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As injuries keep piling up, Nolan levels blast at 'lackadaisical' Grigorenko

The Sabres are going to wait a day before determining what their lineup will look like for Wednesday's game in Toronto. Coach Ted Nolan said after Monday's practice at HarborCenter that he hasn't decided on a goalie and that defenseman Zach Bogosian is doing better after taking a shot off the foot Saturday in Washington. Bogosian and Andrej Meszaros, who took a puck to the side of the head, both sat out Monday and it seems Meszaros will miss some time.

One player who won't be at practice Tuesday or in Toronto on Wednesday is center Mikhail Grigorenko, who was on emergency recall but was sent back to Rochester following Friday's game in Ottawa. Grigorenko started the game as the No. 2 center and it looked like he was getting a huge chance to show his wares.

Instead, Grigorenko played less than 14 minutes, had one shot on goal, was late on coverage on the Senators' winning goal and was 1-6 on faceoffs. Nolan pretty much lit up Grigorenko after practice today.

"I didn't like his play," Nolan said. "For him to play at this level, especially with that much skill, he has to bring a little bit more than what he had. You don't really want to sit back and hope for things to work. You've got to make them work like everybody else. I just felt his play on certain parts was very lackadaisical. Didn't have any energy or urgency in his game whatsoever. Hopefully, he'll catch that one day."

Nolan said Girgorenko's return to the AHL wasn't automatic if he had shown some pizzazz in his game.

"We could have argued and said, 'Hey, let's keep him here,' " Nolan said. "But he didn't give us enough of that to argue for."

Grigorenko is only 20 but already in the final year of his entry-level contract he signed after he was the Sabres' top draft pick in 2012. He has just four goals and six assists in 56 NHL games the last three seasons. He has one goal and one assist in 13 games this season.

As for his other centers, Nolan switched the middle men on the top two lines at practice. Johan Larsson skated between Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis while Phil Varone, who has struggled defensively, went between Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta.

 

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