Hutton: 'We're taking some good steps early on'

October 10, 2018 - 12:49 pm
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It has been quite the start of the 2018-19 season for new Buffalo Sabres goalie Carter Hutton.

The 32-year-old veteran is starting his first season with the Sabres after spending the past two seasons with the St. Louis Blues. The sixth-year veteran has performed very well to open the season for Buffalo, posting a 2-1-0 record in goal with a 2.06 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.

Last season in St. Louis, Hutton appeared in 32 games playing primarily as a backup to Jake Allen, but put up some very impressive numbers with a 17-7-3 record, a career-high 2.09 goals-against average, a career-high .931 save percentage and three shutouts. This performance was part of the reason why Sabres general manager Jason Botterill rewarded Hutton with a three-year, $8.25 million contract this summer.

In the first three games of the young season, Hutton has been the backbone of Buffalo's success with just six goals allowed on 106 shots faced, including a 43-save performance in Saturday night's win over the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center. The stable veteran will be looked to quite a bit this season as the Sabres develop 25-year-old Linus Ullmark behind him with the hopes that he can, eventually, ease into the starting role for the long-term. For now, Hutton will carry the team as he looks to make the most of his first starting job in the National Hockey League.

Hutton took some time on Wednesday to talk with Jeremy White and Sal Capaccio on the Howard and Jeremy Show on WGR. The Sabres netminder talked a bit about the team's start to the 2018-19 season, as well as the play of young rookie defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and captain Jack Eichel.

Here is some of what he had to say:

 

Hutton on starting the season at home:

"It's always nice to start at home. You kind of get in a groove, and for most of the other guys we already know how to play in other rinks. We've done it before. For me, to come into a new team, it's nice to get started at home and get the fans used to my game and the way we're playing. Getting a few wins helps, so it's something that we can bank some points now before we head out on the road here."

 

Hutton on the team's play early on in the season:

"I think we're taking some good steps early on. We have a lot of young guys so they will take their bumps and bruises. It's a hard league to play in. There's a lot of teams that have the depth and the veteran guys that have played a lot of minutes. For some of the young guys, it's kind of learning what you can and can't get away with in this league. It's a [high-checking] league, there's not much time and space so I think the way we want to play is coming around. I think it just shows the commitment that these guys put into training camp to get into the system and develop that. I think it's [all about] building from here."

 

Hutton on his leadership role and the group in the Sabres locker room:

"To think of last year, obviously they had a tough start. I don't know how many games we lost to start - what was explained to me is that from there it kind of snowballed. Everyone starts gripping their stick a little too tight, trying to do too many things. Hockey is a hard game to play, but I think it's a lot easier when you're having fun and trying to relax. For me, I try to bring my personality and not try to change anything crazy.

"I think the leaders in here and the guys they brought in are awesome, and there's a good group of us here that have the right message. I think the main goal is to get guys to have fun. There's a lot to stress about in this league, but it's a lot easier to just have fun and play your game when you having fun."

 

Hutton on Rasmus Dahlin:

"I think sometimes you have your first round pick and the expectations are so high. He's a defenseman, so sometimes when you don't notice him he's been playing well. And some of the stuff that he does is pretty impressive. I think what he's gonna learn as he gets more and more used to the league is what you can and can't get away from. He comes from Sweden where they're on the big rink where you can kind of do some different stuff. A NHL arena is a little smaller, there's a little less space, guys' stick skills are so good, but some of the skills and scoring chances he's created, stuff offensively, when he turns it on it's pretty impressive as an 18-year-old.

"I definitely think the sky's the limit for him. He's a great kid too on top of that. We're getting to know him more and more. He's quiet, but he's starting to open up now a little more and it's been a lot of fun here so far."

 

Hutton on Jack Eichel:

"He's so impressive with the puck. Even just a few of the plays like he scored that beautiful goal last game against Vegas, and even just the set up he made on one of the other plays. His skating is phenomenal, it's almost effortless with how fast he's going.

 "I think as a leader, he's done a great job here. Obviously I wasn't here last year so I didn't really know what the culture was like and how things were, but he wears his heart on his sleeve, he's an emotional player, but he plays hard. He's our hardest-working player. He leads by example, and I think he's done a great job of taking over the captaincy. Some of the stuff that he says in the locker room and what he does as a player, guys are feeding off of that. He's our best player and he's our captain. It's one of those things that he's leading by example with everything that he does."

 

You can listen to Hutton's entire interview with Jeremy and Sal below:

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