National Hockey League

Oilers, Sabres sagging despite being led by McDavid, Eichel


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — While keeping open the possibility of a late playoff push, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid acknowledged how much losing has worn on him this year.


In Buffalo, Sabres captain Jack Eichel grew irritated when asked about his team's inability to win consecutive games in nearly three months.


What's becoming abundantly clear since McDavid and Eichel were selected with the top two picks in the 2015 draft is it takes more than the arrival of a so-called "once-in-a-generation" star to transform a losing team into a contender.


Collectively, their respective teams have barely made a dent in the standings, with both entering the final month of the season in jeopardy of missing the playoffs.


It doesn't come close to the expectations right after the 2015 draft in Florida, where the Canadian-born McDavid was picked first and the American Eichel second, to the delight of each team's respective fan base.


"Connor does a ton for us, and obviously, you see the offensive numbers, but it's more than that," forward Sam Gagner said when asked how the Oilers might miss the playoffs despite McDavid's contributions.






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