By Mike Harrington
Sunday was an off day so what did many of the Buffalo Sabres do? Of course. Watch hockey. Specifically, they were drawn to the medal games of the World Junior Championships as Mikhail Grigorenko scored a goal in Russia's 2-1 bronze-medal victory over Canada and Rasmus Ristolainen scored the overtime winner that gave Finland a 3-2 win over Sweden for gold.
Interim coach Ted Nolan watched too and was impressed but he's already moving on to the Sabres' next thought. The interim coach said Ristolainen will return to Rochester while Grigorenko will come to Buffalo to meet with Nolan and Pat LaFontaine and discuss returning to junior. That seemed to be where Nolan was heading when he was asked what he thought of Grigorenko's play.
"Some mixed reviews. That's a problem with some young players, that consistent factor," Nolan said. " He played great at moments and not so well at other moments. ... That's been the book and it's up to our organization to correct that.
"And you don't correct that by giving things to players. You make them earn it and you watch them do it on a consistent basis for a consistent amount of time. You donn't just do it for a week and say, 'We're all fixed.'
In other news from practice today:
---Tyler Myers' phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety is this afternoon after his head shot on New Jersey's Dainius Zubrus on Saturday night.
"I was expecting at least something just because of what penalty I got on the play," Myers said today, referring to the checking to the head penalty he received.
---Ville Leino sounds pessimistic he'll play tomorrow but continues to say he's feeling better.
---Jhonas Enroth said Sweden will be picking his Olympic team tomorrow and he's hoping to hear if he's been selected as a backup to Henrik Lundqvist.
Click below to hear Nolan's session with reporters on the Myers hit, his defense and the World Juniors.
taggedWorld Junior Championships