Much like last season, it appears that Mikhail Grigorenko is struggling to translate his considerable skills into NHL production. Unfortunately for the 19-year-old, the Olean Times Herald reports that he might be on his way to healthy scratch status again, too.
Grigorenko hasn’t scored a single point in four contests, firing a middling five shots on goal.
Sabres head coach Ron Rolston explains his struggles (Note: please don’t take a shot every time he says “puck.”)
“You have to find a way to be an impact in a game,” Rolston said. “It’s his ability to put himself in positions where he can use those skills. So that means you got to go to the puck. You got to get the puck. You got to support the puck. You got to be around the puck. You got to battle for the puck. You can stickhandle in a phone booth. That doesn’t really translate unless you can be an impact in a game.”
Last season, Grigorenko was in that awkward developmental stage in which he was too gifted for the lower level (54 points in 33 QMJHL games for the Quebec Ramparts), but not quite there yet in the NHL.
Considering his young age, let’s hope that these growing pains don’t shake his confidence.