Sabres' Dahlin enjoyed his first NHL road trip

The young defenseman scored his first NHL goal in Arizona

Paul Hamilton
October 23, 2018 - 1:39 pm

Photo: Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres finally returned home for practice after a five-game western road trip. The trip was the first ever for Rasmus Dahlin and he celebrated by scoring his first NHL goal. The young defenseman said, “I was really not expecting that type of goal, but it was fun when it went in.”

When the goal was scored in Arizona, it was 4 a.m. in Sweden. Dahlin said despite it being the middle of the night, his family saw the goal, “My brother saw it and I think my parents saw it too, but everybody else, it was the morning after.”

The trip was a first for Dahlin and one he'll never forget, “It was long, it was really fun to experience new cities.” Dahlin had been to Las Vegas and Los Angeles as a young child and said he really didn’t remember much, but this time, the trip to Vegas was his favorite spot, “Vegas of course, that was a pretty cool city. They have everything like all the stores, the cool hotels and great arena, so it was great.”

There are a lot of new players on this team, so this was the first chance they got to get to know each other. Dahlin said, “It was awesome, I got to know the guys more. We were great on the ice too, so it was all positive.

“I got to know them very good now, we’re building a team and I really feel it.”

Every season, the veterans hold a rookie dinner on the road where they buy the most expensive things on the menu and the rookies like Dahlin, Casey Mittelstadt, Linus Ullmark and Tage Thompson have to pay for it. Dahlin said he had a great time with his teammates, “It was good and a lot of fun. I got to know all the guys even better that night so it was all good.” When I asked Dahlin how expensive it was he laughed and said, “It was fun, its fine.”

Zach Bogosian was very noticeable on this trip. It was more than the three fights he got in. Bogosian played fast, he leads the team with 15 blocked shots, he had a goal and an assist and he was plus-three. Dahlin said he’s learned a lot from Bogosian, “He’s a vet so he knows how to play this game. He’s learned me a lot and it’s good to see some fights from him too. I like that he can fight and play.”

Dahlin has played four games in Buffalo and five games on the road. He said as far as his game goes, it doesn’t change anything.

In Los Angeles, the Sabres played at 12:30 p.m. and then the basketball floor went down and LeBron James made his home debut with the Lakers. Dahlin stayed and took in his first NBA game. He said, “It was really fun, something new and it was awesome.”

During the game with the Rockets, there was a brawl involving Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul. Dahlin is used to hockey fights and said, “That was cool, that really doesn’t happen much, right? Compared to fights on the ice, it was just one punch so it wasn’t a really good fight, but I don’t think basketball is like that.”

Phil Housley had Matt Ellis and his staff put the team through a skills practice on Tuesday. Housley said Ellis is a very good coach and teacher and thought his players got a lot out of it, “I wanted Matt Ellis and his crew to unlock the bodies, do a little skill session coming back from that road trip. It was a good time in our schedule that they could work on some skill.

“It’s the movement, the footwork and the touches with the puck and just get the guys coming to practice and give them a different light and a different angle.”

Housley thinks that Ellis is a good communicator and very knowledgeable about the game. Housley agreed that Ellis has a future as a coach in the AHL or NHL.

Nate Beaulieu returned to practice after taking a shot flush on the elbow. He said he’s close to 100-percent.

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