Sabres coach Ruff “optimistic” Vanek will play tomorrow, unsure about keeping Grigorenko

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Losers of three straight, the Buffalo Sabres (2-3-0) are likely to get leading scorer Thomas Vanek (muscle strain) back in their lineup Tuesday versus Toronto.

“I’m optimistic about [Vanek] playing tomorrow,” Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said today, per the Buffalo News.

Vanek, who tallied a remarkable nine points in his first four games, is also hopeful his absence will be limited to one game.

“I felt a lot better today than I did yesterday,” he said.

As for the future of 18-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko, the Sabres have yet to decide if they’ll send him back to junior or keep him and use up a year of his entry-level contract.

One factor could be the health of center Ville Leino (lower-body injury), who Ruff would only put “in the OK category” when asked for an update.

Leino has yet to play a game this season and, according to Ruff, “hasn’t skated anything of substance now for quite a while.”