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

Jan 28, 2013, 2:26 PM EDT

Thomas Vanek Getty Images

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.”

  1. capesouth - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Looking forward to the Buffalo-Boston game later this week. Old time hockey.

    • stain67 - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      I’ll be at the game Thursday night.
      I think we will see a little of everything…goals, hits, fights.
      Boston-Buffalo turning into a nice little rivalry….

  2. dasportsninja - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I am pessimistic about Ruff’s abilities to get the most out of his Roster. I don’t think he will allow Grigorenko the Ice time or freedom to demonstrate his ability. Ruff is a good coach, but struggles with offensively creative players. He is committed to his system regardless of the players he has.

    • meldboy - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      I agree with everything you have stated except for the Ruff being a good coach part. Who gets to coach this long preaching the same BS with zero results? FIRE RUFF!!!!!

  3. buff80 - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Ruff needs to go…

  4. kgun80 - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    As a long time fan.. I can finally say if Lindy doesn’t get this team to the Conference finals.. He should be fired. The players don’t seem motivated at all and whoever decided that Hecht should be resigned should follow him right out the door.. The guy is deadweight

    • iownyou2 - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:53 AM

      Pommer was the one who suggested it after playing with him during the lockout in Germany. Are you ready to get rid of him?? Didnt think so.

  5. kgun80 - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    So players make personnel decisions..

  6. westsidewilly - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Watched a lot of hockey this season and compared to other teams, the Sabres seem to have no energy or coordination other than on the top line. I’ll admit I’m a relatively new fan of the game, but I don’t see much in Ruff. Or Tyler Myers for that matter. Is he really one of the most highly paid D-men? Sabres need more speed and playmaking in lines 2, 3 & 4. Ott was a good pick-up, though. That’s my 2-cents’ worth.

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