#1 Gibson is sixth in the NHL with a .938 save percentage von officialsbaseball 24.12.2018 04:17

BUFFALO Eric Staal Jersey , N.Y. (AP) — Rasmus Dahlin nods his head acknowledging he’s familiar with the name when Scotty Bowman comes up in conversation. The 18-year-old is then taken aback upon hearing what the Hockey Hall of Fame coach had to say about the rookie defenseman for the Buffalo Sabres.For all the accolades the Swedish-born player received upon being drafted first overall in June, Dahlin paused briefly upon hearing the nine-time Stanley Cup-winner believes he has the potential to be the best defenseman in Sabres’ history.“Of course that’s fun to hear, but I’m just 18-years-old and I have many years in front of me,” Dahlin said. “I can’t think in that way. I just need to work as hard as I can to be as good as I can.”Moments later, Dahlin noted he still hasn’t even made the roster yet.“We’ll see,” he said.Perhaps someone in the Sabres’ front-office might want to break the good news by informing Dahlin his spot is secure for Buffalo’s opener against Boston on Thursday. Bowman had little doubt after watching Dahlin during a prospects tournament earlier this month; Dahlin wowed the 1,800 fans packing the Sabres practice facility by fearlessly jumping into the rush and showing off his play-making abilities with two goals and an assist against New Jersey.His first goal came after he danced around a defender and snapped a shot through a crowd. The second came on a two-on-one break, during which he raced into the left circle to convert a rebound.“He’ll have some growing pains, but he’s got a terrific shot,” Bowman told The Associated Press. “He’s got what they call a nose for the net. Bobby Orr did that.”Bowman, who spent six-plus seasons coaching in Buffalo, then ran down the list of Sabres’ defensive greats Womens Jared Spurgeon Jersey , such as current coach and Hall of Famer Phil Housley, Jim Schoenfeld, Jerry Korab and Mike Ramsey.“He’s only 18, but I think in about two to three seasons, if he continues at the same level that he has in Sweden, the Sabres could be looking at a career defenseman,” he said.The Sabres, who haven’t made the playoffs in seven seasons and finished last in the standings for the third time in five years, are certainly counting on it.“We see the potential, too,” general manager Jason Botterill said. “The bottom line is, it’s our job to develop him.”Dahlin will endure his growing pains Jason Zucker Jersey , which were evident during preseason games in which he displayed some nerves while also getting accustomed to the smaller North American ice surface. There were occasions in which he was too cavalier with the puck, including being stripped by veteran Patrick Marleau of Toronto last week.More apparent is how the smooth-skating, no-look-passing youngster can provide a play-making element severely lacking among Buffalo’s defensemen a year ago.Sabres blue-liners combined for a league-worst 19 goals last season. Things were so anemic Buffalo didn’t get its first goal from a defenseman until 28 games in, when Jake McCabe scored on Dec. 5.Dahlin is decisive in breaking out of his own zone. He has an effortless stick-handling ability and he’s instinctive in knowing when to join the rush without being reckless.In the opening seconds of his first shift against New Jersey, Dahlin sped up the neutral zone to accept a pass and create a scoring chance after a Devils turnover.“He’s come in as advertised,” Devils GM Ray Shero said. “He has a confidence to his game. He’s got a flair to the way he plays.”Botterill went further in saying: “He seems to see everything. It’s something that’s very difficult to sort of explain, but he certainly has it.”At 6-foot-3 and 186 pounds, Dahlin was regarded as the most NHL-ready prospect in this year’s draft class, and drew comparisons to other elite Swedish defensemen, such as San Jose’s Erik Karlsson and former Detroit star Nicklas Lidstrom.Dahlin’s first taste of Buffalo came last winter, when the city hosted the World Junior championship. Dahlin helped Sweden win a silver medal and was named the tournament’s top defenseman with six assists in seven games. A month later, he represented Sweden at the Winter Olympics Joel Eriksson Ek Jersey , where he had an assist in two games. Dahlin had seven goals and 13 assists in 41 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League, and earned junior player of the year honors.Dahlin is soft-spoken, in part because he’s still getting a grasp of the English language. As for hockey, he said, it’s a game he always wanted to play growing up in Trollhattan, not far from Sweden’s west coast.Though Dahlin makes the game look easy, he said that’s far from how it has been.“I always played with older guys, so it’s never been that easy,” said Dahlin, who was 16 upon making his Swedish Elite League debut. “It’s always been a challenge for me to make the team and stuff like that. I think the challenge makes me motivated.”Now he’s on the cusp of playing in the NHL.“This is my dream,” Dahlin said. “And I really want to make the team.” Two teams looking for a major spark will get together Tuesday night when the Anaheim Ducks host the Philadelphia Flyers at Honda Center.The Ducks have lost five in a row, their longest losing streak in three years Authentic Marcus Johansson Jersey , while the Flyers have dropped their past three games by a combined score of 13-2.The game in Anaheim will be the start of a four-game West Coast trip for the Flyers (4-7-0) , their only visit to California and Arizona this season. Team captain Claude Giroux told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the road trip should provide an opportunity for the team to bond away from the ice.Article continues below ...“That’s what we need right now,” Giroux said. “We need to get closer as a team, we need to go out there and play for each other, and this road trip is going to be very important for the season.”The Ducks (5-5-2) opened a four-game homestand Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks and played better than in the previous four games, rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the second period with two goals from recent waiver acquisition Pontus Aberg, but they eventually lost 4-3 in overtime.Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle stressed the importance of staying positive during this rut.“There is our fair share of work that needs to be done, but for us it’s about taking the next step,” he said. “Right now, we’re a hockey club that has to try to create an identity, and we did that in the last 30 minutes of (the San Jose) game.”Anaheim has been trying to play with a faster pace, but the process seems to be creating more scoring chances for the opposition than the Ducks.The Sharks outshot Anaheim 19-8 in the first period and 34-17 through two before finishing with a 45-27 edge. The Ducks are allowing a league-high 39.1 shots per game while taking a league-low 24.5.“We have to get to the bottom of that Michael Hutchinson Jersey Womens ,” Ducks defenseman Josh Manson said.The Ducks have been repeatedly bailed out by goaltenders John Gibson and Ryan Miller. Gibson is sixth in the NHL with a .938 save percentage, and Miller also has a .938 save percentage in three appearances, including two starts. Despite the heavy volume of shots against, they’ve helped limit the team’s goals-against average to 2.75, which is 12th-best in the NHL.The Flyers haven’t received nearly as quality of goaltending, a major reason why they’re allowing a league-high 4.18 goals per game.The Flyers have also struggled on the penalty kill, allowing a league-high 13 power-play goals for a league-worst kill rate of 67.5 percent. They’ve allowed six power-play goals in the past four games.“We can’t give up,” Philadelphia center Scott Laughton told the Inquirer. “On the bench, you’ve got to stay positive, keep encouraging guys, and it’s only these guys in here that’s going to get us out of it. No one’s going to feel sorry for us that we’re under .500.”

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