The Sabres are showing some concern with center/left winger Zemgus Girgensons, who has just one shot on goal in his last five games, writes Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. In their last game, he found himself dropped to fourth line and saw just 9:07 of ice time, his lowest since getting injured in a game in the first period back in January.
Girgensons acknowledges that he is still adjusting to playing a more structured style under Dan Bylsma compared to the looser style under previous coach Ted Nolan, who the 22 year old thrived playing under. In particular, Bylsma would like to see him drive the net much more often:
“He should be a guy that should be peeled off the goalie every time he’s on the ice. He should be getting to that hard area to score a goal. It’s something we know he can do and it’s something he’s got to do to have success in his game.”
Girgensons has just a goal and three assists in 21 games this year, not the start he was looking to get off to after signing a one year, $1.15MM deal back in September.
Other notes from the Atlantic Division:
- Detroit’s Tomas Jurco, who is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow, dropped 15 pounds over the offseason, notes MLive’s Peter J. Wallner. Jurco felt that he was more of a scoring threat when he was faster so instead of bulking up as he had the past couple of seasons, he decided to slim down in the hopes that doing so will help him rebound from a rough 2015-16 where he had just four goals and two assists in 44 NHL games, a season that also saw him become a frequent healthy scratch.
- Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask has made an adjustment to his goaltending style and as a result, the unpredictability for shooters is paying early dividends, writes Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe. In recent years, Rask has strictly used the reverse VH goaltending style and while he’s comfortable doing so, his penchant for doing so in all situations was coming back to bite him at times in the past. Now, he’s staying upright more often, making it tougher for opponents to know how he’s going to attack each shot and the results are certainly there so far. Rask sits second in the league in goals against average (1.62) and tied for fourth in save percentage (.940) through 16 games so far this season.