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NHL Notebook: Jack Eichel returns

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

February 22nd, 2022

Let’s recap some of the major NHL headlines from on and off the ice over the last week.

Eichel scores for Vegas in third game back from injury

Jack Eichel played in his first NHL game in nearly a year on Wednesday for the Golden Knights, and was held off the scoresheet against the Colorado Avalanche. He registered an assist in his next outing against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday, then finally found the back of the net against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

“It’s a little bit of pressure off of him now. But I liked his game tonight,” Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters after Sunday’s contest. “I think that with every game, he’s taken another step, and tonight, he was that much better.”

Eichel’s tally helped the Golden Knights snap a three-game losing streak. Vegas has drifted up from +700 to +800 to win the Stanley Cup since the start of February despite Eichel’s return.

NHL Championship 2021/2022

Thu, June 16 2022, 10:00 AM

Colorado Avalanche

+450

Florida Panthers

+700

Tampa Bay Lightning

+750

Vegas Golden Knights

+800

Carolina Hurricanes

+1000

Toronto Maple Leafs

+1000

Calgary Flames

+1400

Pittsburgh Penguins

+1400

Minnesota Wild

+1500

Boston Bruins

+2000

No one can cool off Flames

Calgary’s incredible winning run grew to 10 games following a 3-1 defeat of the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. Elias Lindholm also stretched his scoring streak to a franchise-high eight games in the victory.

The Flames – who have outscored the opposition 42-15 over their last 10 tilts – have fallen from +2000 to +1400 to win the Stanley Cup since the beginning of the month.

St. Louis’ Canadiens on first three-game win streak of season

It took a bit of time for interim head coach Martin St. Louis to right the ship, but he certainly appears to have the Montreal Canadiens heading in the right direction now after three straight victories following three losses early in his tenure. That includes their decisive 5-2 triumph over the hated Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.

“I think to be successful as a team in this league, and as an individual, I think you need some swagger, and I think we’re building a lot of swagger right now,” St. Louis told reporters after the game on Monday. “And swagger is not cockiness or arrogance; it’s just believing in yourself and feeling good about yourself. And I think we have that.”

Despite the recent success, the Habs are still a league-worst 11-33-7.

Emile Francis dead at 95

Hockey Hall of Famer Emile “The Cat” Francis died at age 95 on Saturday, the New York Rangers announced. He was the team’s GM from 1964 to 1976, and served as head coach for parts of 10 seasons, accumulating the most wins and games coached in the history of the Original Six franchise.

“‘The Cat’ was a true pioneer and innovator, as well as the architect and coach of some of the greatest teams in Rangers history.” Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury said in a statement. “Emile [Francis] has meant as much to the Rangers as any person who has been part of the organization throughout its history. Our thoughts are with Emile’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

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