By John Vogl
If Mikhail Grigorenko plays both games of the back-to-back set with Carolina (the Sabres visit the Hurricanes tonight and host them Friday), Grigorenko will have used up four games of his five-game tryout.
The Sabres say they’re still deciding whether to keep the 18-year-old or return him to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Quebec coach Patrick Roy told the Canadian Press he doesn’t expect the center to return.Roy said he’s been impressed with Grigorenko’s defensive showing in the NHL so far.
“We’ll really evaluate everything,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “What’s the best for him? What’s the best to push him to the next level? Can he help us win? Can he help us win in the role he’s at? All those things will go into consideration.
“We want to do what’s the best for us to win hockey games.”
Said Grigorenko linemate Steve Ott: “Points are one thing, but the Buffalo Sabres are 2-0. If they want to look at him individually that’s one thing, but the consistency through the lineup I think is the most important thing.”
Grigorenko insists he’s not fazed by the rapidly dwindling tryout period and the impending decision.
“I don’t really think about this,” he said. “I just come every day to the arena and try to think about the present, just get ready for practice, get ready for next game. I don’t think about what’s going to happen in one week, what’s going to happen next weekend or something. For now, I’m just getting ready for [today’s] game.
“I’ve adjusted to the speed. Now I’ve just need to bring my skill to this lineup.”