This Week’s Games
Wed., Jan. 26 - GRIFFINS at Rochester Americans - 7:05 p.m. - ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Fri., Jan. 28 - Rockford IceHogs at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - Buy Tickets / ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Jan. 29 - GRIFFINS at Peoria Rivermen - 8:35 p.m. - ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Last Week’s Results
Tue., Jan. 18 - GRIFFINS 4 at Texas Stars 3 OT - 20-19-1-4, 45 pts. (5th, North Division)
Fri., Jan. 21 - Chicago Wolves 4 at GRIFFINS 1 - 20-20-1-4, 45 pts. (6th)
Sat., Jan. 22 - Chicago Wolves 5 at GRIFFINS 3 - 20-21-1-4, 45 pts. (6th)
Where We Stand: Despite being in sixth place (45 pts.) in the North Division, the Griffins stand just six points behind third-place Toronto (51) and a guaranteed berth in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Fun at the Van: Fri. vs. RFD - Dollar Beers, Dollar Dogs returns from 6-8 p.m. (while supplies last), while other promotions include College Night and the D-Zone.
Emmerton Gets The Call: The Red Wings on Saturday morning recalled center Cory Emmerton from the Griffins, and he made his NHL debut that afternoon in Detroit’s 4-1 loss to Chicago. The 115th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL, Emmerton duplicated Tomas Tatar’s feat from New Year’s Eve by scoring a goal in his first NHL contest. The 22-year-old ranks among the Griffins’ leaders with 17 assists (3rd) and 23 points (T5th) in 33 games, despite missing 12 contests due to injury during December.
It’s All Over But the Giving: The Griffins’ Great Skate Winterfest concluded at Rosa Parks Circle on Sunday with the ninth annual Great Skate, capping off what promises to be an unprecedented fundraising total for the event. Sponsorship and donation totals are still being tallied, but a record $7,322 in pledges alone has been raised to date by Griffins players, Griffins Youth Foundation players and members of the public who collected online pledges for their participation in the Great Skate. For the next two months, fans can still make a donation in the name of their favorite player by going to griffinshockey.com/greatskate, with all proceeds benefiting the Griffins Youth Foundation.
Taking a Lickin’ From the Land of Lincoln: The Griffins are on a 2-23-1-2 skid against teams from the state of Illinois. Dating to last season, they are 2-8-0-0 (0.200) in their last 10 against Chicago, 0-6-1-1 (0.125) in their last eight against Rockford, and 0-9-0-1 (0.050) in their last 10 against Peoria.
Filppula Added to All-Star Roster: Griffins forward Ilari Filppula on Friday was added to the Western Conference roster for the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, which will be held Jan. 30-31 at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. Next Monday’s All-Star Game will be televised live at 7 p.m. throughout Michigan on Fox Sports Detroit. Filppula and Peoria Rivermen forward T.J. Hensick were chosen to replace Hamilton Bulldogs forwards David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty, who will both miss the event while on recall to the Montreal Canadiens. Filppula will serve as the Griffins’ lone all-star representative in place of injured rookie defenseman Brendan Smith. The older brother of former Griffin, current Detroit Red Wing and 2006 AHL All-Star Classic participant Valtteri Filppula, Ilari currently leads Grand Rapids with 33 points, 15 goals, six power play goals and 15 power play points through 43 games. The 29-year-old also ranks second on the club with 18 assists during his first season in North America. A native of Vantaa, Finland, Filppula led TPS Turku to the Finnish Elite League championship last season, earning the Jari Kurri Trophy as playoff MVP. He signed a one-year contract with the Red Wings last summer.
Amadio Signs Extension: The Griffins on Friday signed defenseman Greg Amadio to a two-year contract extension, securing the services of the two-time Calder Cup champion through the 2012-13 season. The 29-year-old alternate captain signed a one-year deal with Grand Rapids last summer, returning to the team with which he gained his first significant AHL experience. In 46 games this season, he has recorded six points – including his first two goals as a Griffin – along with a team-high 158 penalty minutes. Amadio won the Calder Cup each of the last two seasons as a member of the Hershey Bears, cementing a reputation as a tough, reliable defenseman. He led the Bears in penalty minutes each season, logging AHL career highs with 171 PIM and 10 points (2-8—10) in 2009-10. After making his AHL debut in one game with Manitoba in 2004-05, Amadio spent the next season and a half with the Griffins, totaling 236 PIM and five assists in 99 contests. He appeared in an AHL career-high 64 games with Grand Rapids in 2005-06, helping the Griffins capture the league’s regular season championship.
Bodies Wanted: The Griffins have been without the services of numerous regulars of late. Here is a rundown:
• Jan Mursak (12 games) and Cory Emmerton (one) remain in Detroit, where they’ve been joined by goaltender Joey MacDonald. MacDonald, who had missed four straight games while in Motown before playing for the Griffins over the weekend, is now expected to stay with the Red Wings until March while Chris Osgood recovers from injury;
• One-time Red Wings Tomas Tatar (five) and Jordan Pearce (two) have returned to the Griffins;
• Brian Lashoff (10), Brandon Straub (nine), Thomas McCollum (two), Brendan Smith (two) and Jamie Tardif (two) have all been on the injured list;
• Defenseman Doug Janik returned to the lineup on Friday after missing 11 games due to injury.
Milestones: Jamie Tardif passed Matt Ellis and moved into fifth place on the Griffins’ all-time games played list by appearing in his 283rd contest on Jan. 18. Next in his sights will be fourth-place Darryl Bootland (293). In addition, Tardif’s goal last Tuesday was his 65th as a Griffin, which tied Jiri Hudler for sixth all time…Curt Fraser has logged 206 games as the Griffins’ head coach, putting him two behind all-time leader Danton Cole (208 games coached from 2002-05)…Derek Meech is two games shy of 400 as a pro.
Wed., Jan. 26 at Rochester Americans (18-23-3-2) – Blue Cross Arena – 7:05 p.m.
TV: TWC 26/98 (Rochester) at 7 p.m. Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 6:45 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 26-18-1-1-1 Overall, 12-11-0-1-0 Road. Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Road. Second of six meetings overall, second of three in Rochester. NHL Affiliation: Florida Panthers. Head Coach: Chuck Weber (1st season). Notes: Grand Rapids center Jamie Johnson led the Amerks in scoring last season with 71 points (27-44—71) in 80 games…Former Griffins defenseman Clay Wilson ranks third on Rochester in scoring with 28 points (8-20—28)…The Americans stand seventh (last) in the North Division, four points behind Grand Rapids…Rochester is just 6-14-1-2 on home ice…Mike Kostka is tied for fifth among AHL defensemen with 29 points (7-22—29)…The Griffins lead the league with 11 shorthanded goals, while Rochester’s 11 SHG allowed tie for most in the AHL.
Fri., Jan. 28 vs. Rockford IceHogs (19-18-1-4) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 6:45 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 5-10-2-2 Overall, 3-5-0-1 Home. Season Series: 0-2-0-1 Overall, 0-0-0-1 Home. Fourth of six meetings overall, second of three in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks. Head Coach: Bill Peters (3rd season). Notes: After going 4-2-1-1 versus Rockford during its first two AHL campaigns (2007-09), the Griffins are 1-8-1-1 against the IceHogs since the start of last season, including a 0-4-0-1 mark at Van Andel Arena...IceHogs defenseman Wade Brookbank (1-0—1, 44 PIM in 26 games) played for the Griffins during the 2001-02 season…Rockford stands eighth (last) in the West Division…Brian Connelly’s 25 points (4-21—25) rank 15th among AHL defensemen.
Sat., Jan. 29 at Peoria Rivermen (27-15-2-1) – Carver Arena – 8:35 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 8:15 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 14-20-1-2 Overall, 8-9-0-1 Road. Season Series: 0-5-0-0 Overall, 0-2-0-0 Road. Sixth of eight meetings overall, third of four in Peoria. NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues. Head Coach: Jared Bednar (1st season). Notes: The Rivermen sit atop the West Division, one point ahead of a four-team logjam for second place…Rookie All-Star goalie Jake Allen continues to rank among the AHL’s best with a 2.08 GAA (5th), a 0.935 save percentage (3rd) and five shutouts (T1st)…Nathan Oystrick’s 10 goals tie for the lead among AHL blueliners…Dating to last season, the Griffins have lost nine straight meetings with the Rivermen in regulation and are winless in their last 10 clashes overall (0-9-0-1).