This Week’s Games
Fri., Nov. 20 - Texas Stars at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Nov. 21 - GRIFFINS at Toronto Marlies - 4 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com / Rogers TV (Toronto)
Last Week’s Results
Wed., Nov. 11 - Lake Erie Monsters 1 at GRIFFINS 2 SO - 9-4-0-0, 18 pts. (T4th, North Division)
Fri., Nov. 13 - Milwaukee Admirals 2 at GRIFFINS 3 OT - 10-4-0-0, 20 pts. (T3rd)
Sat., Nov. 14 - Rochester Americans 3 at GRIFFINS 1 - 10-5-0-0, 20 pts. (5th)
All Good Things Must End: The Griffins’ nine-game winning streak (Oct. 23-Nov. 13), snapped by Rochester on Saturday, was the second-longest in the AHL this season and tied for the second-longest run in franchise history, falling two shy of the record set in March 2006. In addition, Grand Rapids’ eight straight home wins (Oct. 23-Nov. 13) were their most ever to start a season and fell two short of the franchise mark for consecutive home victories accomplished twice before, most recently in February 2004.
Running the Gauntlet: On Saturday, the Griffins suffered a 3-1 home loss to Rochester, which had entered the game with an AHL-best 0.833 winning percentage and had seen their league-high 11-game winning streak snapped two nights before. This Friday, Grand Rapids will complete its four-game homestand by hosting the first-ever visit by the Texas Stars, who currently own an 11-game point streak (8-0-2-1) and the league’s second-highest percentage (0.778).
Dollar Beers, Dollar Dogs: Friday’s game against Texas will feature Dollar Beers and Dollar Dogs from 6-8 p.m. (while supplies last), College Night presented by McFadden’s, the D-ZONE presented by WGRD 97.9 FM, and the old-time hockey sounds of organ music by Dale Zieger.
Misleading Standings: Although the Griffins are fifth in the North Division – just one point behind fourth-place Abbotsford and two behind second-place Hamilton and Manitoba – they’ve played four fewer games than the Heat and six fewer than the Moose. Grand Rapids’ 0.667 winning percentage is actually the third-highest in the division, fourth-highest in the Western Conference and sixth-highest in the AHL.
Nice While it Lasted: This Friday’s game against Texas will be the Griffins’ 10th home contest in a span of 11 games (Oct. 23-Nov. 20), the lone exception having been their 8-6 win at Lake Erie on Nov. 8. Beginning with Saturday’s game at Toronto, they’ll play four of the next five on the road.
Just Keep Your Bags Packed: After returning to the Griffins from Detroit on Sunday, goaltender Daniel Larsson was again summoned by the Red Wings today, marking his third recall to the parent club in the last six days. Larsson’s five-game winning streak, during which he’s posted a 1.77 goals against average, a 0.945 save percentage (154-163) and one shutout, ties his personal high set between Dec. 12-30, 2008.
Helping Hands: The Griffins’ sixth annual Tip-A-Griffin fundraiser, held on Monday at seven Grand Rapids-area Applebee’s restaurant locations, grossed over $10,000 in tips, donations and auction proceeds for Habitat for Humanity of Kent County…Last Saturday’s post-game auction of the Griffins’ football-themed jerseys raised $9,500 for the Jenison Public Education Foundation, with the jerseys of Paul Crosty and Jakub Kindl earning the high bids of $600 each.
Working Overtime: Doug Janik’s one-timer from the right circle 1:21 into overtime on Friday gave the Griffins a 3-2 victory over Milwaukee and improved their record in games that extend past regulation to a perfect 3-0 this season. They also recorded a pair of shootout wins during their recent nine-game winning streak (4-3 vs. Toronto on Oct. 24, 2-1 vs. Lake Erie on Nov. 11).
Kris Helps Them Bury It: On Friday, Kris Newbury tied a Griffins single-season record by extending his career-high assist streak to seven games, a feat that had been accomplished five times before (Matt Hussey, Valtteri Filppula, Bryan Helmer, Derek King and Michel Picard). While his assist streak was snapped on Saturday, one game shy of Filppula’s overall franchise record of eight games that spanned the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, it stands as the longest in the AHL this season.
AHL Player of the Week Nominee: Defenseman Doug Janik earned the Griffins’ nomination for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award on Monday by registering three points (1-2—3) and a plus-two rating in three games last week. He earned First Star honors on Friday by scoring the game-winner in overtime and assisting on the game-tying goal in the third period, then added a helper on the Griffins’ lone goal on Saturday for his 100th pro assist. Janik, who ranks among the Griffins’ leaders with seven assists (2nd) and 10 points (T2nd), is tied for 13th in scoring among AHL defensemen and has points in three of the last four games (2-2—4).
Who Else is Hot?: Patrick Rissmiller has factored on the scoresheet in six of the last nine games (3-3—6)…Jeremy Williams has points in four of the last five contests (4-2—6)…Cory Emmerton has points in five of his last seven outings (4-4—8)…Logan Pyett has points in three of the last four games (1-3—4), while Mattias Ritola has points in three of the last six games (2-2—4)…Thomas McCollum saw his personal four-game winning streak snapped on Saturday.
Comeback Kids: Four of the Griffins’ last five victories were in come-from-behind fashion, and they’ve trailed in seven of their 10 wins and 12 of their 15 games overall. Moreover, they’ve fallen behind 2-0 in eight of their last 13 games, including four times during their recent nine-game winning streak.
Will the Real Road Team Please Stand Up?: In their first three road games this season, the Griffins allowed a total of just six goals and held their opposition to 1-for-16 (6.3%) on the power play. In their last three road games, they’ve surrendered at least six goals in each contest, allowing a total of 20 goals and permitting their foes to go 11-for-16 (68.8%) with the advantage.
We Go to Extremes: Many of the Griffins’ team statistics are at opposite ends of the AHL spectrum. Grand Rapids stands fifth in the league in goals scored (3.33 per game), fifth in overall power play (17-for-76, 22.4%) and fourth in home power play (13-for-49, 26.5%), but ranks 28th in overall penalty killing (57-for-75, 76.0%) and 29th in road penalty killing (20-for-32, 62.5%).
Late-Bloomers: The Griffins have been outscored by seven goals during the first period (9-16) this season, but they own advantages of four goals during the second (21-17) and six goals during the third (17-11).
The Long and Short of It: Grand Rapids is the only AHL club that has neither scored nor allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
Milestones: Doug Janik’s assist on Saturday was the 100th of his pro career…Andy Delmore is two points away from 400 for his pro career…Jeremy Williams needs two more goals for 100 in the AHL, six more assists for 100 in the AHL, and four more assists for 100 as a pro.
Fri., Nov. 20 vs. Texas Stars (12-2-2-2) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series/Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Second of six meetings overall, first of three in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Dallas Stars. Head Coach: Glen Gulutzan (1st season). Notes: The Griffins dropped their first-ever meeting against Texas by a 2-0 count in Austin on Oct. 15…The West Division-leading Stars are 8-0-2-1 in their last 11 games…Three members of the 2008-09 Griffins now play for the Stars. Aaron Gagnon ranks second on the club with 12 points (4-8—12), Garrett Stafford has tallied six points (2-4—6), and Landon Wilson has contributed two goals in just three outings…Texas netminder Brent Krahn, who has allowed only eight goals while reeling off eight straight wins, leads the AHL with a 1.23 GAA and a 0.964 save percentage. Over his last five starts, he has stopped 172 of 174 shots and posted three shutouts…The Stars lead the AHL in penalty killing (94.3%) and have outscored their opponents by a whopping 22-7 margin in the second period.
Sat., Nov. 21 at Toronto Marlies (6-5-1-2) – Ricoh Coliseum – 4 p.m.
TV: Rogers TV (Toronto) at 4 p.m. Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 4 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 16-15-1-0 Overall, 6-10-0-0 Road. Season Series: 1-1-0-0 Overall, 0-1-0-0 Road. Third of six meetings overall, second of three in Toronto. NHL Affiliation: Toronto Maple Leafs. Head Coach: Dallas Eakins (1st season). Notes: New Marlies assistant coach Derek King played four seasons in Grand Rapids (1999-00; 2002-04 as a player/assistant coach), where he ranks as one of the greatest players in franchise history with 264 games played (7th), 73 goals (3rd), 130 assists (4th), 203 points (4th), a plus-71 rating (2nd), 25 power play goals (T3rd) and 657 shots (4th)…In nine games against the Griffins since the start of the 2008-09 season, Jiri Tlusty has racked up 16 points (5-11—16)…Grand Rapids overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Marlies 4-3 in a shootout on Oct. 24 at Van Andel Arena…Toronto enters the week on a 0-2-0-1 skid…The Marlies have been outscored 23-8 in the second period.