This Week’s Games
Wed., Feb. 16 - Hamilton Bulldogs at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - Buy Tickets / ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Fri., Feb. 18 - Texas Stars at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - Buy Tickets / ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Feb. 19 - GRIFFINS at Toronto Marlies - 3 p.m. - WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sun., Feb. 20 - Peoria Rivermen at GRIFFINS - 4 p.m. - Buy Tickets / ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com
Last Week’s Results
Wed., Feb. 9 - GRIFFINS 7 at Chicago Wolves 5 - 23-23-1-5, 52 pts. (6th, North Division)
Sat., Feb. 12 - GRIFFINS 1 at Lake Erie Monsters 2 SO - 23-23-1-6, 53 pts. (6th)
Sun., Feb. 13 - GRIFFINS 1 at Rochester Americans 3 - 23-24-1-6, 53 pts. (6th)
Where We Stand: With 53 points, Grand Rapids stands sixth in the North Division race but just eight points behind third-place Hamilton and Abbotsford and a guaranteed berth in the Calder Cup playoffs. The Griffins face a busy week with their third 4-in-5 of the season, including home games on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Fun at the Van: Wed. vs. HAM – The Griffins will try to stretch their winning streak in Wednesday home games to five. It’s a Winning Wednesday, so all fans who were in attendance for the Griffins’ 3-2 win over Hamilton on Jan. 5 can redeem their ticket stubs for free tickets to this game. Furthermore, if the Griffins beat the Bulldogs again, each fan in attendance can redeem their ticket stub for a free ticket to the March 16 game against Oklahoma City. Other promotions include Hockey Night, Library Night, Griff’s Reading Goals and the post-game party at Peppino’s downtown. Fri. vs. TEX – Vows at the Van, presented by Siegel Jewelers, will feature Holland residents Todd Bush and Tina Bronkema exchanging wedding vows at center ice during the first intermission. Dollar Beers, Dollar Dogs returns from 6-8 p.m. (while supplies last), while other promotions include College Night and the D-Zone. Sun. vs. PEO – Sunday is Fun Day! Fans can enjoy $1 Cole’s breadsticks and $1 Pepsi products from 3-5 p.m. Kids in attendance will receive a Zamboni Crazy Band, while the first 1,500 fans will receive a Mattias Ritola jersey card presented by One Communications. Fans can take advantage of the Library Night and Fan 4 Pack discounts, and then stick around for the Huntington Bank post-game autograph session and the J & H Family Stores post-game skate.
Fraser Earns 100th Win: The Griffins’ 7-5 win in Chicago last Wednesday marked Curt Fraser’s 100th victory as the team’s head coach. His all-time record as the Griffins’ bench boss currently stands at 100-88-10-16 (0.528). With the victory, he joined Danton Cole (116 victories) and Greg Ireland (109) as the only Grand Rapids coaches to reach the century mark in wins. With 214 games coached, Fraser is already the franchise’s all-time leader in that category.
All Good Things Must End: Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Rochester snapped the Griffins’ season-high six-game point streak on the road (4-0-0-2).
Oddly Consistent: The Griffins’ record (currently 23-24-1-6) has been 0.500 or just one game to either side of breakeven for a remarkable 37 straight games, dating to Nov. 20 when they held an 8-7-0-3 mark. They’ll have to earn at least one point on Wednesday against Hamilton to maintain that run.
Almost Whole: On Wednesday, the Griffins will ice one of their most complete lineups in some time, as only three regulars (injured defensemen Greg Amadio and Sergei Kolosov and recalled goaltender Joey MacDonald) are not expected to dress. Right wing Jan Mursak was reassigned by the Red Wings today after recovering from an injury to his left big toe, while defensemen Derek Meech (one game, personal leave) and Brendan Smith (eight games, separated shoulder) returned to action on Saturday.
Short Story: Logan Pyett’s goal on Sunday in Rochester marked the Griffins’ league-leading 12th shorthanded goal of the campaign. Grand Rapids, which netted only eight shorthanded goals last season, has not totaled more in a campaign since 2006-07 (24).
Fire Away: Jamie Tardif was credited with 13 shots on goal during Sunday’s loss at Rochester. The Amerks took the victory despite being outshot 47-24.
Wild Wolves: During their six-game regular season series, the Griffins and Wolves combined for 58 goals, an average of 9.67 per game. Each team earned three wins, with Chicago outscoring Grand Rapids 30-28.
Come One, Come All: Two of the Griffins’ last five games have had crowds of over 10,000. The Griffins are now averaging 6,623 fans per game, good for fourth out of 30 teams in the AHL.
It’s Been Such a Long Time: Since posting a nine-game winning streak in the early part of last season (Oct. 23-Nov. 13, 2009), the Griffins have won as many as three consecutive games just once, going 3-0 from Dec. 5-11, 2009. They have now gone 109 straight games without a three-game winning streak.
Who’s Hot?: Logan Pyett has points in three straight games (1-2—3), tying his career high (Dec. 4-9, 2009)…Francis Pare’s four points (1-3—4) last Wednesday in Chicago set a personal best…Ilari Filppula has points in three of the last four games (2-2—4) and six of the last 11 contests (5-6—11)…Jamie Tardif has points in five of his last nine outings (5-3—8).
Upcoming Milestones: Jamie Tardif (290 Griffins games) is approaching fourth-place Darryl Bootland (293) on the franchise’s all-time games played list, and his 68 career goals put him two behind fifth-place Matt Ellis (69). Tardif has also played 293 AHL contests…Doug Janik appeared in his 500th AHL contest on Sunday in Rochester...Derek Meech (279 GP) sits one game behind seventh-place Dave Van Drunen (280) on Grand Rapids’ career list…Other Griffins nearing personal benchmarks include Cory Emmerton (192 GR/AHL games played, 194 pro games played, 98 GR/AHL points, 99 pro points), Francis Pare (194 GR/AHL/pro games played), Jamie Johnson (297 pro assists), Chris Minard (97 AHL assists, 199 pro assists) and Jordan Owens (94 AHL points).
Wed., Feb. 16 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (28-19-1-4) – 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: 24-28-1-0-3 Overall, 13-12-1-0-2 Home. Season Series: 2-2-0-0 Overall, 1-1-0-0 Home. Fifth of six meetings overall, third and final in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Montreal Canadiens. Head Coach: Randy Cunneyworth (1st season). Notes: All four games between the Griffins and Bulldogs this season have been decided by one goal in regulation time…Hamilton has lost four straight games and six of its last seven, with its only win in that span coming in 2-1 fashion in Grand Rapids on Feb. 4. Prior to that stretch, the Bulldogs had won six in a row (Jan. 12-26)…Hamilton has fallen from first into a tie for third place in the North Division…Two of the Bulldogs’ top three scorers (No. 1 David Desharnais 10-35—45 and No. 3 Max Pacioretty 17-25—32) remain with the parent Montreal Canadiens… Curtis Sanford stands second in the AHL with a 1.85 GAA, a 0.934 save percentage and five shutouts (tied).
Fri., Feb. 18 vs. Texas Stars (29-18-3-3) – 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: 6-2-0-1 Overall, 3-1-0-1 Home. Season Series: 2-1-0-0 Overall, 1-1-0-0 Home. Fourth of six meetings overall, third and final in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Dallas Stars. Head Coach: Glen Gulutzan (2nd season). Notes: The 2010 Calder Cup runners-up sit fifth in a brutal West Division despite a 0.604 winning percentage, but they would currently qualify for the playoffs as a crossover into the North Division…Rookie Richard Bachman ranks eighth in the AHL with a 2.19 GAA…Former Griffin Aaron Gagnon has 18 points (11-7—18) in 35 games with Texas and two assists in 15 games with parent Dallas…The Stars have the fewest penalty minutes in the AHL (12.11 per game), a good thing since they rank 28th in penalty killing (77.2%)…Texas has outscored its opponents 50-32 in the opening period but has been outgunned 52-38 in the second.
Sat., Feb. 19 at Toronto Marlies (25-22-0-7) – Ricoh Coliseum – 3 p.m.
TV: Rogers TV (Toronto) at 3 p.m. Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 2:45 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 22-17-1-0 Overall, 9-11-0-0 Road. Season Series: 3-1-0-0 Overall, 1-1-0-0 Road. Fifth of six meetings overall, third and final in Toronto. NHL Affiliation: Toronto Maple Leafs. Head Coach: Dallas Eakins (2nd season). Notes: The fifth-place Marlies sit four points out of a playoff spot in the North Division…The Dec. 22 meeting between the Griffins and Marlies marked the first-ever game in organized competition between Grand Rapids defenseman Brian Lashoff and his older brother Matt, a Toronto blueliner…The Marlies are just 10-9-0-2 on home ice and 10-18-0-3 within the North Division…The Marlies rank second in the AHL in penalty killing (86.8%) but 28th on the power play (13.0%).
Sun., Feb. 20 vs. Peoria Rivermen (31-18-2-3) – Van Andel Arena – 4 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 3:45 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 15-20-1-2 Overall, 6-11-1-1 Home. Season Series: 1-5-0-0 Overall, 0-3-0-0 Home. Seventh of eight meetings overall, fourth and final in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues. Head Coach: Jared Bednar (1st season). Notes: The Rivermen are tied with Milwaukee for second place in the West Division, just one point behind Houston…The Griffins’ 3-2 win at Peoria on Jan. 29 broke their nine-game regulation losing streak and 10-game winless streak (0-9-0-1) against the Rivermen…Rookie AHL All-Star Jake Allen continues to rank among the AHL’s best with a 2.17 GAA (6th), a 0.932 save percentage (3rd) and five shutouts (T2nd)…Nathan Oystrick’s 11 goals tie for second among AHL blueliners.