By Mike Harrington
It was an optional skate this morning for the Sabres in First Niagara Center with several forwards not on the ice. John Scott came off early and Mikhail Grigorenko was the last one on, leading most observers to believe Grigorenko was getting scratched again in favor of the Buffalo enforcer. So I asked Grigorenko directly and he told me he was in. Thickens the plot.
With the visiting Montreal Canadiens apparently not using tough guy George Parros tonight, there seems to be no need for Scott. Coach Ted Nolan said it will be a gametime decision but also said he wants to keep some consistency in his lines. That would mean the same lineup as Sunday's game against Detroit with Scott sitting out. On defense, Mike Weber and Jamie McBain are expected to be scratched again.
"We want to show some kind of consistency here and see what falls off after we do that," Nolan said. "To be fair, we have to be sure we keep the same lineup for a couple games in a row and see."
In other news:
---Cody McCormick took the morning skate, his first time on the ice since leaving the game in Philadelphia last Thursday. Nolan said he's surprised at how well McCormick is coming along and that the physical forward could play this weekend.
---Ryan Miller will start tonight but Nolan said Jhonas Enroth will definitely get a start in goal this weekend, either Friday against Toronto or Saturday in New Jersey. My bet is on the road tilt against the Devils. Miller owns the Leafs, with his 30 career victories against them his most against any opponent.
---A Montreal reporter Nolan how he keeps morale up with his team's record at 5-19-1. The coach's answer: "Why wouldn't it be? I don't think they stop being paid."
Hear Nolan's session below.