Jack Eichel hates to lose. He wishes that hatred was more evident in the Sabres’ organization.
“I think guys want to win,” Eichel said Monday, “but there’s a difference between saying you want to win and actually wanting to win and putting the work in and dedicating your life to it.”
The end of the season has hit Eichel hard. He was still in uniform long after Sunday’s season finale, and he was often short with his answers during Monday’s locker cleanout.
But when he expanded on his thoughts, he said a lot. He was directly asked whether more guys needed to hate losing.
“Yeah,” he said in KeyBank Center. “That’s what a winning culture is, not being satisfied with yourself, not being satisfied with the fact that you’re losing. It’s important to realize that you can’t be satisfied with the fact you’re in the NHL.
“I’m here to win.”
After missing 21 games with an ankle sprain, Eichel finished with 24 goals and 57 points in 61 games. After it was mentioned he was nearly a point-per-game player, he quickly pointed out the fact: He wasn’t.
“I haven’t scratched the surface of what I can be,” Eichel said.