By John Vogl
PITTSBURGH -- Mikhail Grigorenko had a laptop by his side today, and he was studying clips of his return to the Sabres' lineup. It was a solid re-debut Monday, with the center putting up one shot in 15:18 of ice time while winning 9 of 15 faceoffs against the Jets. He'll look to improve on the performance tonight against the Penguins in Consol Energy Center.
After Friday's season finale, it appears the Sabres' top prospect will join his fourth team this season. The Rochester Amerks start the AHL playoffs this weekend, and Grigorenko is expected to report.
"We haven’t talked about this, but I guess I’ll go to Rochester after the season’s over," Grigorenko said after the morning skate in Consol Energy Center. "I don’t know if they made their decision, but I’m ready to go there. If they want me to go, I’ll go.
"Hockey’s fun, and I like to play. It would be a new level for me, and I think it would be a good experience. I was playing with [Amerks forward] Fred Roy there in Quebec. He’s my buddy and he’s there now, so it would be fun."
Grigorenko has had a long season already. He started with his junior team in Quebec, went to Russia to represent the hosts in the world junior championships, spent two months with the Sabres, went back to Quebec for the playoffs and returned to the Sabres last week. The 18-year-old still feels fresh, though.
"It would be hard for me if I would have stayed on the same team all year long, but I always changed places so all the time it’s been like a new challenge, new season," he said. "I came back here and all my emotions started again. I feel good."
Grigorenko was one of only a handful of Sabres to take part in the optional skate today. Both goaltenders were on the ice, and Ryan Miller was the first one off. He's expected to be in the crease against the Penguins for the Sabres' final road game of the season.