12/07/2009 10:36 AM
This Week’s Games
Wed., Dec. 9 - San Antonio Rampage at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Fri., Dec. 11 - Lake Erie Monsters at GRIFFINS - 6:30 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Dec. 12 - Milwaukee Admirals at GRIFFINS - 8 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sun., Dec. 13 - GRIFFINS at Toronto Marlies - 5 p.m. - ESPN 96.1 FM / AHLLive.com / Rogers TV (Toronto)
Last Week’s Results
Tue., Dec. 1 - GRIFFINS 2 at Lake Erie Monsters 6 - 13-8-0-0, 26 pts. (5th, North Division)
Fri., Dec. 4 - Rockford IceHogs 2 at GRIFFINS 1 - 13-9-0-0, 26 pts. (5th)
Sat., Dec. 5 - Peoria Rivermen 1 at GRIFFINS 4 - 14-9-0-0, 28 pts. (5th)
Griffins Get Busy: The Griffins tie for the AHL low with just 23 games played thus far, putting them in fifth place in the North Division (28 points) despite a 0.609 winning percentage that ranks third in the division, fourth in the Western Conference and sixth in the AHL. By contrast, division rival Manitoba has already played a league-high 31 games and sits in second place (34 points) despite a 0.548 percentage that ranks 13th on the circuit. The Griffins will start to make up that games-played disparity this week, when three home games in four nights (Wed., Fri. and Sat.) begin a four-in-five stretch and an eight-in-12 run prior to the Christmas break.
Fan Fun: The Griffins will conclude their five-game homestand with three games and a slew of promotions this week. Wed. vs. San Antonio: For Winning Wednesday, all fans in attendance for the Griffins’ 2-1 shootout win over Lake Erie on Nov. 11 can redeem their ticket stubs for a free ticket to this game. In addition, if the Griffins win, each fan will receive a free ticket to the game versus San Antonio on Jan. 6. As part of Library Night, fans who present their public library card can purchase a lower bowl ticket for just $10 (limit four tickets per card per person). Fri. vs. Lake Erie – Special 6:30 p.m. Faceoff: Fans can see two games for the price of one, as Grand Valley State University will take on Ferris State University following the Griffins game, at approximately 9:30 p.m. Promotions include Dollar Beers and Dollar Dogs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (while supplies last), College Night presented by McFadden’s, the D-ZONE presented by WGRD 97.9 FM, and a special Facebook ticket offer. Sat. vs. Milwaukee – Special 8 p.m. Faceoff: Presented by Plato’s Closet, Alex Meraz, a.k.a. werewolf Paul from the blockbuster movie The Twilight Saga: New Moon, will sign autographs for fans from 7-8 p.m. Go to griffinshockey.com/twilight for ticket specials and the chance to win a private meet and greet with Alex. Go to either griffinshockey.com/bluecrew or facebook.com/grgriffins for ticket deals, and bring your skates and take to the ice for the post-game open skate.
Please Touch That Dial: The Griffins game this Sunday in Toronto is the second of eight regular season contests that will be broadcast on ESPN 96.1 FM, the new all-sports sister station to the Griffins’ flagship, Newsradio WOOD 1300. Other dates include Dec. 27, Jan. 17, Feb. 21, and March 14 and 21.
Kindl Returns: Last Thursday, defenseman Jakub Kindl made his NHL debut during Detroit’s 4-1 loss to Edmonton, becoming the 107th Griffins alumnus to skate in the NHL. He returned to the Griffins today after going scoreless in two games with the parent club, showing one shot and a minus-2 rating while averaging 12:59 in ice time.
Batten Down the Hatches: In five combined games against San Antonio and Lake Erie this season, the Griffins have surrendered a total of 27 goals, or an average of 5.4 per contest. By contrast, Grand Rapids has allowed just 38 goals in its other 18 games, for a 2.11 average. The Griffins will host the Rampage on Wednesday and the Monsters on Friday.
Out of Balance: Grand Rapids has played only nine of its 23 games within the North Division, compared to 14 games against West Division foes. Its 6-3-0-0 record (0.667) against its North Division rivals is second only to Rochester’s 9-2-1-0 mark (0.792).
AHL Player of the Week Nominee: Right wing Jan Mursak earned the Griffins’ nomination for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award today, after registering two goals and a plus-one rating in three games last week. He scored a power play goal on Tuesday at Lake Erie, then earned Second Star honors for his unassisted tally in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Peoria. Although his career-high four-game point streak (1-4—5) was snapped on Friday, Mursak has registered points in six of the last eight games (3-4—7), and he ranks among the Griffins’ leaders with seven goals (T2nd) and a plus-seven rating (T4th).
Who Else Is Hot?: Logan Pyett has assists in consecutive games and will take aim at the first three-game point streak of his career on Wednesday…Patrick Rissmiller (5-8—13) has gone scoreless in consecutive games only once since joining Grand Rapids on Oct. 23…Jamie Tardif owns a three-game point streak (1-2—3)…Tomas Tatar has points in seven of the last 10 games (5-6—11).
Save the Best for Last: The Griffins have been a dynamic third-period team this season, outscoring their opposition by a 25-17 margin, posting a perfect 8-0 mark when leading after 40 minutes, and rallying for three victories (T2nd-most in AHL) when trailing after two periods.
We Go to Extremes: The Griffins rank among the AHL’s best in goals scored per game (fifth at 3.22) and power play (third at 22.2%), but they troll the depths in penalty killing (26th at 79.0%).
Milestones: Andy Delmore’s on Saturday marked the 400th point of his pro career…Jeremy Williams needs one more goal for 100 in the AHL, one more assist for 100 as a pro, three more assists for 100 in the AHL, and four more points for 200 in the AHL…Patrick Rissmiller is one point and four assists away from 300 and 200 as a pro, respectively…Kris Newbury is two games shy of 400 as a pro.
Wed., Dec. 9 vs. San Antonio Rampage (9-11-2-1) – 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: 28-12-1-1-0 Overall, 14-5-1-0-0 Home. Season Series: 0-2-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home. Third of six meetings overall, first of three in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Phoenix Coyotes. Head Coach: Ray Edwards (1st season). Notes: Since scoring seven goals in consecutive wins against the Griffins (Oct. 17-18) to improve to 6-1-1-0, San Antonio has gone 3-10-1-1 in its last 15 games but is 3-2 since Ray Edwards was promoted to replace former Griffins bench boss Greg Ireland on Nov. 23…The Rampage have lost their last six visits (2005-09) to Van Andel Arena, with their last win in Michigan coming in 6-2 fashion on April 16, 2005.
Fri., Dec. 11 vs. Lake Erie Monsters (8-15-0-2) – Van Andel Arena – 6:30 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:05 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 12-6-1-2 Overall, 7-3-0-0 Home. Season Series: 2-1-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Home. Fourth of eight meetings overall, second of four in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Colorado Avalanche. Head Coach: David Quinn (1st season). Notes: The Monsters’ 6-2 win over the Griffins in Cleveland last Tuesday stands as their only victory in their last eight outings (1-6-0-1) and just the second in their last 14 games (2-10-0-2)…Lake Erie ranks 27th in the AHL in goals scored (2.28 per game) and 26th in goals allowed (3.24)…Darren Haydar, the Griffins’ leading scorer last season, currently paces the Monsters with 18 points (7-11—18).
Sat., Dec. 12 vs. Milwaukee Admirals (11-8-1-4) – Van Andel Arena – 8 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 7:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 48-35-7-5-4 Overall, 29-15-2-1-1 Home. Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall/Home. Second of six meetings overall, second 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 7-13-4-1 against their long-time rival since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, but they claimed this season’s first clash (3-2 OTW on Nov. 13)…Milwaukee is an AHL-worst 0-4 in shootouts this season…Grand Rapids’ John Vigilante tallied 23 goals and 73 points over two seasons (2006-08) with Milwaukee.
Sun., Dec. 13 at Toronto Marlies (11-9-2-2) – Ricoh Coliseum – 5 p.m.
TV: Rogers TV (Toronto) at 5 p.m. Radio: ESPN 96.1 FM at 4:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 17-15-1-0 Overall, 7-10-0-0 Road. Season Series: 2-1-0-0 Overall, 1-1-0-0 Road. Fourth of six meetings overall, third and final in Toronto. NHL Affiliation: Toronto Maple Leafs. Head Coach: Dallas Eakins (1st season). Notes: Marlies assistant coach Derek King played four seasons in Grand Rapids (1999-00; 2002-04 as a player/assistant coach), where he ranks as one of the greatest players in franchise history with 264 games played (7th), 73 goals (3rd), 130 assists (4th), 203 points (4th), a plus-71 rating (2nd), 25 power play goals (T3rd) and 657 shots (4th)…Jiri Tlusty, who had racked up 16 points (5-11—16) in 10 games against the Griffins since the start of the 2008-09 season, was traded by the parent Maple Leafs to Carolina last Thursday.