The Sabres look to snap a three-game losing streak Tuesday night. Face off against the Maple Leafs is at 7 p.m. in downtown Buffalo. YNN's Don Heins is at First Niagara Center, where the team's youngest player is getting set to take a big step.
It's already been an eventful day in the Sabres organization. Not only did Thomas Vanek make a healthy return Tuesday morning, but the organization announced that Mikhail Grigorenko will spend the rest of the season here in the NHL.
The 18-year-old will be in the lineup in an important division game against the Leafs. Believe it or not, the NHL lockout may have been a good thing for Grigorenko's development. As Darcy Regier said Tuesday morning, it allowed him more time to develop before the Sabres called him up.
"It's interesting, because with the lockout I think this decision, if we had made it back in September, would have been, he would have returned to junior. His game has come a long ways since September. You've got half a season of junior hockey, a world junior experience. And what I've seen from the World Junior Tournament is that when a player performs well in the world junior, it does wonders for that person's confidence," Regier said.
"It's really good to know this, to know that I'm staying with the team, and probably I can focus on the hockey now. I don't think about all those things," said Grigorenko.
The Sabres are trying to snap a three-game losing streak when they face the Maple Leafs. Faceoff is shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday.