Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Does the Tropp Injury Open a spot for Girgensons?

With Cody Hodgson and Mikhail Grigorenko guaranteed jobs as Buffalo Sabres centres and Johan Larsson looking to lock down the third line centre job, it appeared the odd centre out was Zemgus Girgensons. But with Corey Tropp out of the line-up for the next 5-6 weeks, the Sabres now have a spot open and a spot that Girgensons deserves.

You’d be hard pressed to find a guy who came into Sabres camp and worked harder than Zemgus Girgensons, but because of politics or

“age” restrictions in all likely hood he was expected to start the season in Rochester. Girgensons has come to camp and shown that he is ready to play in the NHL and all his hard work may be rewarded. You know that saying, work hard and everything else will fall into place? Well an unfortunate injury for Tropp, may be the break Girgensons needed to start the year in Buffalo.

The Tropp injury gives the Sabres a few options. They can place Larsson on the 4th line, making room for Girgensons on the 3rd line or they can allow Girgensons to fill the void on the 4th line for the next 5 weeks and then send him back to Rochester. Or if they choose not to play him at centre, they can place him on the wing with Larsson or like tonight pair him with Mikhail Grigorenko.

Girgensons has been a force to be reckoned with this training camp, he has earned himself a spot in the Sabres opening night roster and has played better than Grigorenko. The good news of the Tropp injury (if there can ever be good news with an a serious injury), is the fact the Sabres have depth and options.

Giving Girgensons a spot on the 4th line would give him a chance to show the organization what he’s truly capable and if he’s ready to make that jump. The only problem with him being on the 4th line is who’d have to play with, with line mates such as Patrick Kaleta, John Scott doesn’t exactly put Girgensons in a position to succeed. Which is why it may be better to move Larsson to the 4th line and have Girgensons play on the third until Tropp is back and then send Girgensons back to Rochester if he isn’t ready.

What do you think: Does the injury to Tropp open up the door for Girgensons to stick with the Sabres? Do you seem him being plugged into the 3rd or 4th line centre spot? Or does Ron Rolston mess with everyone and move Girgensons to the wing to begin the season?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Zemgus Girgensons

  • Kevin

    If neither one plays on the 3rd line then might as well bring up McCormick to center the 4th. I would keep Larson up just for his faceoff abilities. Send down ZG

    • Caitlin Campbell

      My gut tells me he’ll be sent down, but I’d love to see ZG on the third line. I’d be okay to have McCormick up while Tropp is out but when he’s back get rid of McCormick

  • Ben Chalker

    I’d rather see him sent down and play real hockey than get put between two of the more ‘divisive’ players in the league in Scott and Kaleta.
    If you’re keeping him around put him with Larsson and Armia for your 3rd line.
    Don’t lump the kids with the goons.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Larsso with Girgensons and Armia would be quite an interesting line with lots of excitement. I don’t think Armia is going to stick right out of camp though, he needs some more time to adapt.
      But I fully agree, puting the rooks with the goons is not a plan for success.

  • Jes

    There’s absolutely no reason why the Sabres should leave him up on the 4th line even if it is for 5-6 weeks. That’ll just stump his growth as a NHL caliber player. He is definitely ready for the NHL but 4th line would just be a waste at this time. 3rd line is the lowest as they should put him.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I fully agree… he shouldn’t be playing any lower than the 3rd line

  • wolfdoctor

    After watching last night’s game against Columbus, I think Girgs needs more time in Rochester. I can say the same thing for Armia. Put those 2 on Rochester’s top line to get a lot of playing time and more experience. Call them up when injuries occur.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      That’s not a horrible idea. I’m not 100% sold on Armia I think he definitely should start the year in Rochester but I’m on the fence with Girgs. I’d love to see him stick around on a line with Grigo.

      • wolfdoctor

        It will be interesting to see who sticks with the team. I’ve been particularly impressed with Larsson. Grigorenko looked better last night, I thought, than he did last year. And Myers looked terrific. If he plays that way all year, IMO, the team will make the playoffs. The team has a good future.

  • Justin Tosczak

    I want to see the third line like it was last night, Girgensons-Grigorenko-Armia

    Larsson is awesome, and maybe he could bounce in that line too… but I thought that line was awesome..

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I’m just about to make a post about how Girgs and Grigs need to be on the third line together… they really feed off each other.

      • Justin Tosczak

        I have noticed everyone who plays with Z feeds off him though… but your right, when they play on a line, it give Grigorenko a boost in his step, like he has to prove something.. which is good.. Bouncing Larsson, Armia, or Ennis around in that 3rd line might be best.. That leaves Otter for the 4th I know, but Let him play his role position and let’s leave the offense with the players that are just as capable, but more room to grow.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          It wouldn’t be horrible to pair Steve Ott with Girgs and Grigo. Give them a tougher presence to play with and a leader on their wing.

  • Dano

    Grigorenko shouldnt have been been promised a roster spot. I believe Girgensons is a much better fit. Put Cody McC on the 4th line.