By Mike Harrington
I wonder if tonight's Sabres scrimmage in First Niagara Center would have included a look at Zemgus Girgensons, the Latvian center the Sabres took two spots after Mikhail Grigorenko in the first round of the draft last June. Won't happen now because the 18-year-old was KO'd in a game Saturday night against Syracuse and Rochester coach Ron Rolston said today Girgensons will be out of the lineup for at least this week.
Girgensons was nailed by a late hit from Syracuse winger Richard Panik Saturday night at the Onondaga County War Memorial and was helped off the ice. Defenseman T.J. Brennan, who joined the Sabres here Sunday, jumped in to fight Panik.
"I didn't like the hit," Brennan said after Sunday's practice in the FNC. "It was something you do where you stick up for your teammate."
Panik is likely to get suspended by the AHL, and he admitted today the hit went over the line as well.
Girgensons has three goals and six assists in 31 games as he's being brought along slowly in his first pro season. Here's a look at the hit. It starts at about 25 seconds in. Not a great replay admittedly but certainly looked late.