Rasmus Dahlin needs to understand he can't get frustrated

Dahlin tries to do too much and it leads to more errors

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – Rasmus Dahlin had two monumental mistakes in the first period of Monday night's 7-4 loss to the Seattle Kraken that led to two goals-against.

That’s really been the problem with Dahlin. His mistakes are usually huge, and wipe out the two or three good games he had before the Seattle game.

“What we’re seeing is a pattern," said Sabres head coach Don Granato on Tuesday. "When he comes into the league, he could impose his will and skill on an opponent. When he gets frustrated, he tries that, so he doesn’t adjust.

“If an experienced player in this league isn’t feeling it, they adjust their game. When he gets frustrated, he doesn’t tweak his game, he forces things, he pressed. "The second goal was a perfect example, he just pressed. There was an easy play wide-open on the other side, but he tried to take it over himself. He’s got to learn to fight that urge. He would’ve saw the play had he felt like he didn’t need to redeem himself on the first goal.”

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Dahlin agreed that he needed to make the easy read and not do too much, “If I just look to the right and pass to Vic, it wouldn’t have happened so, stuff happens.”

Fans are screaming that they want the 21-year-old benched or sent down to Rochester. Granato said, “This issue is not going to be resolved by me yelling at him or benching him, he’s got to make that mistake and learn from it.”

Dahlin appreciates that approach and he feels it helps him get better, “Yes for sure, it helps, but to get better from it it’s just go out early, work harder and reflect on that type of stuff and you will get better, but it helps for sure that he believes in me.”

Dahlin was the first overall pick in the 2018 Draft and has yet to have the success that Andrei Svechnikov, Brady Tkachuk or Quinn Hughes has had. Granato said he’s up against a lot of pressure, “It’s really challenging for any player that was selected where he was selected and comes into the league and has a reputation before he ever played a game. Think of the expectations that are heaped on the guys that are No. 1 picks and when you don’t have experience, you try to live up to those expectations because you hear the noise and he’s not compared to a defensemen in the league, he’s compared to the absolute best defensemen in the league, with no experience.”

In nine of their last 14 games the Sabres have given up five or more goals. Their goals against in those 14 games is 4.29 which is second worst in the NHL. Buffalo isn’t going to win many games that way and Dahlin said, “It starts with the gap and how we take their speed and not letting the other team get into our zone and then box out and get their sticks. That creates a lot of confidence and will help create a lot of offense throughout the game.”

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Dustin Tokarski had to leave practice after getting hit in the mask with a puck. Granato said he’s still being evaluated.

Jacob Bryson has a minor injury and missed practice, but Granato said he expects him to play Thursday.

Casey Mittelstadt is also progressing well and has a decent chance to return to the lineup on Thursday.

Tuesday’s lines:

Skinner – Thompson – Olofsson
Murray – Cozens – Okposo
Girgensons – Mittelstadt - Asplund
Jankowski – Eakin – Hinostroza
Hayden – Bjork – Tuch

Hagg – Miller
Dahlin – Pysyk
Butcher – Jokiharju