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Sabres Dahlin felt like he needed to let the fans know how he felt.

By Paul Hamilton,


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) – If there’s one thing you need to know about Rasmus Dahlin it’s that he’s authentic. Dahlin wears his emotions on his sleeve and he’s been so taken about the fans coming back to cheer the team on, he felt compelled to speak to them with a letter.

Dahlin talked about meeting Ryan Miller in Vancouver and that he knew Miller was important in Western New York, but he had no idea until the night Miller was honored having his No. 30 hoisted to the rafters.

Dahlin wrote, “The connection he shares with the people in this city is something you have to feel to understand. We were all in awe watching his ceremony from the bench, seeing the mutual love shared between him and the crowd.

“Now when I see Ryan Miller, I’m star-struck.”

Dahlin said writing to the fans was important to him, “I wanted to show my appreciation to the fans and I want to let them know how much we love them and how much we need them.”

Dahlin really enjoyed Miller, but he said it was also after the game talking to Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and others is what stuck with him, “I had a long chat with pretty much everyone. I met with Tallinder, so that was great too, so they were telling me all about the city and how crazy it was, so I just want to do the same thing they did.”

If you remember back to the two great playoff runs by those teams, there were over 10,000 people out watching the game in Alumni Plaza, plus thousands more at the ballpark. You should’ve seen Dahlin’s eyes light up when I mentioned it to him, “They told me all about it, you just see what the Bills are going through now and what they’ve been telling me and what you just told me, I can’t really believe that, so I really want to play good so I can experience that too.

“I know this city it all about their sports teams and I want to be a part of it.”

When Don Granato found out about the letter and read it, he was touched. He said, “That letter was awesome when I read it personally, there’s a lot behind it because I’ve seen his love for hockey, for his teammates and for Buffalo and the most important thing is this is a player that’s authentic, there is nothing manufactured when I read it, that is authentic Rasmus Dahlin.

“The most impactful thing for me was this is Rasmus Dahlin and that was even more powerful than the message because what a special guy this is.”

You’ll be able to hear more from Dahlin on this during Wednesday’s intermissions.

On Wednesday, the Sabres play their final game before the All-Star break and their bye week. The Carolina Hurricanes come to town with six-straight wins and points in nine consecutive games.”

On Tuesday, Carolina overcame a 4-1 third period deficit to beat the Los Angeles Kings in overtime 5-4.

The Canes will be playing their third game in four nights and probably didn’t get to their hotel room until close to 3 in the morning. Granato said that will not even enter his mind when formulating the game plan, “All of that is only good if they were actually tired and we won the game. It doesn’t matter, you’d better be ready to play the game of hockey, it could be the 32 nd place team in the league to come in here and they will beat you if you’re not ready to play, so it’s useless to start thinking about those elements going into a game.”

Carolina is 6-0-1 in the second game of back-to-back games this season.

Freddie Andersen played Tuesday and has played five out of six games. When Carolina hosted the Sabres on Nov. 4, they won 5-3, Antti Raanta was in goal. Raanta is 12-2-3 with a 2.55 goals against and .897 save percentage.

Sebastian Aho had three goals and an assist in that game. He has 22 goals and 23 assists for 45 points in 43 games. Their leading scorer is Martin Necas who has 21 goals and 25 assists for 46 points in 50 games. Necas had three points in that November win.

Carolina has won 13 of the last 14 games against the Sabres.

Buffalo is coming off a 3-0-1 road trip and has points in seven straight games.

The NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January will be in net. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is 13-5-2 with a 3.26 goals against and .900 save percentage. Luukkonen is 3-0-1 in his last four games and 10-2-1 in his last 13 starts.

Granato said Tage Thompson, Mattias Samuelsson and Dylan Cozens are all ready to play.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog for this radio only game for the pregame at 6:30 when they'll be joined by Granato, Thompson and Jeff Skinner.
Photo credit Losi & Gangi
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