Calder Cup Champions - 2013 & 2017
AHL Affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings
Hero Image

Busy Bodies

Dec 05, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

This Week’s Games

GRIFFINS at Toronto Marlies // Tue., Dec. 5 // 7 p.m. // Coca-Cola Coliseum
GRIFFINS at Toronto Marlies // Sun., Dec. 10 // 4 p.m. // Coca-Cola Coliseum

Listen: 96.1 The Game at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday and at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 0-2-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Road. Third and fourth of four meetings overall, first and second of two at the Coca-Cola Coliseum

All-Time Series: 35-36-5-2 Overall, 15-19-2-1 Road

NHL Affiliation: Toronto Maple Leafs

Noteworthy: Toronto is just one of four active AHL teams (Bakersfield, Hartford & Ontario) that the Griffins have an all-time losing record against. Grand Rapids began the season with a 35-34-5-2 mark against the Marlies but dropped the first two games of the season series.

GRIFFINS at Belleville Senators // Fri., Dec. 8 // 7 p.m. // CAA Arena
GRIFFINS at Belleville Senators // Sat., Dec. 9 // 7 p.m. // CAA Arena

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday

Watch: AHLTV on Friday and Saturday

Season Series: First and second of four meetings overall, first and second of two at CAA Arena

All-Time Series: 2-1-0-2 Overall, 1-1-0-0 Road

NHL Affiliation: Ottawa Senators

Noteworthy: The Griffins and the Senators will meet for the first time since Jan. 18, 2020, a 4-3 Belleville victory at Van Andel Arena. Grand Rapids will make its first trip to CAA Arena since Oct. 27, 2018 when it defeated the Senators, 3-1.

Long Detour: The Griffins concluded their four-game homestand on Friday with a 3-1-0-0 record. Now, Grand Rapids will continue a five-game road trip that began on Saturday in Milwaukee. Grand Rapids will also play eight of its next 10 games on the road. The Griffins have not fared well in foreign territory this season, as they are 1-6-0-1 with a minus-14 scoring margin (31-17) compared to a 6-3-1-0 mark at Van Andel Arena and a plus-eight margin (33-25). The Griffins will also embark on their first three-in-three of the season, competing from Friday through Sunday against the North Division.

It’s Taco Time: Taro Hirose is currently on a season-high six-game point streak (3-6—9) from Nov. 17-Dec. 1, which is the longest run of the campaign by a Griffin this campaign. Hirose, who has competed for the Griffins for the past five seasons, has also continued to climb the Griffins’ all-time leaderboard for assists and points. On Friday, Hirose claimed sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time assists list with 136 and is 46 helpers from tying Travis Richards (2001-06) for second. The Calgary, Alberta, native also ranks eighth on the team’s all-time points list with 183 and is three points from tying Mitch Callahan (2011-17) for seventh place.

One-Two Punch: On Wednesday, goaltender Michael Hutchinson registered his first shutout of the season, making 32 saves in a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Wolves. This was Hutchinson’s first shutout since May 17, 2021, a 39-save performance for the Toronto Marlies in a 2-0 win at Laval, and his 16th overall shutout in the AHL. The following game, Sebastian Cossa made 35 saves on 36 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals. Both Cossa (2.89 GAA, .908 SV%) and Hutchinson (2.98 GAA, .901 SV%) boast a goals against average below 3.00 and a save percentage in the .900s. Among rookie netminders, Cossa ranks seventh in both GAA and save percentage. Combined, Hutchinson (10 GP) and Cossa (8 GP) show a 2.94 GAA and a .905 save percentage.

Return of the Czar: Veteran and alternate captain Austin Czarnik was reassigned to the Griffins by Detroit on Nov. 19. On Nov. 24, Czarnik competed in a Griffins uniform for the first time since opening weekend from Oct. 13-14. The Washington Township, Michigan, native continued his stellar start to the AHL season, improving to six points (3-3—6) in six outings. Czarnik enjoyed a five-game point streak from Oct. 13-Nov. 29. In games that Czarnik has competed in, the Griffins are 5-1-0-0 (.833) compared to a 2-8-1-1 (.208) ledger without him.

Johnny Bravo: Last week, Swedish prospect Jonatan Berggren competed in four games in four days in four different cities between the Red Wings and Griffins (New York, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Milwaukee). In those four games, Berggren registered three assists, two penalty minutes and a plus-one rating. The Enkoping, Sweden, product is currently enjoying a five-game point streak in the AHL (3-4—7) from Nov. 18-Dec. 2, which included a team-high three-game goal run from Nov. 18-26. The 23-year-old is tied for second on the roster with 13 points (4-9—13) in as many outings and has a combined 84 points (29-55—84) in 90 career AHL appearances from 2021-24.

Simon Says: Defenseman Simon Edvinsson exploded for his first two-goal game in North America on Dec. 1 against the Milwaukee Admirals. In fact, Saturday's two-goal output was his third two-point contest in his last five appearances, recording two assists in consecutive games from Nov. 18-24. The 6-foot-6 defensive prospect is currently riding a five-game point streak (2-6—8) and is tied for second on the team with 13 points (5-8—13) in 17 games. Edvinsson is tied for second in the AHL among defensemen with five goals and his 13 points are tied for 13th among blueliners. The Onsala, Sweden, native, who was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, saw action in nine NHL games with the Red Wings last season and scored two goals.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Simon Edvinsson
—Five goals are tied for second among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for first among defensemen
Carter Mazur
—24 penalty minutes rank seventh among rookies
Wyatt Newpower
—33 penalty minutes rank 11th among defensemen

Last Friday, Taro Hirose claimed sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time assists list with 136, while Jared McIsaac bagged his 50th pro point with a goal during his 150th game as a Griffin. On Nov. 29, Marco Kasper and Jared McIsaac skated in their 150th pro game.
Zach Aston-Reese—One point from 50 in the AHL
Austin Czarnik—Two goals from 100 in the AHL
Taro Hirose—Three points from tying Mitch Callahan for seventh on the team’s all-time point list
Michael Hutchinson—One win from 200 as a pro
Wyatt Newpower—Two games from 150 as a pro

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins