I'll never forget my first game as a Sabre.
I got called up to play at KeyBank Center against Carolina. We were down two, and all of a sudden, it's kind of like the stars aligned and the hockey gods were with me.
I get in a lane, I block a shot, I go in on a breakaway and I score. The place went crazy.
The story of my career to that point had been, I do all that right, but the finish isn't there. To see it go in, I just felt at home. KeyBank Center is such a loud arena. Hearing those fans cheer for me, feeling that support - it was the perfect start to my time in Buffalo.
Video: CAR@BUF: Lazar notches his first goal of the season
It continued throughout the season. Here's an example. I was out shopping for a dehumidifier and a kid recognized me. He looks at me and goes, 'Hey, you're the faceoff guy.' That's how I became known in Buffalo - the faceoff guy. Here I am, the new kid on the block, and I go out to dinner and people are bringing up overtime faceoffs.
The thing I have learned about Sabres fans is that they recognize those small details. I feel like all they want is hard work and effort. And that is the foundation of my game. I might not always be successful, but I'm always going to give it my all and it's going to be very hard to beat me. I'm going to be very physical and strong.
But I love the entertainment aspect of the game, too. I'm always smiling. I love interacting with the fans. I want to make it a chance for them to enjoy the night.
I usually stay away from online comments, but I couldn't help but notice the positive feedback when I received the Masterton Trophy nomination in June. It was very comforting and reassuring, knowing the people in Buffalo truly enjoy having me on their side. That makes me very proud and makes me want to go out there and get the team back to the playoffs even more.