Mikhail Grigorenko And The Sabres Second Line Is What To Watch


For the fifth time this season, the Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Mikhail Grigorenko to fill the scoring hole. Posting 10 goals and 32 points in 39 games in Rochester, Grigorenko possesses the scoring touch that the Sabres need to progress and not be laughed at each night. We all know that the season isn’t going to be easy for the rest of it, but this recall is a test for Grigorenko to see if he has the ability to play high level minutes at the NHL level.

Tonight he will have that exact opportunity as Mikhail Grigorenko will be centering the Sabres’ second line that features Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta. That combination will be beneficial overall (in theory).

How To Watch

Mikhail Grigorenko has been under fire by some Sabres fans for his inability to produce at the professional level, but he is still only 20 years old. He still has plenty of time to develop into a top level scorer on this team, and the line he is playing on tonight will be exactly what he needs.

Marcus Foligno is not a game breaking scoring talent, but he possesses solid power forward abilities, and that makes a scoring center’s job much easier. This presence will give Grigorenko exactly what he needs to use his scoring touch; space. The more space an elite level shot has the more chances he will have.

Brian Gionta has his game breaking goal scoring days behind him (all the way back to when he played in New Jersey) but he is the perfect mentor and linemate for a kid like Grigorenko. Gionta was able to score regularly in spite of his petite size (5’7), and there are bound to be a few tips and tricks he could teach a speedy and larger Grigorenko (6’3).

The second line is the one to watch tonight due to these reasons. Grigorenko will be trying to prove that he belongs here next year and Gionta is the perfect mentor for him to learn from. Having Mikhail Grigorenko play less minutes on the third or fourth line disallows his ability to get on a roll. He has been playing second line minutes down in Rochester, and now he will finally have his chance to be playing at least 14 minutes tonight on the second line.

Look for him to have some more open space due to Foligno’s aggression, and for him to be more diligent in both zones tonight as he should be playing his heart out.


I still think the Sabres are in for a rough ride tonight. The Senators are on a roll recently and the Sabres still lack a lot in their lineup. Chad Johnson is possibly the starter tonight and that’s not exactly a confidence boost. The Sabres need to have a perfect effort from all lines tonight in order to win, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to have them get lit up by Bobby Ryan again.

Either way, Mikhail Grigorenko and the second line are what to watch tonight.

Next: Trading For McDavid Or Eichel

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