Jack Eichel is Expected To Return Thursday

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The Vegas Golden Knights should get a big lift on Thursday as Jack Eichel is expected to return to the lineup.

Bruce Cassidy told reporters after Wednesday’s practice that, barring any setbacks, Eichel would be in the lineup. The center has missed 11 straight games due to a lower-body injury.

While a relatively short time off the ice for Eichel, he is excited to get back on the ice. The center revealed that it took some time for the team to determine the best course of action for his injury.

“It took a minute to figure out what was going on,” Eichel said after practice. “We’ve had a good treatment plan since the beginning of December. You just got to be patient. It’s something that doesn’t get better overnight, so there have been days when you feel really good, some days where you don’t feel as good as you did, but it’s just part of the process. Just working to get out there and help the team win.”

Even with his missed time, Eichel is still one of the top scorers for the Knights. In just 27 games, the 26-year-old has tallied 13 goals and 16 assists. Life hasn’t been easy for Eichel as he has struggled to stay on the ice in recent years. In the last two seasons, Eichel has only been able to play in 55 games.

The whole reason he is in Vegas is due to a disagreement he had with the Buffalo Sabres over how to handle a herniated disk that he suffered in April of 2021. The disagreement caused Eichel to change agents and eventually teams.

There’s not a better matchup for the center to return to the ice with the Pittsburgh Penguins coming to Vegas. The Pens are reeling from a loss in the Winter Classic that secured a five-game losing streak to Sidney Crosby’s crew.

Knights fans will be more than happy to have Eichel back on the ice as they hope to extend their lead over the rest of the Western Conference. A reunion with Reilly Smith on the top line is sure to lead to plenty of points on Thursday night if Eichel doesn’t have any hiccups prior to puck drop.

While Eichel is slated to return, the Knights still have a boatload of injured players. Vegas is still without Jonathan Marchessault, Pavel Dorofeyev, Alec Martinez, Shea Theodore, Daniil Miromanov, Zach Whitecloud, and Brett Howden.

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Sam Minton

Sam has been covering the Boston Bruins and the NHL since 2016. While he loves hockey, he can’t skate

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