Columbus Blue Jackets Staring Down the Barrel: Rival Buffalo

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 28: David Savard
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 28: David Savard /

The Columbus Blue Jackets host the Buffalo Sabres on national television. We host Site Expert Rich Spaulding to talk about the Sabres.

Ahead of tonights bout against the Buffalo Sabres we sit down with Rich Spaulding to talk about the game, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and disrespect for Jack Eichel. Rich runs covering all things Sabres here at the FanSided family of websites.

From Eichel to trade potentials to the Columbus Blue Jackets defense we give you a behind the scenes look at tonight’s opponent.

Jack Eichel Overlooked

Lansing Murphy (LM): Jack Eichel is the most underrated player in the NHL in my opinion. He had the best season last season if you average his numbers out over 82 games. Why doesn’t he get more respect from around the league?

Rich Spaulding (RS): Jack Eichel gets no respect because he plays in Buffalo, ha ha! Except I am serious. It’s hard to get any respect when you play for an organization that appears to have spent the last few years running in circles. Not helping Jack’s cause is the fact that he was drafted behind Connor McDavid.  McDavid was so good last season that he made Eichel look like a weak second overall pick, even though Eichel was not, so the bar will be set high for Eichel every season that McDavid skates in the NHL.

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Part of Eichel’s problem is that there are nights that he just doesn’t appear to be working hard. Maybe the game just comes that easy to him. But there are Sabres fans who really want to see Eichel work harder to take over games, since he is Buffalo’s only real threat these days.

Trade Potential

LM: This Sabres team is going to have a hard time making the playoffs. Do you want to see the team ship off some pieces at the deadline for picks/prospects? Who do you expect them to trade? Evander Kane is a name that I think pops in most peoples mind.

RS: Evander Kane is the player whose name keeps getting brought up in trade talk. In all honesty, Buffalo’s front office should do everything in their power to keep him on the roster. He was Buffalo’s leading goal scorer last season and is on pace to repeat that feat this season. Kane brings speed and a physical presence to a team that is lacking both these areas.

The Sabres do have plenty of dead weight I would like to see them shed, but who is going to give Buffalo anything of value in return for Matt Moulson, Josh Gorges, and Matt Tennyson? Nobody, that’s who!

Tonight’s Matchup

LM: What should scare CBJ fans the most about this Sabres team?

RS: The Jack Eichel – Evander Kane – Jason Pominville line is the one line of forwards Columbus fans should legitimately be worried about. Each of those players sits among the NHL’s top 20 point producers so if those three get going, look out.

LM: What do you think is the CBJ’s biggest advantage in this matchup?

RS: The Blue Jackets have one of the NHL’s stingiest defenses right now. Columbus has only surrendered 21 goals on the season, and allow around 29 shots per game. That doesn’t bode well for a team that struggles to score like the Sabres. Buffalo needed 32 shots just to score one goal against Detroit Tuesday. If the Blue Jackets defense comes out to play, the Sabres might be able to score even that many tonight!

Next: Blue Jackets and Sabres are Rivals?

LM: What’s your prediction for the game tonight?

RS: I would love to say that the Sabres earn their third-straight win tonight, but I would be happy just to see the game go into overtime so Buffalo earns a point. Columbus wins this thing!

Want to thank Rich Spaulding again from Check out all of his work over there and follow him on Twitter.

Be sure to check out all of our game day coverage here at Union and Blue throughout the day with previews, game info, and predictions.