By John Vogl
Despite a key talking point lately, it is in fact about the playoffs. It's the best hockey of the year, and players build or enhance their reputations during the postseason.
Zemgus Girgensons sure did.
The 19-year-old had an non-descript regular season in Rochester, but he was the Amerks' best player as the team lost all three games to Toronto. (Read all about him here.)
“Best player on the team. Best player on the ice,” said Amerks forward Cody McCormick, the former Sabres tough guy who was no slouch himself against the Marlies.
Girgensons scored three of the Amerks' five goals, and he tied for the team lead in points with linemate Johan Larsson, who had three assists after coming over in the trade that sent Jason Pominville to Minnesota.
Defenseman Mark Pysyk, who played well for the Sabres, was plus-2 for the Amerks. On the downside, he was part of a power-play unit that went 0 for 16 in the series.
Luke Adam was minus-4 and failed to record a point. Top prospect Mikhail Grigorenko was minus-2 in his two games.
"It was a difficult situation for him, but he did pretty well," Amerks coach Chadd Cassidy said Wednesday night of Grigorenko. "There’s always that time to get used to playing on a team. This is the first time he’s ever played in this rink. You don’t think of little things like that when you think of a guy like him. He spent two days in our locker room. He played two games with us, one practice.
"You can see there’s a lot there. He’s a guy, just like Zemgus or Lars, if you have him for a long period of time, boy, they’re going to do some special things."
taggedJohan Larsson | Luke Adam | Mikhail Grigorenko | Zemgus Girgensons