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Did the NHL 17 promo take a shot at Dan Bylsma’s power play?

Sabres rookie phenom Jack Eichel made a cameo in EA Sports’ official NHL 17 trailer, which was released Wednesday night.

But, about that. There was a lot of talk last season that Sabres coach Dan Bylsma wasn’t using Eichel on the left side of the power play, his off hand, where he could be set up for a one-timer.

So what did EA Sports have Eichel doing in the video? Picking the top corner on a one-timer … against four Ottawa defenders set up in a box … presumably on the power play. (Skip to 50 seconds.)

Criticism of Eichel’s usage rose after Mike Harrington mentioned it in a column on March 3:

Deployment is an issue. Bylsma is mostly keeping the same alignments, which leaves Jack Eichel and Evander Kane on the wrong sides. The easy fix is for Eichel to shift to the half-wall on the left side, his off wing, so he can be set up for one-timers in the same vein as Alex Ovechkin or Steven Stamkos.

Bylsma said he made some adjustments in the third period and that Eichel had one solid one-timer chance on a 5-on-3 he couldn’t tee up. Whatever. Put your marquee guy there nonstop and let him tee off.

Eichel, who continues to show wisdom far above the average 19-year-old, didn’t flinch when I asked him about making such a shift.

“We practice the power play enough that I’m comfortable wherever the best spot for me is,” he said.

After that …

It’s not like Eichel can’t take a one-timer. Here’s a beautiful goal of his from January.

So is EA Sports conspiring against Bylsma? Going that far might be a stretch. But it sure is a nice coincidence.

Let’s watch it on loop forever.


Follow Nick Veronica on Twitter @NickVeronica


UPDATE: Is it possible EA Sports was trying to reenact Eichel's first career goal? It was a power-play goal against Ottawa ... but it was scored on a wrist shot.

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