This Week’s Games
Wed., Nov. 11 - Lake Erie Monsters at GRIFFINS - Noon - WTKG 1230 AM / AHLLive.com
Fri., Nov. 13 - Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Nov. 14 - Rochester Americans at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Last Week’s Results
Fri., Nov. 6 - Chicago Wolves 4 at GRIFFINS 5 - 7-4-0-0, 14 pts. (T5th, North Division)
Sun., Nov. 8 - GRIFFINS 8 at Lake Erie Monsters 6 - 8-4-0-0, 16 pts. (5th)
Seventh Heaven: The Griffins’ seven-game winning streak is the second-longest in the AHL this season (Rochester is on a 10-0 skein) and their longest since a franchise-record 11-game run from March 5-31, 2006.
Misleading Standings: Although the Griffins stand fifth in the North Division – two points behind fourth-place Manitoba and three behind third-place Abbotsford – they’ve played seven fewer games than the Moose and four fewer than the Heat. Grand Rapids’ 0.667 winning percentage is the third-highest in the division, fourth-highest in the Western Conference and fifth-highest (tied) in the AHL.
No Place Like Home: With a 6-0 mark at Van Andel Arena, the Griffins are off to their best home start ever and remain the AHL’s only perfect team within friendly confines. Never before had Grand Rapids won more than two straight games on home ice to start the season, and its previous-best record after six home games was 5-1 in 2000-01, the team’s final season in the IHL. Friday’s 5-4 win over Chicago gave the Griffins their first-ever sweep of a six-game homestand, and their current winning streak at Van Andel Arena is their longest since a seven-game tear from Jan. 13-Feb. 24, 2007.
Hooky for Hockey: The Griffins will welcome 5,500 students and teachers from schools across the state for Wednesday’s ninth annual matinee game, presented by Lake Michigan Credit Union. Elementary and middle school students will learn about topics centered on life science, physical science and technology through interactive displays on the concourse beginning at 10 a.m. In addition, high school students will participate in a career forum focusing on the emerging careers of tomorrow, with presentations from West Michigan experts and professionals. Lake Michigan Credit Union Business Development Manager Vickie Smith will also discuss financial responsibility following high school and share information on the Hutt Scholarship. The Griffins are 6-2 all time in their matinee game, including a 1-0 blanking of Houston on Nov. 11, 2008.
Promotional Rundown: Wed. vs. Lake Erie – Highlights include Winning Wednesday, a Veterans Day ticket special ($10 lower bowl/$5 upper bowl with military ID), “Lunch with the Griffins” and Library Day. Fri. vs. Milwaukee – Dollar Beers and Dollar Dogs from 6-8 p.m. (while supplies last), College Night presented by McFadden’s, and the D-ZONE presented by WGRD 97.9 FM. Sat. vs. Rochester – Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Charlie Sanders will meet fans and sign autographs prior to the game, and the first 1,500 kids 12 and younger will receive a Griffins autograph-panel football. Post-game activities include an auction of the Griffins’ football-themed jerseys for charity, an open skate and a Huntington autograph session with Griffins players. For complete information on all Griffins promotions, click here.
AHL Player of the Week Nominee: Center Cory Emmerton earned the Griffins’ nomination for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award on Monday by scoring a pair of goals in each game over the weekend. He scored on his only two shots in Friday’s 5-4 win over Chicago, then tallied another pair and added an assist in Sunday’s 8-6 triumph at Lake Erie. After scoring four even-strength goals on just five shots, Emmerton leads the AHL with a 0.444 shooting percentage, while his plus-nine rating ties for fourth on the circuit. With points in each of his last four appearances (4-3—7), he has rocketed up the Griffins’ leaderboard with four goals (T3rd), eight points (T2nd) and a plus-nine rating (1st).
Who Else is Hot?: Kris Newbury has tied his career high (Nov. 26, 2008-Jan. 2, 2009) with a five-game assist streak, the longest active run in the AHL. He has points in seven of the last nine games (3-7—10)…In just 12 games, Jan Mursak has already doubled the goal output (4 to 2) and achieved more than half the point production (5 to 9) of his 51-game rookie season. He has points in three of the last four games (2-1—3)…Patrick Rissmiller owns a three-game point streak (1-2—3) and has factored on the scoresheet in five of the last six games (2-3—5)…Jeremy Williams has three goals in the last two games and has lit the lamp in five of the last seven contests (6-1—7)…In his last five appearances (3-2—5), John Vigilante has been held without a goal just twice and without a point just once…Evan McGrath has points in six of the last eight games (2-4—6)…Francis Pare has assists in three of the last four games (0-4—4)…Daniel Larsson’s four-game winning streak, during which he’s posted a 2.00 goals against average, a 0.941 save percentage (128-136) and one shutout, is one shy of his personal high set between Dec. 12-30, 2008.
Lemieux Loaned to Las Vegas: The Griffins on Monday loaned forward Francis Lemieux to the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers. Lemieux had appeared in five of Grand Rapids’ 12 games this season, posting one assist, 10 penalty minutes and a minus-two rating.
For the Record: Grand Rapids’ eight-goal outburst on Sunday at Lake Erie tied for the most goals scored in the AHL this season (HER on Oct. 10), and the 14 combined goals were the league’s season high. The Griffins’ eight goals were one shy of the franchise record for a road game (Feb. 16, 2006 in a 9-2 win at CLE), while the combined output also fell one short of the team marks both overall and on the road (most recently Feb. 8, 2009 in a 10-5 loss at TOR). The Griffins on Sunday also tied franchise records for most goals scored in a period with five during the second frame (11 times previous: MR Jan. 31, 2009 vs. RCH 3rd, including four times on the road: MR Jan. 6, 2006 at HOU 3rd), and most goals allowed in a win (April 2, 1999 in a 7-6 shootout win vs. CHI).
Comeback Kids: Each of the Griffins’ last three victories was in come-from-behind fashion, and they’ve trailed in six of their eight wins and 10 of their 12 games overall. Moreover, they’ve fallen behind 2-0 in seven of their last 10 games, including both wins over the weekend and four times during their current seven-game winning streak.
We Could Get Used to This: Sunday’s win at Lake Erie was the only road contest for the Griffins in an 11-game span that began Oct. 23 and will conclude Nov. 20.
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 leads the league in goals scored (3.67 per game) but stands 23rd in goals allowed (3.17 per game). In addition, the Griffins rank third both in overall power play (14-for-61, 23.0%) and home power play (10-for-34, 29.4%) and seventh in home penalty killing (26-for-28, 92.9%), but 27th in overall penalty killing (46-for-60, 76.7%) and 29th in road penalty killing (20-for-32, 62.5%).
I Sense a Theme: The Griffins have been outscored by five goals during the first period (8-13) this season, but they own five-goal advantages during both the second (20-15) and third (15-10) frames.
The Long and Short of It: Grand Rapids and Norfolk are the only AHL clubs that have neither scored nor allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
History Repeating?: After going 1-3-1-0 out of the gate during what had been their worst-ever start in 2002-03, the Griffins immediately ripped off a franchise-record 16-game point streak (11-0-3-2 from Oct. 25 to Nov. 30, 2002) that propelled them to a 48-22-8-2 record, the Central Division title, the Western Conference’s top playoff seed and an eventual Game 7 loss in the Western Conference Finals, their deepest playoff run since joining the AHL in 2001. This season, the Griffins have won seven straight games since starting 1-4.
Milestones: Andy Delmore is three points away from 400 for his pro career…Jeremy Williams, who recorded the 199th, 200th and 201st points of his pro career on Sunday, needs three more goals for 100 in the AHL, seven more assists for 100 in the AHL, and five more assists for 100 as a pro…Doug Janik is two assists away from 100 as a pro…Jamie Tardif tallied his 50th pro goal on Friday.
Wed., Nov. 11 vs. Lake Erie Monsters (6-8-0-0) – Van Andel Arena – Noon
Radio: WTKG 1230 AM at 11:35 a.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 11-5-1-2 Overall, 6-3-0-0 Home. Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Second of eight meetings overall, first of four in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Colorado Avalanche. Head Coach: David Quinn (1st season). Notes: Lake Erie’s Darren Haydar, who registered a team-high 31 goals and 80 points as captain of the Griffins last season, had a goal and an assist – both on the power play – against his former mates on Sunday…The Monsters converted five of six power play chances on Sunday, one goal shy of tying Grand Rapids’ record for most allowed in a game…In one of the strangest stat lines you’ll see, Lake Erie defenseman Brian Fahey had two goals and an assist on Sunday but was minus-five. He was on the ice for 11 of the game’s 14 goals, including four power play goals and one even-strength marker for Lake Erie, and all six of Grand Rapids’ even-strength tallies.
Fri., Nov. 13 vs. Milwaukee Admirals (5-5-0-2) – 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: 47-35-7-5-4 Overall, 28-15-2-1-1 Home. Season Series: First of six meetings overall, first of three in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators. Head Coach: Lane Lambert (3rd season). Notes: The Griffins haven’t won a season series against the Admirals since 2005-06, going 6-13-4-1 against their long-time rival over the last three full seasons…Milwaukee averages the fewest penalty minutes in the league (13.08 per game)…The Admirals’ power play ranks fourth in the AHL (22.9%), one spot behind the Griffins…Grand Rapids’ John Vigilante tallied 23 goals and 73 points over two seasons (2006-08) with Milwaukee, while the Admirals’ Jason Jozsa contributed 13 points (2-11—13) for the Griffins’ blue line from 2007-09.
Sat., Nov. 14 vs. Rochester Americans (11-1-1-0) – 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: 22-15-1-1-1 Overall, 13-5-1-0-1 Home. Season Series: First of six meetings overall, first of three in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Florida Panthers. Head Coach: Benoit Groulx (2nd season). Notes: Rochester’s 23 points are the most in the AHL. Last season, the Americans did not earn their 23rd point until Jan. 2…The Griffins went 5-0-0-1 against the Amerks last season, when Rochester owned the worst record in the Western Conference…Rochester (10 straight wins) and Grand Rapids (seven straight) own the two longest winning streaks in the AHL this season…Rookie netminder Alexander Salak is 8-0 with a 1.72 GAA and a 0.943%...Former Griffin Clay Wilson (2005-06) is tied for ninth among AHL defensemen with nine points (2-7—9)…Former NHLer and Michigan State star Mike York (4-7—11) is tied for second on the Amerks in scoring.