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Atlantic Division Weekly: Eichel heads West

I’m sorry, Sharks fans, but we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Jack Eichel.

Mar 4, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) plays the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

By now, you’ve heard the news. The Vegas Golden Knights snagged Jack Eichel, the coveted center who was desperate to get away from the Buffalo Sabres. For a minute, there was some speculation he could possibly make his way to the San Jose Sharks, but instead, he’s gone to the enemy.

How will the Sabres fare without him? Well, they’ve been fine so far. He’s been out with an injury and Buffalo is currently in fourth place in the standings somehow.

Here’s a glance at the last week in the Atlantic Division:

Boston Bruins (5-3-0)

The Boston Bruins only played two games this week. They started with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Joe Thornton Florida Panthers (their new official name, FYI). The two Charlies (Charlie Coyle and Charlie McAvoy) scored the two goals.

The next game was a big one for the Bruins. They faced off against Detroit Red Wings and won 5-1. Of those five goals, Patrice Bergeron scored four of them. He is among some of the oldest players to score a four-goal game. He is the 11th-oldest player to net four goals in a game at 36 years old.

Buffalo Sabres (5-4-1)

Aside from trading Eichel to the Golden Knights, the only thing the Sabres did this week was lose. They started with a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. They continued their losing streak, which brought us joy because the Sharks beat them 5-3. The beautiful game!

Continuing on this path, they fell 5-2 to the NHL’s newest team, the Seattle Kraken. Kyle Okposo and Tage Thompson scored the only goals of the game for the Sabres. Losing their best player and failing to get a win this week? Not a good week to be the Sabres.

Detroit Red Wings (4-5-2)

It seems like it was a trend this week for Atlantic Division teams going winless. The Detroit Red Wings joined the Sabres in failing to win a game. It started with a 5-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Red Wings fought hard, but they couldn’t pull off the win in the end.

Things continued to go downhill as the Red Wings lost 3-0 to the Montreal Canadiens. Then, they lost 5-1 to the Bruins. The lone goal of the game was scored by Lucas Raymond, who tried to revive his struggling team but got no support from his teammates.

Florida Panthers (9-0-1)

I am still here to enforce the idea that Joe Thornton is getting a cup this season. His team got their first loss of the season this week, but it came after regulation, so does it really count? They fell 3-2 to the Bruins in a shootout.

Their last game of the week ended in an overtime victory over the Washington Capitals. Thornton was placed on the injured reserve this week with an undisclosed ailment. He’ll miss the Panthers’ next three games.

Montreal Canadiens (3-9-0)

The Montreal Canadiens kicked off their week with a 5-2 loss to the Kings. Josh Anderson and Ben Chiarot scored the two goals for the Habs, but the rest of the night, they fell flat. Next, the Canadiens lost 4-2 to the Anaheim Ducks. I mean, the two times we root for them against our divisional rivals and they can’t win? Rude.

Anyway, they actually won their next game, beating the Red Wings 3-0. Netminder Jake Allen had 22 saves on the night. They went back to their usual form against the New York Islanders, where they lost 6-2. Yikes!

Ottawa Senators (3-6-1)

You can’t talk about a rough week in the Atlantic Division without including the Ottawa Senators. We are sorry you had such a hard week, Chris Tierney. It started with a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. No one in this division was able to beat the bad guys this week. Tragic!

At least their next game saw some form of life from the Senators. They lost, but in overtime, which is something. Tierney scored a goal, so we’ll cheers to that. Their week ended on a tough note, losing 5-1 to the Golden Knights.

Tampa Bay Lightning (5-3-2)

The Tampa Bay Lightning only played two games this week. It started with a 3-2 victory over the Capitals. Anthony Cirelli, Brayden Point and Alex Killorn had the goals for the Lightning, while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves.

Their next game wasn’t as successful as their first. They lost in overtime to the Maple Leafs. Patrick Maroon had the only goal in their 2-1 loss to Auston Matthews and company.

Toronto Maple Leafs (6-4-1)

The Leafs surprisingly had a good week. It started with a 5-4 victory over the Red Wings. They kept that energy going, defeating the Golden Knights 4-0. Auston Matthews put two goals in the net, while Mitch Marner and William Nylander had the other two goals. Have you heard of those guys before? I guess they’re pretty good.

The Leafs continued their winning streak with a 2-1 overtime victory over the reigning Stanley Cup champs, the Lightning. John Tavares and Nylander scored the goals, while Jack Campbell made 24 saves.