Griffins Have Points in Five of Last Seven Games
This Week’s Games
Wed., Dec. 5 - Lake Erie Monsters at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2 Networks
Fri., Dec. 7 - Syracuse Crunch at GRIFFINS - 6:30 p.m. - WOOD/B2
Sat., Dec. 8 - Syracuse Crunch at GRIFFINS - 8 p.m. - WOOD/B2
Last Week’s Results
Wed., Nov. 28 - GRIFFINS 6 at Toronto Marlies 1 - 7-11-0-2, 16 pts. (5th, North Division)
Fri., Nov. 30 - GRIFFINS 1 at San Antonio Rampage 4 - 7-12-0-2, 16 pts. (5th)
Sat., Dec. 1 - GRIFFINS 3 at Houston Aeros 4 OT - 7-12-1-2, 17 pts. (T4th)
Sun., Dec. 2 - GRIFFINS 1 at Milwaukee Admirals 0 - 8-12-1-2, 19 pts. (T4th)
Home for the Holidays: After completing a five-game road trip by earning five of a possible eight points (2-1-1-0) in a span of just five days, the Griffins will return to Van Andel Arena this week to begin a season-high six-game home stand. In all, the Griffins will play 10 home games during December, matching February 1999 – when they went 7-2-1 in friendly confines – as the busiest home month in franchise history.
For the Fun of It: The Griffins will host a number of exciting promotions at Van Andel Arena in the next two weeks: Dec. 5 – Winning Wednesday – If the Griffins defeat Lake Erie, every fan in attendance will receive a free ticket to the Dec. 12 game against Hamilton. Dec. 7 – Calvin vs. Hope Hockey – A special 6:30 p.m. Griffins start against Syracuse will be followed by a college hockey showdown between rivals Calvin and Hope. Dec. 8 – High School Musical Night – Stars Lucas Grabeel (Ryan) and Chris Warren Jr. (Zeke) from the movie sensation will meet fans and sign autographs before the game and appear on ice during the first intermission. Dec. 15 – Nashville North – Hit country duo Bomshel will meet fans and sign autographs prior to the game and perform during the first intermission.
Check Local Listings: The Griffins’ three home games this week will feature three different start times. Following a traditional 7 p.m. puck drop on Wednesday versus Lake Erie, Friday’s game against Syracuse will begin at 6:30 p.m., as it will be immediately followed by the college game between Calvin and Hope. Saturday’s rematch with the Crunch will start at 8 p.m. due to Grand Valley State University’s commencement ceremony at the arena earlier in the day.
Positive Trends: The Griffins’ impressive 6-1 win at division-leading Toronto on Wednesday marked their largest margin of victory this season…Since earning only one point in a nine-game stretch (0-8-0-1) from Oct. 28 to Nov. 21, the Griffins have captured points in five of their last seven games (3-2-1-1) to climb into a tie for fourth place in the North Division standings.
No Soup for You: Jimmy Howard’s 22-save blanking of Milwaukee in Sunday’s 1-0 win marked his first shutout of the season and the ninth of his Griffins career, tying him with Mike Fountain for third place on the team’s all-time list. He now trails only Joey MacDonald (16) and Marc Lamothe (10). For the week, Howard went 2-1 with a 1.67 goals against average and a 0.933 save percentage (70-75).
Ironman: Mark Hartigan, who leads the Griffins and is tied for seventh in the AHL with 11 goals, played five games in five days last week, squeezing Thursday’s callup to the Detroit Red Wings among the Griffins’ four-games-in-five-days set. He became the 87th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL, logging 3:53 of ice time in the Red Wings’ 4-2 win over Tampa Bay.
It’s About Time: Prior to their 1-0 win at Milwaukee on Sunday, the Griffins hadn’t beaten the Admirals in regulation in 13 consecutive meetings, dating to a 5-3 win at the Bradley Center on March 14, 2006. Grand Rapids lost the final regular season meeting in 2005-06, was swept in the 2006 Western Conference Finals, and went 2-3-3-0 last season, with both wins coming in shootouts.
McGrath Nets AHL Nomination: The Griffins on Monday nominated center Evan McGrath for the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied four points (2-2—4) in four games. He notched an unassisted goal and an assist in Wednesday’s 6-1 win at Toronto, forced overtime with his power play goal on Saturday at Houston, then assisted on the game’s lone goal Sunday in Milwaukee.
Hot Hands: Jonathan Ericsson has points in three of his last five games (2-2—4)…Mike Walsh recorded the first goal of his 11-game AHL career on Friday in San Antonio…Carl Corazzini (7-11—18) remains the only Griffin who has not experienced a scoring drought of more than two games…Mark Cullen has points in five of his last seven games (1-7—8)…Jamie Tardif has scored three goals in the last four games and has a pair of two-point efforts in his last six contests.
Attendance On the Rise: The Griffins’ attendance of 49,512 through nine home games this season (5,501 avg., ninth in AHL) represents a year-to-date increase of 21%, as last season’s team welcomed 40,944 fans through its first nine games at Van Andel Arena.
By the Numbers: The Griffins’ scoring differentials this season are plus-four in the first period (23-19), minus-four in the second period (23-27) and minus-13 in the third period (16-29)…Sunday’s win at Milwaukee marked the first for the Griffins this season in a game in which they did not have a lead heading into the third period. Grand Rapids is now 7-0-0-0 when leading after two periods, 0-8-0-1 when trailing and 1-4-1-1 when tied…Only four of Grand Rapids’ losses this season – and just two of their last 12 – have been by more than two goals…The Griffins have notched a power play tally in six of their last eight games, which included a season-high five consecutive contests (Nov. 21-28) in which they scored during the man-advantage.
Strange But True: Grand Rapids is 3-10-0-1 when outshooting its opponents and 5-2-1-1 when being out-shot…The Griffins are 5-3-1-0 when recording 29 or fewer shots, but they own a 3-9-0-2 record in games with 30 or more attempts…Grand Rapids is two games over 0.500 on the road (7-5-1-1) and six games under the break-even mark at home (1-7-0-1).
Hockeytown Holiday: The Griffins have introduced their new “Hockeytown Holiday Ticket Package,” a perfect present for West Michigan hockey fans made available for the first time through collaboration with the Detroit Red Wings. The Hockeytown Holiday package includes two tickets to either of three Red Wings games at Joe Louis Arena, along with five Griffins lower-bowl flex tickets that can be redeemed for any Grand Rapids home game during the 2007-08 regular season, for only $99 – a savings of $74 off the regular ticket prices. Fans can choose from one of the following Red Wings home games: Jan. 10 vs. Minnesota, Feb. 1 vs. Colorado or March 15 vs. Nashville. To order the Hockeytown Holiday package or get more information, call (800) 2-HOCKEY or visit http://www.griffinshockey.com/holiday.
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. The Valtteri Filppula and Pavel Datsyuk jerseys are currently up for bid online, concluding with silent and live auctions at the Dec. 14 game versus Hamilton. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation. For more information and a complete auction schedule, visit http://griffinshockey.com/fanzone/auctions.
Wed., Dec. 5 vs. Lake Erie Monsters – 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/Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Second of 10 meetings overall, first of five in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Colorado Avalanche. Head Coach: Joe Sacco (1st season). Notes: Matt Hussey, who ranked third on Grand Rapids in scoring last season with 44 points (15-29—44), stands sixth on the Monsters with 10 points (6-4—10) in 21 games…Lake Erie is tied for 24th in the AHL on the power play (13.8%) and 23rd in penalty killing (79.3%)…Monsters GM David Oliver was a member of the Griffins’ 2000-01 squad that captured the IHL’s final regular season championship, totaling 31 points (14-17—31) in 51 games.
Fri., Dec. 7 vs. Syracuse Crunch – Van Andel Arena – 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 8 vs. Syracuse Crunch – Van Andel Arena – 8 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:10 p.m. (Fri.) and 7:40 p.m. (Sat.). Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 11-3-0-0 Overall, 6-1-0-0 Home. Season Series: First and second of four meetings overall, first and second of two in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Columbus Blue Jackets. Head Coach: Ross Yates (2nd season). Notes: The Crunch blue line boasts a pair of former Griffins in Clay Wilson (2005-06) and Dan Smith (2006-07)…Grand Rapids’ Mark Hartigan played parts of four seasons with Syracuse (2003-07), departing as that franchise’s all-time leader in goals (107) and points (212)…The Crunch own the league’s fourth-ranked power play (21.9%)…In terms of AHL scoring, Syracuse players are tied for ninth overall (Joakim Lindstrom, 11-13—24), third among rookies (Derick Brassard, 5-15—20) and sixth among defensemen (Wilson, 5-12—17).