Sabres' Miller has become a mentor for Dahlin

In only four games, Colin Miller has become one of Buffalo's best defensemen

Paul Hamilton
October 10, 2019 - 2:57 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Colin Miller has now spent some time in his new town between training camp and the regular season starting. The former Golden Knights defenseman has enjoyed his time as a Sabre so far, “It’s been fun, obviously with the good start here and it makes it fun, but there’s definitely areas we can improve on.”

Ralph Krueger put Miller together with Rasmus Dahlin before the last preseason game. Miller has become a mentor for the youngster, and Krueger likes what he’s seen, “You can see the conversations that they’re having between shifts, the communication’s strong, it’s a very positive voice for Rasmus who sometimes can be a little hard on himself and be realistic about the experience level and age that he’s at there’s going to be bumps on the road and Colin has been good to smooth those bumps out for him and at the same time be an example.”

Miller is almost 27 and has played on two other NHL teams. He said mentoring isn’t something he’s done before, “It’s been a different role for sure, one that I haven’t been in before, but I’m liking it, I’m enjoying it.

“He’s working hard every day to improve and it’s a lot when you’re that age to come into this league and try to establish yourself right away, but he’s been able to do it and it’s just about the process every day.”

Krueger talked about Dahlin being hard on himself, and Dahlin has told me himself that he gets too down at bad plays. Miller is helping him work through it, “I think maybe at a younger age you over analyze stuff a little bit more than you should. I think sometimes you forget how good the guys are that you’re playing against and the league you’re playing in, but he’s doing great. He handles everything very well and he definitely doesn’t seem like a 19-year-old.”

Dahlin is tied with Jack Eichel for third in league scoring with seven points. They trail Connor McDavid and Mika Zibanejad by just one point.

There was nothing new at practice on Thursday. The lines and the defense remained the same. Krueger did rave about the Zemgus Girgensons-Johan Larsson-Kyle Okposo line. Those three have spent almost every shift in the offensive zone. The head coach said, “Five-on-five the way they show the direction for the other lines and yesterday they were the ones with the most O-zone time and we’re all cheering for them to get a goal for all of that work that they put in."

Krueger added they’ve been Buffalo’s most consistent line, “Larsson, Girgensons and Okposo have really been somebody that we can trust and we feel comfortable with. I’m not afraid to see them up against anybody because of the work that they bring in and they make it hard on anybody they’re up against.

“They’re probably the only line that hasn’t had one game where they’ve slipped a bit and what they also do is soften the opposition D for other lines to follow.”

The Sabres continue their three-game homestand Friday against Florida.

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