Sabres' Bylsma say he's hard on young stars

March 9, 2017
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Dan Bylsma raised some eyebrows after the Flyers game when he criticized Jack Eichel for trying to go through three players before the first Philadelphia goal. Many didn’t understand why he’d say that because Eichel had three points in the game. The Sabres head coach admitted he is harder on the younger players, “You’re going to hate this answer, but yes.”
 
“Jack is a star player, no question, but he’s a young player as well and he’s got to learn that and that’s a process we’re going through.”
 
Some didn’t notice, but Eichel also got benched for the turnover. Bylsma said, “Did he miss a few shifts after that play? He did and it’s got to be an indicator of what he’s got to get better at and our whole team needs to be better at.”
 
Eichel isn’t one to pout, even if he disagrees with the coach. I’ve heard him say multiple times in interviews that “I’m not the coach”. Bylsma said, “I liked the response, I thought he understood why and I thought he played pretty inspired and pretty passionate after that.”
 
“I’ve told Jack he needs to have five turnovers per game. If he’s not having a turnover, then he’s not trying to do the right thing.”
 
“There’s a time and a place for those attempts, but that wasn’t a good one.”
 
If you look at the scoresheet, you really won’t get a feel for stats. Very often they’re wrong across the league and you might be surprised at how many turnovers there are in a game. “We calculate the game to have 100 turnovers, 50 per side, so it’s not like we’re talking about no turnovers will happen, we’re going to have turnovers. Every player probably has at least one turnover in a game. It’s just a learning process that we’re going through as a group,” Bylsma said.
 
Thursday’s practice at HarborCenter came after a day off and was more intense than normal. Bylsma stressed defensive zone drills and was very unhappy with how his team competed against Philadelphia, so that was mixed in too, “Right on point and right on task. The compete at this time of year has to be at a high level and we got it handed to us in huge doses in the Philly game.”
 
Thursday’s lines:
 
Kane  O’Reilly  Bailey
Moulson  Eichel  Reinhart
Foligno  Girgensons  Gionta
Deslauriers  Rodrigues  Ennis

The Sabres open and home and home series in Columbus on Friday.