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Golden Knights Expect Eichel To Return Soon

James Murphy
by in NHL on
  • Jack Eichel is expected to return to the Vegas Golden Knights lineup within the next few days.
  • Eichel was injured on January 11 but has recently returned to practice.
  • Vegas is still without injured captain Mark Stone.

Jack Eichel’s return to the ice for the Golden Knights in their upcoming game against the Columbus Blue Jackets remains uncertain, with a final decision expected at game time. The match is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. ET. After a knee injury incurred during a 2-1 overtime victory against the Boston Bruins on January 11th sidelined him for 19 games, Eichel has recently resumed full-contact practice sessions.

Reflecting on his time away from play, Eichel shared his eagerness to get back into the game, stating, “It’s been a while. It’s never fun sitting out and watching. Unfortunately, it seems I’ve been in this situation quite a bit. You just miss playing, being around the guys in the locker room. I’m excited. It seems like it’s pretty close.” He expressed his frustration over the injury, emphasizing the difficulty of being sidelined, especially given his history of injuries.

Eichel, who has recorded 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists) in 42 games this season, making him the third-leading scorer for the Golden Knights, donned a noncontact jersey upon rejoining the team last Tuesday. He then appeared in a regular jersey during Thursday’s morning skate in Boston, though he did not participate in the subsequent 5-4 loss to Boston or the 7-2 defeat at Buffalo on Saturday.

With the Golden Knights posting a 9-8-2 record in Eichel’s absence and facing challenges in recent games, his potential return is eagerly anticipated. Coach Bruce Cassidy remarked, “He’ll be a game time decision, but he’s trending well. I suspect he’ll play tonight, but we’ll make that call.” Cassidy acknowledged the likely initial rustiness in Eichel’s performance but highlighted the positive impact his return could have, both on the ice and within the team dynamic, noting Eichel’s energetic and vocal presence.

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