Sabres' Dahlin is ready to start his NHL career

Buffalo will have seven new players in the opening night lineup

Paul Hamilton
October 04, 2018 - 12:34 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The NHL Draft Lottery is over, Rasmus Dahlin has been drafted, the preseason has been played and Jack Eichel is the new captain of the Sabres. All that adds up to the regular season starting tonight against the Bruins.

Dahlin gets to play his first game as a Sabre and he of course he has the blood pumping, “I’m super excited and I can’t wait to get started.

“It’s just hockey, so I’m just going to enjoy it and have fun and not think too much.”

Eichel said that he doesn’t get nervous anymore for opening night, he just gets excited. For the 18-year-old, he will have the jitters, “I think so, it’s my first NHL game, so I think so.”

Phil Housley knows what it’s like to play in his first NHL game he said, “I’m sure that all the young guys will have a little bit of anxiety being in their first game and the nerves, but we talked about it yesterday about just trying to get settled in those first two or three shifts and taking a deep breath and then you’re just playing hockey.”

Dahlin played in the preseason, but he doesn’t know what to expect. Jack Eichel was the second overall pick in 2015 and he can help Dahlin through it. Eichel said Dahlin already goes about his business the right way, “He brings a good attitude to the rink every day and he’s so mature for his age. He comes to the rink and he wants to work, he wants to get better every day and he loves hockey and that’s a good recipe.

“I’m excited for him, it’s going to be a great experience playing in his first regular season NHL game and I’m sure he’s pretty excited as well.”  

There is a lot of Swedish media in Buffalo for the game, as well as Dahlin’s whole family and his grandparents. Dahlin said, “I’m very prepared, I had some great exhibition games here and I just want to get started.”

Dahlin played right defense in the final preseason game and Housley has left him there. Dahlin said, “I’m very comfortable, we’ve played good on both sides, me and McCabe, so it feels good. I think you can make better plays on the right side.”

Everything is different on and off the ice for Dahlin since coming over from Sweden. He said a few things took time, “The small rink, the systems, it’s pretty much different from Sweden.”

Carter Hutton gets the call in goal for his first game as a Sabre. Last season with St. Louis, Hutton was 17-7-3 with a 2.09 goals against and .931 save percentage.


Lines for the game:

53 Skinner - 9 Eichel - 23 Reinhart

43 Sheary - 10 Berglund - 72 Thompson

17 Sobotka - 37 Mittelstadt - 21 Okposo

28 Girgensons - 71 Rodrigues - 29 Pominville

 

6 Scandella - 55 Ristolainen

19 McCabe - 26 Dahlin

82 Beaulieu - 8 Nelson

 

Join Schopp and the Bulldog for the pre-game show at 6:00 live from (716) Food and Sport when they’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin.

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