Will Grabovski’s Time Ever Come?
*A little late posting this – my apologies. But RG’s foresight was bang on…
Yes, yes it will.
The Belorussian native is struggling amidst his rookie season â€“ still searching for a point on the score sheet â€“ but it’s not as if the speedy center isn’t trying, in fact, he’s displaying the work ethic head coach Ron Wilson is demanding.
If he wasn’t, he would have already suffered the same fate as teammates Jason Blake â€“ who was scratched from Thursday nights 4-2 win over the Bruinsâ€“, Alexei Ponikarovsky â€“ who was demoted to the fourth line a couple games back â€“ and other players who have watched from the sidelines, a list that includes Carlo Coliacovo, Anton Stralman and Mike Van Ryn.
It’s a delicate situation for Wilson though, if he removes Grabovski from the lineup, or even demotes him to a smaller role, his confidence could be damaged long-term. Considering the 24-year old is just now playing his rookie season, perhaps it’s best to let Grabovski find his way into the prominent scoring role he’s expected to grasp.
After all, it’s not as if he isn’t creating scoring chances out there. On many nights Grabovski has been using his speed and creative puck handling to set-up his linemates, only to have his plays disintegrate.
Surprised? Not really.
The Leafs have an extremely bare offensive attack, one that considers Nikolai Antropov as their top point-producer. No offense to Antropov â€“ who has scored 4 goals in his last 3 games â€“ but he shouldn’t be regarded as a team’s top offensive player, not on any team.
Still, that is not a legitimate excuse for Grabovski’s shortcomings. If he wants to find success in this league, he’s going to have to step it up a level, something he’s capable of doing with the skill set he has displayed throughout his career. It’s undeniable that he’ll start producing; he just needs to find his place amongst the NHL, and when he does, I expect him to be a very different player from there on out.
Here’s a bold prediction for you: Grabovski will begin his real season tomorrow, against our longtime rivals, the Ottawa Senators.