Heading into Thursday’s matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and Buffalo Sabres, all eyes were on one man.
It was more like Jack Eichel vs. the Buffalo Sabres.
The star returned to KeyBank Center on March 10, earlier this year, for the first time as an opponent to the Sabres. He was booed the entire game, and after the 3-1 loss, he ripped Sabres Fans, saying, ”This is about the loudest I’ve heard this place. Really. After it only took seven years and me leaving for them to get into the game.”
On Thursday, it was time for Eichel to return to his former home once again, and just like in spring, he was loudly booed by the home fans. He was supposed to lead the Sabres back to glory, to be the face of the franchise, but he left the organization without ever reaching the playoffs.
And as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights, Eichel isn’t well-liked in Buffalo anymore. And the fans made sure he knew it.
The booing started as soon as his skates hit the ice, and when he had the puck, the jeering intensified. Jack Eichel took the commotion with ease. As he scored his first goal, Eichel smiled and raised his arms against the fans. It was just the beginning.
Late in the third, Eichel sealed his hat trick, and as he was celebrating, he waved the home fans goodbye in a gesture that said it all.
Eichel won the matchup, and his teammates were thrilled for him. Mark Stone, captain of the Golden Knights, was so thrilled that he actually dropped the F-Bomb on Vegas’ Twitter account.
”That was an absolute… I don’t even know what to say, but that was f*cking unbelievable. Send them home, send them home!” He said.
A teammate in Vegas also added: ”That’s poetic justice.”