Dahlin’s confidence growing under Granato

Sports

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin skates the puck up the ice during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Rasmus Dahlin has certainly been playing better in his last few times on the ice. He’s picked up three points in his last two games, and that includes a goal and an assist in the team’s win over New Jersey Tuesday night. To put that in perspective, Dahlin had only four points in the entire month of March over a stretch of 16 games.

One could chalk that up to just a bad stretch, since the team itself struggled that entire month, but Dahlin’s improvement in recent games appears to be evident, and it could be in part because of Interim Head Coach Don Granato. Dahlin seems to be getting more offensive chances in Granato’s system.

“It makes me confident, it makes me enjoy the game a lot so I can’t complain,” Dahlin said.

Granato said that he’s given the young defenseman the “green light” in the offensive zone which certainly appears to be given Dahlin much more of a boost on the ice.

“He’s been great,” Granato said. “[Tuesday night] was evident of it. We don’t win that game without him rising to the level he can rise to and he made a couple of big plays to tip that game back our way and that’s what you hope for of guys with his talent. Special player, fun to watch and very engaged right now.”

For now it appears Granato has earned a lot of respect from Dahlin, as his style of play seems to mesh well with the Sabres defenseman. This whole team appears to be more confident as the wins keep piling up.

“He knows hockey very well,” Dahlin said. “We do all the things he says and it works. He makes all the players very confident and he’s doing something special I can’t point to what it is.”

Buffalo’s won three out of their last four and have gotten a point in five straight games. They next play New Jersey on Thursday at home at 7 p.m.

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