Mikhail Grigorenko admitted to NHL.com that his first season with the Buffalo Sabres was rough, but he thinks things will be better in 2013-14.
His first goal is to stick with the Sabres next season after bouncing between the big club and the AHL last season while trying to prove himself to former coach Lindy Ruff and new bench boss Ron Rolston. Grigorenko also clearly knows what kind of role he’d like to avoid.
“Just to make the NHL and to hopefully have my spot on the power play, probably be the first- or second-line center, is my goal,” Grigorenko said. “To have 50 points would be great for me. If it’s 30, I’m not going to be sad. I don’t see myself as an AHL third-liner.”
That will certainly require better production than 2013, when he managed just five points in 25 games.
Playing at such a young age – and having some rotten puck luck with just a 3.2 percent shooting efficiency – gives plenty of reason to believe that his sophomore season might be better than that shaky rookie campaign.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger