This Week’s Games
Wed., March 5 - Toronto Marlies at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2 Networks
Thu., March 6 - GRIFFINS at Milwaukee Admirals - 8 p.m. - WOOD/B2
Sat., March 8 - GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters - 7:30 p.m. - WOOD/B2
Last Week’s Results
Wed., Feb. 27 - GRIFFINS 3 at Hamilton Bulldogs 5 - 23-29-2-5, 53 pts. (5th, North Division)
Fri., Feb. 29 - GRIFFINS 4 at Peoria Rivermen 2 - 24-29-2-5, 55 pts. (5th)
Sun., March 2 - Lake Erie Monsters 4 at GRIFFINS 6 - 25-29-2-5, 57 pts. (5th)
Last Hurrah for D-Mac: The Griffins on Sunday kicked off the final quarter of their regular season schedule with a 6-4 win over Lake Erie, giving them back-to-back wins for the first time since Feb. 2-8. They’ll try for their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 16-20 on Wednesday, when they host the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies. That contest is expected to mark the final Griffins home game for Darren McCarty, whose 14-day conditioning assignment from Detroit ends next Monday. McCarty, who earned Grand Rapids’ nomination for the CCM/AHL Player of the Month award for February, has nine points (5-4—9) and 21 penalty minutes in 12 games as a Griffin. The first 1,500 fans on Wednesday will receive a poster commemorating McCarty’s tenure with the club, courtesy of Delta Imports.
A Check of the Standings: The Griffins currently stand in fifth place in the North Division. In the battle for what will likely be the final two playoff spots in the division, they trail second-place Manitoba by 14 points, third-place Hamilton by 12 points and fourth-place Syracuse by 10 points.
Attendance Continues to Climb: The AHL’s largest crowd of the day (7,846) witnessed the Griffins’ 6-4 win over the Monsters on Sunday, bringing Grand Rapids’ attendance to 196,285 through 30 home games (6,543 avg., sixth in AHL). That number represents a year-to-date increase of 9.1% over 2006-07, when the Griffins eventually finished with their largest attendance in four years. Last season, Grand Rapids welcomed 179,865 fans through its first 30 home games.
King Carl: The Griffins on Monday nominated right wing Carl Corazzini for the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week award, after he posted three goals, six points and a plus-one rating in three games last week. His current three-game goal streak ties for the Griffins’ season high, and he earned first star honors in Sunday’s 6-4 win over Lake Erie by recording the first four-point game of his AHL career. Corazzini currently leads Grand Rapids with 44 points (tied) and 10 power play goals and ranks second with 20 goals.
Player News and Notes: Both Garrett Stafford (1-4—5) and Mark Cullen (2-5—7) had points in all three games last week…Evan McGrath has points in six of his last eight games (1-6—7)…Ryan Oulahen has points in three of the last four contests (2-1—3)…Jamie Tardif has two goals in the last three games…Kyle Quincey has points in both games since his return from Detroit (1-1—2).
Making the Show: Last Tuesday, former Griffins defenseman Jonathan Ericsson recorded his first NHL point by netting his first NHL goal during Detroit’s 4-3 shootout loss at Edmonton. He scored Detroit’s first goal at 5:42 of the third period during a power play, blasting a one-timer past Mathieu Garon from the high slot off a feed from former Griffin Valtteri Filppula. Ericsson has averaged 17:03 in ice time in five games with the Red Wings…Griffins one-time leading scorer Mark Hartigan will remain with the Wings for the remainder of the season, as he is not on the Griffins’ Clear Day Roster…Grand Rapids welcomed three players back from Detroit last week: goalie Jimmy Howard (Tue.), and defensemen Garrett Stafford (Wed.) and Kyle Quincey (Thu.).
On a Clear Day: The Griffins last Friday released their 2007-08 Clear Day roster. According to AHL by-laws, only those players listed on a team’s Clear Day roster are eligible to compete in the remainder of the AHL regular season and in the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs, unless emergency conditions arise as a result of recall, injury or suspension. Teams may also add signed junior players or players on amateur tryout contracts after Clear Day, but only once their respective junior or college seasons are complete. The Griffins’ Clear Day roster consists of goaltenders Adam Berkhoel and Jimmy Howard; defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Tom Galvin, Jon Insana, Jason Jozsa, Jakub Kindl, Cleve Kinley, Kyle Quincey and Garrett Stafford; and forwards Carl Corazzini, Mark Cullen, Josef Fojtik, Randall Gelech, Darren Helm, Francis Lemieux, Darren McCarty, Evan McGrath, Ryan Oulahen, Tyler Redenbach, Mattias Ritola and Jamie Tardif. Defensemen Brad Ference and Russ Moyer are currently in residence.
Red Wings Jersey Auction: Twenty-three autographed, game-issued Detroit Red Wings jerseys are being made available for public bidding throughout the 2007-08 season through exclusive auctions that begin at griffinshockey.com and conclude after select Griffins home games. Online bidding, which begins at $250 per jersey, will establish the starting bids for silent auctions that will take place on the arena concourse during Griffins games. Subsequently, the highest bids from the silent auctions will serve as the starting bids for live post-game auctions. Online right now are the Brett Lebda, Chris Osgood and Kyle Quincey jerseys, with silent and live auctions set for the March 28 game. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation. For more information and a complete auction schedule, visit griffinshockey.com/fanzone/auctions.
Wed., March 5 vs. Toronto Marlies (38-14-2-5) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 8-9-0-0 Overall, 4-4-0-0 Home. Season Series: 1-2-0-0 Overall, 0-1-0-0 Home. Fourth of eight meetings overall, second of four in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Toronto Maple Leafs. Head Coach: Greg Gilbert (2nd season). Notes: The Griffins’ 6-1 win over the Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum on Nov. 28 remains Toronto's only loss by more than three goals this season…Grand Rapids will play the Marlies five times in a 29-day span from March 5-April 2…Toronto’s 12-point lead over Manitoba in the North Division race gives it the largest cushion of any division leader…The Marlies’ penalty killers are tops in the AHL at 87.6%.
Thu., March 6 at Milwaukee Admirals (32-25-3-2) – Bradley Center – 8 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 45-29-7-4-3 Overall, 19-16-5-3-3 Road. Season Series: 2-4-0-0 Overall, 1-2-0-0 Road. Seventh of eight meetings overall, fourth and final in Milwaukee. NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators. Head Coach: Lane Lambert (1st season). Notes: Milwaukee is fifth in the West Division with 69 points but would currently qualify for the playoffs by taking the fourth-place spot in the North from Syracuse (67 points) through the crossover rule…The Griffins have two regulation wins in their last 19 regular season and playoff meetings with the Admirals (4-12-3-0)…All-Star netminder Pekka Rinne leads the AHL with 28 wins, 3,255 minutes played and 1,338 saves.
Sat., March 8 at Lake Erie Monsters (20-28-4-7) – Quicken Loans Arena – 7:30 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:10 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time/Season Series: 5-1-0-1 Overall, 2-1-0-1 Road. Eighth of 10 meetings overall, fifth and final in Cleveland. NHL Affiliation: Colorado Avalanche. Head Coach: Joe Sacco (1st season). Notes: The sixth-place Monsters stand six points behind the Griffins in the North Division…Grand Rapids has tallied six goals in each of its last two meetings with Lake Erie…Mark Cullen has 11 points (6-5—11) in six games against the Monsters.