By Mike Harrington
Pretty quiet day at First Niagara Center. The Sabres had a pair of one-hour practices with a 15-minute break in the middle. They'll do the same thing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and it's all open to the public with free admission.
Lindy Ruff, of course, was asked again today about Mikhail Grigorenko, the 18-year-old Russian who was one of the standouts at Monday night's scrimmage. When the team did a shootout drill Tuesday, Grigorenko's sick set of multiple dekes against Jhonas Enroth was the prettiest goal of the day.
It seems obvious to many observers that Grigorenko will be in the lineup for Sunday's opener against Philadelphia. The Sabres, of course, aren't tipping their hand this early in the week.
“It’s too early to say,” Ruff said. “He had a good scrimmage last night. He had a good practice. You like his hands. So far, his compete inside practice drills is good. His compete last night was good. So there’s a lot of things to like about what he’s done so far in these two days."
Grigorenko, for the record, still does not have a stall in the Sabres' dressing room. He simply sits on a folding chair and takes off his equipment. There are no other stalls left. He's the one extra -- for now.
"I totally understand where you guys are coming from," Ruff said. "You're saying, 'Let's just put him in here and bring him along.' He's come a long ways, even from a year ago. And from the start of the year to now, he's grown as a player."
No injuries, no player moves, everyone accounted for at practice. With all the roster moves coming later in the week and the compression of the schedule, this figures to be a rare day.