He's not known for throwing the body, but as it turns out when Buffalo Sabres star forward Jack Eichel throws a big hit he tends to make them count.
On Wednesday night the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres were facing off in what I would affectionately refer to as the "who cares battle of the night," a game that featured two teams who are nowhere near playoff relevance. While the game itself was meaningless it produced some decent highlights, including one that really stands out.
During the opening minutes of the first period the Senators were skating into the Sabres zone with full control of the puck, Senators forward Bobby Ryan was carrying the puck over the blue line when he decided to make a costly pass to his teammate. Even before the puck reached Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau you could clearly see that Eichel was lining up the hit, and while this wasn't a suicide pass it was awfully close to being one.
Eichel lined up Pageau and hit him with a huge hit that sent him sprawling across the ice, and that momentum was enough to drive his body right bacj into that of teammate Bobby Ryan. You could almost say that the secondary impact was Ryan being rewarded for setting up his teammate to be hit as a result of his pass.
Peageau and Ryan would both go down hard as a result of the hit, and while both men hit the ice on their way down only Ryan seemed to be truly shaken up on the play. This is particular surprising given the fact that he clearly was on the receiving end of the lesser of the two impacts and Pageau, who took the worst hit, bounced right back up.
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised though when you consider the fact that Bobby Ryan has seemingly gone out of his way to demonstrate that he is made of glass on several occasions. This would of course explain the fact that the Ottawa Senators were willing to trade their very best player in Erik Karlsson just to get rid of Ryan's contract as part of the bargain.
Here's the video replay.