Actions

Sabres forward Jack Eichel could return as soon as Tuesday against the Senators

Posted at 1:49 PM, Nov 28, 2016

It has been 47 days since Sabres forward Jack Eichel went down in practice with a high-ankle sprain. But now there’s light at the tunnel, and the return for Eichel seems imminent.

“I feel good,” Eichel said Monday at practice. “You know moving, no real restrictions so I feel pretty good right now.”

Eichel wouldn’t confirm whether or not he’ll be in the lineup on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators, but he is making the trip, which is surely a good sign.

“You just wan’t to get back to playing, more than anything, you know?” Eichel added. “That’s what you train for all summer and prepare for. It’s tough that the season starts a little bit later for me but I’m just excited for it.”

Sabers head coach Dan  Bylsma also remained tight-lipped and wouldn’t confirm if Eichel would return Tuesday, but said he’s been very impressed with the 20-year-old.

“I think he looks real good,” Bylsma said. “His staking is good, he’s beating guys, stepping off guys, creating room and separation — he looks good to me.”

Without Eichel, the Sabres and are currently in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 7-9-5 record (19 points). The good news for the Sabres is that the difference between third and second in the division is only ten points.

“I just want to come in and try and help it as much as I can,” Eichel told reporters.

And help he will. In 21 games the Sabres have an abysmal 39 goals, averaging 1.86 goals a game. While Eichel won’t solve all the Sabres scoring problems, he will provide a much needed boost.

“This is the toughest part. You’ve sat out for as long as you have and now that you’re getting this close to it, it’s getting, you feel like you can go any day now and the patience is starting to wear thin but you’ve gotta make sure you’re being smart.” 

Follow Matt Bove on Twitter!