Originally Posted by BlueGold
I've watched a few of his games this year, though not all. In those, he's had his moments of flashing what he can do, being strong with the puck on his stick, taking a first quick step to the slot/net and separating from defenders in doing so, etc.
But plenty of other times he's looked a bit timid. I think it is taking him some time to adjust to the speed and size of the NHL game and its players. He quite obviously doesn't have the size and speed advantage put there that he does in juniors ... And I think it's showing a bit in terms of him being a little hesitant, over thinking, and ultimately trying to not make a mistake rather than affirmatively make a play on many shifts.
That said, I actually think he COULD play in the league this season if he was properly supported by the coaching staff and allowed to play his game and learn from his mistakes. That's not Ruff's way though, as evidenced now by him playing 4th line minutes and getting practically zero PP time. That is detrimental to Grigorenko -- he just isn't and will never be a grinder.
As a Sabres fan, I think it signals that he'll be heading back down.
Thanks for that, seems like a fairly objective assesment from a confesed Buffalo fan.
Your oberservation that Grigs looks timid is interesting because that is exactly what I thought I might hear and exactly what keeps my opinion of him so low. It's strange to me that a big body with his skill has 8 PIM on the year. He has none in the NHL and a total of 12 in a full season last year. This is a big kid we're talking about here, he should be taking more penalties than that off of marginal, roughing types of calls but he just hasn't shown any sandpaper to his game ever and seems to avoid contact at all costs. He seems to have Jagr esque skills without any of the drive that made Jagr a superstar. If you look back over Jagr's stats you'll find he averaged about 60 PIM's a year, those numbers are indicative of a large player who leveraged his size and speed to drive the net, work pucks out of the corners and generally use his size to his advantage while fighting off contact.
Buffalo has got to find a way to light a fire under this kid if he has any chance of living up to his potential....I'm convinced this is one of the last traits any organization want's to try to 'teach' a player....thus the perceived slip in the draft rankings.