Updated 5:05 pm:
In surprising move the Buffalo Sabres have sent will keep defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Rochester Americans. The Sabres have activated rookie defenseman Nikita Zadorov and his added him to their 23 man roster.
When Zadorov plays tonight Buffalo will be the 1st NHL team to ice 4 teenagers in a season since 95-96. Grigorenko, Girgensons, Ristolainen and Zadorov.
Coincidentally, the 1995-96 Sabres were one of three teams (FLA-4, WPG-6) with at least four teenagers that season when they played Jay McKee, Marty Biron, Wayne Primeau, Vaclav Varada, and Curtis Brown.
Updated 3:45 pm EDT:
"I don't know the severity of the injury but when a player has to leave the game it's normally more than a day or two."Dallas Eakins on Hall
The hockey gods are not smiling on the Edmonton Oilers this season.
Terrible Goaltending. Nail Yakupov trade rumors. Slumping offense.
And now this....
Taylor Hall has injured his knee.
At the 6:26: of the second period, Hall headed to the dressing room in pain. It was revealed by the Oilers that Hall has a left knee injury and that he will not be returning to today's action. Hall had skated 11:45 TOI before his day was done in Ottawa.
His knee injury will be updated after today's game.
If the injury is serious, which winger will fill in for Hall on the top line now?
Here's are the lines that Dallas Eakins used at the beginning of the Ottawa game"
Yakupov - RNH - Eberle
Hall - Arcobello - Perron
Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky
Gazdic - Acton - Brown
Smid - Petry
Ference - Grebeshkov
Belov - J.Schultz
Keeping Yakupov with RNH and Eberle will help the top unit, but what about the second line LW?
Will the Oilers be looking at the trade market for a left winger? If so, Thomas Vanek will be available.
On the bright side, Yakupov has an assist and is +2 today...
Long before his NHL career began, Mikhail Grigorenko served only one North American hockey master. His name is Patrick Roy.
Grigorenko played two seasons for Roy at the Quebec Remparts. Grigo scored 70 goals and added 69 assists for 139 points in just 92 games in Quebec. He added another 24 points in 22 playoff games played. Grigo thrived in junior because he was a man playing with boys. Now, he's struggling to play a man's game in the NHL. Give him time, he's only 19 years old.
Roy knows the kid better than most. He drafted him to play in junior and he won a lot of games with Grigorenko as his #1 center. When the Sabres drafted Grigo 12th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Roy became a consultant to Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff at the time. Regier and Roy would speak often about Grigorenko and the progress that he was making. The Sabres gave Roy specific areas that they wanted to see Grigorenko improve in, including the young Russian's "compete" level. Grigo played left Quebec City after the NHL lockout had ended and spent 25 games in Buffalo. Along the way, the kid strauggled to assimilate into the NHL style of play Ruff was fired and Grigo had to start all over again with a new head coach. His rookie year ended with a couple of nondescript games in AHL Rocehster.
This season has been much of the same for Grigo, who finds himself still struggling to please his NHL head coach.
Today, his old head coach, Roy, was asked to comment on his star pupil's Buffalo experience.
Roy called Grigorenko “a touchy subject.”
“I haven’t seen too many games,”
“It would be very unfair by me to make some comments on it.”
Coach speak for "I don't want to talk about it for risk of starting a problem with Regier and Rolston".
The outspoken Roy always has an opinion and he is not afraid to share it. Today, he zipped his lip and kept his thoughts to himself.
Roy knows Grigo's game like the back of his goalie glove. The kid played at such a high level for the Remparts and Roy was the beneficiary of Grigo's sick offensive skills.
Roy did say that he's surprised that Grigo has scored only one goal in 32 games played in Buffalo.
“I watched last year a few games because I was coaching him in junior and I was hoping he’d be coming back,” Roy said. “This year, quite frankly, it would be unfair by me to make any statement, for their coaching staff and for Grigo as well. But, the big picture, I am surprised to see that he has only one goal because he’s got so much talent.”Roy said
Roy elaborated and gave insight into the area of GHrigo's game that Rolston is most concerned with right now: "compete":
“The area we were trying to work hard with Grigo was the compete level,” Roy said. “In my opinion, he was losing too many battles. At times, Grigo thought he was working hard. But when you’re watching the clips he was not. Obviously, we were trying to break that down. But that’s all I can say.”
I think it would be hockey poetry if Grigo scored a hat trick on his former head coach tonight in Buffalo.
Source: Buffalo Hockey Beat
Sabres rookie Nikita Zadorov will make his NHL debut tonight against Patrick Roy's Colorado Avalanche.
Zadorov has been nursing a severely cut finger tip for the past two and a half weeks. He has skated with the Sabres but hasn't been able to make is NHL debut. that will all change tonight.
Zadorov was the 16th overall pick in June's NHL Entry Draft. The Sabres sure could use a hefty dose of the physicality that Zadorov brings to the table.
Ron Rolston said after this morning skate that he will play 7 defenseman tonight. Rookie Rasmus Ristolainen will sit this game out. Jamie McBain will likely play.
Rolston would not confirm that Zadorov is playing tonight at his morning presser.
However, Zadorov retweeted this tweet.
Rookie Zemgus Girgensons will make his return to the Buffalo lineup after having to sit out the Vancouver game with a swollen I bet he suffered when he was hit in the face with a Tyler Myers shot from the point.
Thanks, Dan Hickling
Avalanche energy forward Cody McLeod will have an in-person meeting Monday with the NHL in New York regarding his hit against the Detroit Red Wings' Niklas Kronwall on Thursday night.
In the meantime, McLeod is suspended pending that hearing and won't play tonight in Buffalo or Monday against Pittsburgh.
McLeod will meet with NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan and perhaps other officials before any possible additional discipline is applied.
Like Max Lapierre, McLeod hasn't been suspended in the past 18 months (new CBA), therefore, he cannot be treated as a "repeat offender" in this disciplinary hearing. However, McLeod has a nasty reputation as a cruel dude. He'll get the book thrown at him to the tune of Lapierre's 5 games
I can't figure out the NHL Wheel Of Discipline & Justice.
Shanahan spins it and where it stops, nobody knows.
Sabres energy guy Pat Kaleta will sit out tonight's game as his fifth game of his 10 game suspension for hitting Jack Johnson in the head back on 10/10.
There was no penalty on Kaleta's hit on Johnson. No injury to the player. No stretcher. Yet a ten game suspension.