Eichel contradicts Krueger, says he didn't get hurt Thursday
Jack Eichel claims he didn't get injured during the pregame warmup before Thursday's home loss to the New Jersey Devils, contrary to what Buffalo Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger told reporters that night.
After the Philadelphia Flyers shut out the Sabres for the second straight day, Eichel said he got hurt in New Jersey, presumably during Buffalo's win over the Devils on Tuesday, according to The Athletic's John Vogl. He added that the injury that forced him out Thursday, as well as Saturday's contest, wasn't a new development.
The Sabres captain missed the morning skate Thursday and was a late scratch from his team's overtime defeat that evening. After the game, Krueger said Eichel was hurt during the warmup and the injury wasn't related to his absence that morning.
"This was a completely new development," the bench boss said at the time.
Eichel also left Tuesday's game with an injury. However, Krueger said Sunday he wasn't trying to mislead anyone with his statements Thursday.
"When I mentioned it, the specific region that actually took him out of the game (Thursday), the first time I'd heard about it was warmup," Krueger told the media, including WROC's Thad Brown, on Sunday.
"That he was injured and he came out of the Jersey game (Tuesday) injured was clear to me, but it turns out that there was multiple lower-body injuries and whatever," Krueger continued. "The point is that he came out of Jersey hurt. The warmup call and the region that ended up being (aggravated), it was his first time back in his skates since that game and it changed the game."
Krueger added: "I definitely didn't do gamesmanship there. It was just that we had hoped he was going to play that game."
The Sabres have lost three straight contests. Buffalo has only one win in its last five games and has collected only three points during that span.
Eichel leads the club with 12 assists but has produced only two goals in 17 games. He has a goals for percentage of 40 compared to an expected goals for percentage of 60.36 at five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick.