good indicator of his commitment to the team and to winning. There’s no doubt this was at least partly a reason that after his fast start his numbers declined later in the season.

    Only time will tell how good Eichel can be on this team. But I do believe Cassidy has the ability to bring out the best in him.

  19. Obvious

    Big difference being the best player on an absolute shit team and being the best player on a better team.

    As of now Eichel sure isn’t in the mcdavid McKinnon category that everyone expects he should be.

    Anyway won’t really matter. As long as fat bastard mcriminal insists psycho Lehner is the goalie that will lead this team Vegas will be stretched to make the playoffs unfortunately

    How this team imploded will be a great business school case study about the damage one person can do to an organization.

  20. Mike StG

    Some thoughts on Cassidy:

    1) I think his comment that he likes a “goaltender friendly” defense has been either misunderstood or misconstrued by some. That, along with criticism of Lehner, has engendered high skepticism. Cassidy’s defensive system is designed to limit odd man rushes. While a goalie like Fleury has the quickness and athleticism to react better (and look spectacular doing it), Lehner doesn’t possess those skills to that level. He’s a position goalie who reads the play and adjusts to the play. He plays deeper in net, using his large frame. Where he is more vulnerable than other goalies is on a breakaway or odd man rush, which Vegas was pretty bad at allowing last season. Cassidy’s system should reduce those. My expectation is that we will see Lehner’s numbers improve this year.

    2) In PDB’s system shot blocking was an important part of defensive play. In Cassidy’s it is NOT. This may reduce some of the injuries in the future. MANY of last season’s injuries were broke hands or feet sustained in shot block attempts. Better defense in the NZ and disallowing controlled zone entries should have positive results in this regard.

    3) Who gets traded? It’s obvious that another player will need to be traded, unless you let the RFA’s walk which is unlikely. Given Cassidy’s system I’d be shocked if Karlsson is moved. He’s an essential 2-way center and that Misfit line needs to stay together. I also think it’s very likely his scoring will improve a LOT next season (due to Cassidy’s driving offensive play more with the forwards instead of the D). As much as I love Marty I think Alec is probably the one to go. With shot blocking de-emphasized, and the viable (though inferior) replacements on the roster and in their prospect pool, he just seems like the short straw. Cassidy’s defensive system held up very well in BOS last season despite a lot of injuries on their blueline and having to employ younger players. The one thing Vegas did for Martinez is they gave him a lengthy enough contract to ensure he is well paid toward the end of his career. Whether it’s Hutton or Hague they already have a viable D without Marty, and I could see Coghlan possibly developing quickly under Cassidy. But he would be the 7th D. You have a couple of HSK dmen who can be 7th D or even play a 3rd pairing role if there were multiple injuries to the defense.

  21. Sam

    A guy calling himself “The hockey god” and is obviously a tRump cultist, says all you need to know about ego maniac narcissist.

  22. Tim

    Surprisingly the Podcast has 48 comments thats unusual usually 3 or 4. I don’t think many people listen to the podcasts unless you like to here them babble on. They can say they have a big audience on twitter which I heard them mention one time but thats hard to believe. I may be wrong but they may be going to Kelly’s school of bullshit. Anyway Ken and Jason have a site we can vent on which is great but dumping the Podcast wouldn’t hurt my feelings. I don’t listen means they should dump it but I’d be curious how many posters actually listen to it.

    • Galdom

      Everything they say can be said in 45 minutes. Podcasts are way too long. That’s why I stopped listening to them along time ago. But I certainly appreciate their efforts and passion and of course appreciate the website.

  23. Obvious

    Last 2 years stone and pac have done SFA…. folded like a tent against Montreal and MIA last season

    The “misfit line” surely to god must be eligible for old age security by now

    According to cassidy Eichel needs to be taught how to play hockey

    And fat bastard continues to push a psychotic nutjob as the savior in net

    Without doubt a cup contender……

    • Galdom

      Obvious, on the thought of old age security it is being reported that Nic Hague is on the trade block and two Eastern Conference teams are interested. I think it would be a shame if they moved a young defenceman with top 4 potential. I would much rather move Alec Martinez (whoom I love) but I guess there may not be much interest there due to his health and age. Let’s hope if they do move Hague the return is a decent one.

      Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey Writers website is reporting this.

  24. Obvious

    Look at Tampa

    Look at the avalanche

    And you tell me fat bastard mcriminal has put together a comparable group???

    No 2 faced foley spin can even remotely come close to making that even slightly plausible

  25. He to big of a selfish, egotistical prick. I me him in person recently and it only confirmed all the stories.

  26. David Lee

    When Eichel was a rookie Dan Bylsma stressed to Eichel the importance of playing hard without the puck. Not only did Eichel fail to heed that piece of coaching advice but he told the Sabres that he wouldn’t sign long term if Bylsma was the coach. Eichel if healthy is about 90 points ceiling. However his offensive output does not come close do his deficits defensively and as a teammate. An entitled loser in a nutshell. Whines a lot. If things go well between him and a solid coach in Cassidy I’d be shocked.

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