Quebec Remparts forward Mikhail Grigorenko had the first three-game stretch of the QMJHL season where he was held pointless, and his coach Patrick Roy went so far as to question his effort during his recent three-game slide.
Grigorenko has been shut down offensively by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in their second round series so far, offering a single goal in four games. Grigorenko has 13 points in the playoffs so far, but 12 of those came in Quebec’s triumph over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in six games in the first round.
Roy was asked about Grigorenko’s play to date in the series after the team’s 5-2 loss in Game 3 against the Huskies, and he responded with a simple answer.
“He won’t have any points [with] the way he’s been playing,” he said to the throng of scribes outside the coaches’ room at Aréna Iamgold. “He has to be ready and he’d better rebound [Wednesday], that’s it.”
Grigorenko seemed to respond in Wednesday night’s Game 4 in Rouyn-Noranda with a power play goal, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Huskies from taking a 3-1 stranglehold on the series with a 5-4 overtime victory.
The Sabres prospect spent the first half of the season with Quebec due to the NHL lockout, then played 22 games with the Sabres, earning five points in 22 games before being sent back down just in time for the QMJHL playoffs.
After Game 4, Roy didn't offer much for commentary. The usually talkative coach was very curt and short with his answers to the media, offering one sentence answers and no comments to the questions posed. Roy was visibly angry after the game, nearly shaking as he stared down the scrum.
The Remparts have had trouble with the Huskies ever since they shocked the fifth-place Quebec team 6-1 at the Colisée Pepsi in Game 1 of the series. The Remparts posted a 4-2 win in Game 2 to get the split, but have dropped the last two games on the road up in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of la belle province. The series is a 2-3-2 format.
Game 5 goes Friday in Rouyn-Noranda.