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?