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FOLIGNO LIKELY TO MISS OPENER

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 2:21 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
FOLIGNO LIKELY TO MISS OPENER

It looks like the roster is set.

Each team’s 23-man roster must be submitted to the NHL by 5 p.m. on Monday and the Buffalo Sabres do not plan on making any more moves by then.

Buffalo assigned forward Luke Adam and defenseman Alexander Sulzer to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League on Monday after both players cleared waivers. In addition to that, injuries have played their part in shaping the initial roster.

   Marcus Foligno

Sabres coach Ron Rolston said after practice Monday at First Niagara Center that forward Marcus Foligno will likely be unavailable for the season opener in Detroit on Wednesday. Rolston had previously hoped Foligno would be able to play in the game, but after missing practice on Monday, that scenario seems more and more unlikely.

“I don’t see it Wednesday. I think he’ll probably be in a position tomorrow to practice, but I don’t think one day is going to help in terms of being ready,” Rolston said.

The team will already be without forwards Corey Tropp (broken jaw) and Joel Armia (broken hand) and defenseman Nikita Zadorov (lacerated finger) for several weeks.

That means three first-round picks from the past two drafts will be in the lineup against the Red Wings. Center Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall, 2012) and left wing Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall, 2012) skated Monday with Brian Flynn; defenseman Rasmus RIstolainen (eighth overall, 2013) was paired with Mike Weber.

While Girgensons may be on the roster now, he’s only looking ahead to how he can stick once the team starts to get healthier.

“For me and for any young guy in this locker room, I don’t think there’s such a thing as ‘made it so far.’ I think for the young guys, you have to make it every day,” he said. “You have to make every day count and you have to prove yourself every day to stay up here because any young guy can be sent down at any time.”

Grigorenko is the only Sabres player to have played in all seven preseason games. For Rolston and the coaching staff, being able to evaluate him for that period of time – especially since he did not play in the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. earlier this month like Girgensons, Ristolainen and Johan Larsson did – was important.

“[Grigorenko’s] progress is there. It’s a process with those young guys. It’s going to be a process,” Rolston said. “But I’ve seen the off-ice maturity. I’ve seen some on-ice maturity. His compete’s getting better. It’s not where we want it to be, but it’s getting better and that’s going to be a process. But he has made strides.”

Ristolainen has not only impressed the coaching staff, but some of the veteran players on the roster as well. Weber said that Ristolainen’s someone Sabres fans should be excited about.

“He’s a solid defender. He plays beyond his years. He’s an 18-year-old man-child so it’s exciting to play with him,” Weber said. “I’m really, really happy about it and hopefully we can keep the same chemistry that we had in preseason going right through the regular season here.”

When asked about those recent draft picks, Rolston was also quick to point out the work of center Johan Larsson, whom the Sabres acquired from the Minnesota Wild at this year’s trade deadline for Jason Pominville.

“They’re here and Johan’s here and I think you could argue he might’ve been the best of all those guys in terms of competitive nature in camp,” Rolston said. “We’ve got some good young players there. Again, now it’s for us finding the mix that’s going to help us move into the future but also be able to have results too. There’s a balance there and along with that, the development part of things – how they’re developing and moving forward.”

Larsson has skated as the extra forward during the past two practices.

Mark Pysyk (16th overall, 2010) is another first-rounder who will start the season in Buffalo for the first time. He played 19 games for the Sabres last year. He’s recently been practicing with Christian Ehrhoff and has also seen time with the second power play unit, which has featured Ristolainen, Grigorenko, Tyler Ennis, Drew Stafford and Ville Leino.


26 Thomas Vanek – 19 Cody Hodgson – 21 Drew Stafford
9 Steve Ott – 63 Tyler Ennis – 23 Ville Leino
28 Zemgus Girgensons – 25 Mikhail Grigorenko – 65 Brian Flynn
12 Kevin Porter – 8 Cody McCormick – 36 Patrick Kaleta
22 Johan Larsson – 32 John Scott

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
20 Henrik Tallinder – 57 Tyler Myers
6 Mike Weber – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
4 Jamie McBain

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

Injured: 82 Marcus Foligno, 78 Corey Tropp, 33 Joel Armia, 61 Nikita Zadorov

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82