By John Vogl
It's back to the press box for Mikhail Grigorenko.
The former first-round pick has repeatedly said he learns more while playing than watching, but new Sabres coach Ted Nolan is following in the footsteps of former bench bosses Lindy Ruff and Ron Rolston in sending Grigorenko to the sideline. The forward will be a healthy scratch against Toronto tonight First Niagara Center.
Grigorenko has no points and two shots in three games under Nolan while averaging about 12 minutes of ice time. Grigorenko has two goals and three points in 18 games this season.
Nolan said following the morning skate that sometimes it's better for young players to sit back and watch.
Defensemen Brayden McNabb and Jamie McBain will also observe from the press box. McNabb, another highly drafted prospect, has been too aggressive jumping up from his defense spot, Nolan said.
The coach said McNabb and Grigorenko will return Saturday in New Jersey.
The Leafs, also playing on the first of back-to-back nights, did not skate to conserve energy.
"We know it will be a raucous building," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "We know it will be half filled with Leafs fans. Buffalo will be out to make a statement. ... We have to be on top of our game."