Grabovski banished to box

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Maple Leafs rookie Mikhail Grabovski was a healthy scratch last night against the Buffalo Sabres -- the first time this season the young centre has been banished to the press box.

Grabovski has 13 goals and 13 assists in 48 games this season, but his indifferent play of late prompted head coach Ron Wilson to scratch him from the lineup.

Grabovski played just over 10 minutes in Toronto's 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night and only has one point since returning from a three-game suspension on Jan. 16.

"There's two reasons," Wilson said of Grabovski's demotion. "One, I've got to find a hole to get Jeremy Williams back into the lineup. And two, the last couple of games, Mikhail hasn't gotten the job done defensively. It's not the end of the world, which, unfortunately, you guys (the media) will write. He's a young guy who's lost a little bit of his focus. He's pressing to score points. We don't mind him trying to do that, but he's lost his positioning defensively."

Williams, who has five goals in 10 games for the Leafs, dressed in Grabovski's place last night.


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