03/07/2011 10:54 AM
This Week’s Games
Last Week’s Results
Home Cooking: The Griffins’ six-game home point streak (5-0-0-1) marks a season high, and their four-game winning streak at Van Andel Arena is their longest since they began the 2009-10 season with eight straight victories.
Dwindling Opportunities: Grand Rapids will play just six of its final 17 games against North Division opponents, putting greater importance on its remaining games against third-place Toronto (March 23), fourth-place Lake Erie (March 18), fifth-place Abbotsford (April 1, 2 and 8) and seventh-place Rochester (March 19). The Griffins’ 11 other games are against West Division foes with a combined 0.580 winning percentage.
Trivia Buffs, Take Note: When the Griffins make their first trip to the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City this Friday, it will mark the 50th arena, 42nd city and 20th state in which they’ve played since their 1996 inception (including Grand Rapids and Van Andel Arena).
It’s Been Such a Long Time: The Griffins have won five of their last six and are riding their first three-game winning streak since Dec. 5-11, 2009 – a span of 118 games…Grand Rapids’ record ties a season high at four games over 0.500, most recently achieved on Nov. 14 (8-4-0-3).
Reebok/AHL Player of the Week Nominee: The Griffins today nominated right wing Francis Pare for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied three goals and one assist in two games. He recorded his first career hat trick in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Rochester, giving him 18 goals for the season (T3rd on the Griffins) and 58 for his Grand Rapids career, moving him past Travis Richards (56) into 11th on the franchise’s all-time list. Pare now stands just three goals behind No. 10 Slava Butsayev (61).
Everyone Contributes: Thirteen Griffins registered points in Friday’s 5-4 win over Rochester, including 11 forwards – all except Adam Keefe…Nine players earned at least one point in both games against the Amerks.
Close Quarters: The North Division is by far the AHL’s most competitive from top to bottom, with only 10 points separating seventh-place Rochester (64) from first-place Hamilton and Manitoba (74). All other divisions have a large double-digit gap between the first and last place teams (41 – East; 34 – Atlantic; 23 – West).
Jordan Rules: In his 17 decisions since Jan. 16, rookie goalie Jordan Pearce is 10-3-0-4 with a 2.58 GAA and a 0.917 save percentage. His season-long numbers of 2.77 and 0.911 are nearly identical to those posted by current Red Wing Jimmy Howard during his second pro season with Grand Rapids in 2006-07 (2.70, 0.911).
Finntastic: Ilari Filppula owns an eight-game point streak (1-11—12), matching Jan Mursak (Oct. 16-Nov. 6) for the team’s longest this season. If he can extend the streak with a point on Tuesday in Peoria, it would mark just the 18th point streak of nine or more games in Griffins history and become the team’s longest since Darren Haydar notched points in 10 straight games from Feb. 20-March 13, 2009. On Friday, Filppula’s six-game assist streak was snapped one game shy of the Griffins’ single-season record and two games shy of the overall franchise mark, both of which were set by his younger brother, Valtteri (March 26-Oct. 13, 2006). Ilari also has points in 11 of the last 13 contests (3-13—16), a run that has placed him 13th in AHL scoring with 52 points (19-33—52) on the season.
Roster Report: The Griffins are missing three regulars from their lineup. Left wing Jordan Owens is out indefinitely after suffering a broken right arm during Friday’s contest against Rochester, while Sergei Kolosov has missed the last 13 games due to a knee injury. Meanwhile, goaltender Joey MacDonald has missed the last 17 games while subbing for the injured Chris Osgood in Detroit. MacDonald is now 3-4-1 with a team-best 2.48 GAA and 0.912 save percentage in 10 appearances for the Red Wings.
Who’s Hot?: Brendan Smith has points in consecutive games (1-2—3) and in four of the last six contests (2-3—5)…Cory Emmerton owns a four-game assist streak (0-4—4) and has points in six of seven games (1-7—8)…Following his hat trick on Saturday, Francis Pare has points in four of the last five games (5-2—7)…Jamie Johnson has three assists in the last two games…Jan Mursak has assists in consecutive games…Chris Minard has goals in three straight games (3-0—3) and six of the last seven contests (6-1—7), as well as points in seven of eight games (6-2—8)…Joakim Andersson owns his second three-game point streak (0-4—4) of the season and has assists in four of the last five games (0-5—5)…Jamie Tardif owns a three-game point streak (1-4—5) and has points in six of the last seven games (4-6—10)…Tomas Tatar has a three-game point streak (2-2—4) and points in eight of the last nine outings (6-5—11).
Milestones: Jamie Tardif netted his team-leading 23rd goal of the season on Friday, giving him sole possession of third place on the franchise’s all-time goals list with 74, one more than Derek King and one behind Kip Miller. In addition, his 299 games as a Griffin put him just three behind third-place Ryan Oulahen (302)…Derek Meech has played in 288 games as a Griffin and stands sixth place on the team’s all-time list. He is now chasing fifth-place Darryl Bootland (293)…Cory Emmerton logged his 200th game as a Griffin on Friday…Adam Keefe skated in his 200th AHL contest on Friday as well…Jamie Johnson tallied his 300th and 301st pro assists with a two-point outing on Friday…Chris Minard currently stands as 99 AHL assists…Greg Amadio surpassed 1,000 penalty minutes for his AHL career (1,006) on Friday.
Tue., March 8 at Peoria Rivermen (35-23-2-4) – Carver Arena – 8:05 p.m.
Fri., March 11 at Oklahoma City Barons (33-22-2-5) – Cox Convention Center – 7:05 p.m.
Sun., March 13 at San Antonio Rampage (35-24-3-0) – AT&T Center – 5:30 p.m.
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