Sabres' Housley said it's tough to lose Eichel with the way he's been playing

February 11, 2018 - 5:26 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Phil Housley would not say that Jack Eichel is done for the season with a high-ankle sprain. The Sabres head coach said, “No, we’ve got a lot to prove this season still. Right now it’s four-to-six weeks, it could be sooner, but we’ll know more as we move forward and how it reacts.”

Sam Reinhart is Eichel’s roommate and lived with him as he tried to come back from this last year. Reinhart says he sees some signs of encouragement, “From my perspective, he seemed a lot better than what it was last year, seeing him move around after, so I think he’s still optimistic and if he treats himself right and he does the things that are asked of him, hopefully he can come back sooner.

“I saw him work day-by-day last year and I will say that seeing him move around last night, it seemed like a long time before he was able to do that last year, so in my mind, that’s optimism and I know it’s in his mind as well, but at the same time, it’s an injury where you don’t want to force things and he knows that.”

With Eichel out, Ryan O’Reilly will have more of the load on him. O’Reilly said, “It’s unfortunate, obviously we hope for a speedy recovery. It’s tough, he’s our best player, he impacts the game so much and a lot of us have to step up now.

“Myself, I have to be a lot better and we all have to bring a little bit more, it’s tough seeing him go down.”

Phil Housley said, “It’s difficult, especially the way he’s been playing in the last 2.5 months, he’s really come in to his own and it’s part of the game.

“It was unfortunate the way he went into the boards, but we have to keep pushing forward here.”

You can hear more from all three men on the pregame with Brian Koziol starting at 6:00.

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