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06-23-2012, 04:03 AM
  #48
Rob Paxon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helo View Post
I`d be interested to hear opinion of Sabres fans do you think girgensons has a legit chance at becomming 2 line centre or is he going to be a 3 line grinder?
If you look at what we project to have in, say, 3 years, I think you're looking at a "3rd line" player as Grigorenko, Hodgson, and Ennis are all there as potential 1st/2nd line centers. However, Buffalo tends to roll 3 or even 4 lines evenly and doesn't always have a checking line -- that is, a line dedicated to shutting down the oppositions best line.

I'm thinking with Girgensons they will probably have him on a strong two-way line that often -- but not constantly -- plays against the oppositions top line, and that gets about even minutes with the 1st and 2nd lines at even strength. I also imagine Ruff will mold him into an extremely good penalty killer as he has done that with far less ideal players.

It's hard to say what our wingers will look like exactly by the time he's ready for the NHL but right now there is offensive wing talent on every line and I think it's fair to say he will be able to play with offensively capable linemates right off the bat.

The long and short of it is that he should get plenty of opportunities both offensively and defensively. It's a good situation for him because what he brings is going to be very valued to the organization and is a rarity both on the big club and in our pipeline. He won't be rushed to the NHL but he should be in a good situation to succeed when he gets there.

I'm extremely excited to have him and even moreso that we managed to get him as our second selection. Many of us would have been thrilled if he were our first choice.

Edit: I should add that it's every bit possible that he ends up on, say, the 2nd line as a center or a winger. For example, Ennis is penciled in as a center now but he'd be the first guy to move to wing to accommodate ideal line groupings. Grigorenko seems too ideal a center to me to move to wing and Hodgson also should probably always be a center. Girgensons, while probably ideal as a center, seems very capable of being a strong two-way, power game winger not entirely unlike a Dustin Brown, so I think there's a legitimate chance he gets a good amount of time at wing. You have to understand that our coach juggles lines often several times a week and often even within games when things aren't going well offensively. Girgensons should get to play with plenty of different guys and in plenty of situations if he shows himself capable. I also imagine he will spend time in Rochester of the AHL where he'd likely get a chance to have an important offensive role before heading to the big show.

One final note is that the Sabres have two smallish-to-average-sized two-way speedy centers in the pipeline in Kevin Sundher and Daniel Catenacci. Either of these guys could play wing as well as center and both are reasonably safe bets to be 3rd line NHLers with potential 2nd line ability. That obviously overlaps with Girgensons in some ways and it'll be interesting to see how all these guys who CAN play center or who look to be around 2nd-3rd line players all shake out.


Last edited by Rob Paxon: 06-23-2012 at 04:11 AM.
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