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by Hudson Fasching / Buffalo Sabres

Rookie Hudson Fasching tells what it was like to play in first road game in the NHL.

I really didn’t know what to expect from my first road trip in the NHL. I tried to compare it to previous experiences as best as I can, but it's definitely different. There's a lot more autonomy and a lot more independence than I had in college, so it's kind of fun.

You get to try different things. You get to go to a restaurant the night before a game. The guys have been great and invited Casey Nelson and me out to dinner with them. Obviously they're eating at restaurants that I'm not frequenting very often – it's really quality stuff. I'd never tried an oyster before, for example, and they're like, "Oh, here try an oyster!"

I didn’t even try to find the airport on my own. I just asked Sam Reinhart if he could pick me up. He got me and Casey and we went to Tim Hortons, then we were on our way. It's just amazing how smooth everything happens.

You're on the bus, you're on the plane, you're on the bus again. You're just kind of going. There aren’t really any stops along the way. We were fortunate enough to have charter planes in college, but occasionally we'd run into issues just because it was a different situation.

As for playing my first game in Detroit, it was incredible. I've obviously grown up watching pro hockey, but playing pro hockey – I can catch a breakout pass, turn the corner and Pavel Datsyuk's right there. To see world-class, high-caliber players that you're playing against, it's incredible. It's such an honor to even be on the ice with them almost.

Gordie Howe was there, too. We saw him in the hallway as we were warming up and we all have a lot of respect for him, obviously. He's done so much for the game of hockey and he was such a tremendous player. That's kind of how my whole last week has been: just one thing after another, after another, just seeing a lot of people that I've seen on TV a lot. But to see them in person is a whole other level.

The next day, it was off to see the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sidney Crosby. It just seems like it's another check along the road at this point. It's one thing after another.

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