from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
On paper, this might be the best team in the NHL. After all, Vegas reached the Stanley Cup final as an expansion team in 2018 with a bunch of cast-offs that nobody wanted. Now, they have a roster of all-stars such as Eichel, Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo — as well as the lack of cap space to prove it.
Then again, $100-million doesn’t buy you what it used to.
With Eichel in the lineup, the Golden Knights are 14-14-3. In a bit of schadenfreude, the Sabres are 15-14-3 during that same span.
It turns out that Eichel, who has 12 goals and 21 points in 31 games, hasn’t been the missing piece for a team that lost in the conference final in each of the past two years. He’s just been a piece that has a knack for continually missing the mark. How else to explain why Vegas, which is so stacked that 29-goal Jonathan Marchessault is playing on the third line, is on the outside looking in?
Sure, injuries have hurt them. Eichel, Stone and Pacioretty have combined to miss 130 games this season, while defenceman Alec Martinez has appeared in only 23 games. But Los Angeles has been without Drew Doughty, who is out for the rest of the season. And they have found a way to keep winning games.
Vegas, meanwhile, continues to find new ways to lose them.