This Week’s Games
GRIFFINS vs. Rockford IceHogs // Wed., Jan. 15 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
GRIFFINS vs. Rockford IceHogs // Fri., Jan. 17 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. both nights
Season Series: 1-0-0-1 Home, 2-2-0-1 Overall. Sixth and seventh of 10 meetings overall, third and fourth of five at Van Andel Arena
All-Time Series: 30-11-3-3 Home, 45-34-7-9 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks
Noteworthy: Grand Rapids has points in 10 of the last 11 meetings at Van Andel Arena (7-1-2-1).
GRIFFINS vs. Belleville Senators // Sat., Jan. 18 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m.
Season Series: First of two meetings overall, first and last at Van Andel Arena
All-Time Series: 1-0-0-1 Home, 2-1-0-1 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Ottawa Senators
Noteworthy: The Griffins spent three seasons (1999-2002) as Ottawa’s affiliate, including their last two as members of the International Hockey League (1999-2001) and their first in the American Hockey League (2001-02).
Last Week’s Results
Wed., Jan. 8 // GRIFFINS 3 at Milwaukee Admirals 2 // 15-19-2-2 (34 pts., T7th Central Division)
Fri., Jan. 10 // Manitoba Moose 0 at GRIFFINS 1 // 16-19-2-2 (36 pts., T5th Central)
Sat., Jan. 11 // Manitoba Moose 2 at GRIFFINS 6 // 17-19-2-2 (38 pts., T4th Central)
Status Update: The Grand Rapids Griffins have won three straight for the second time this season (Oct. 23-26) and will continue their season-high eight-game homestand this week. Grand Rapids started last week last in the Central Division, but three victories helped the Griffins climb into a tie for fourth place.
Last Week’s Notes:
Wednesday at Milwaukee – The Griffins finished their four-game road trip with a 2-2 record...Grand Rapids collected its second straight 3-2 win at Milwaukee (Dec. 28)...Dominic Turgeon netted the game-winner at 15:34 of the second period with his second career shorthanded goal...Turgeon’s marker was the first SHG by Grand Rapids since April 6, 2019 at San Jose...Turner Elson assisted on Turgeon’s GWG and added a goal of his own...Joe Hicketts notched his second goal of the season...Calvin Pickard collected his 11th win after turning aside 29 shots. Recap | Highlights
Friday vs. Manitoba – Calvin Pickard stopped 23 shots for his second shutout of the season and 14th career in the AHL…Grand Rapids blanked Manitoba for the first time since Feb. 17, 2018 in Winnipeg (5-0 W)...The Griffins claimed a 1-0 victory for the first time since Feb. 15, 2018, which also came against the Moose...Michael Rasmussen made his return to the lineup after missing the last 23 games due to injury...Chris Terry’s goal at 13:37 of the first period ended Grand Rapids’ goal drought at Van Andel Arena at 174:13…Grand Rapids halted a six-game losing streak on home ice...Joe Veleno and Moritz Seider played their first AHL games since Dec. 17 after representing Canada and Germany, respectively, at the World Junior Championship. Recap | Highlights
Saturday vs. Manitoba – Logan Stanley’s goal at 19:49 of the first period ended Calvin Pickard’s home shutout streak at 107:42...Pickard stopped 52 straight shots during that span...Five goals in the second period were the most in a single period since scoring six in the third of an 8-4 win at Cleveland on Nov. 4, 2018...Five goals were the most in a home period since netting five in the third of a 5-3 victory vs. Cleveland on Nov. 25, 2016...Dominic Turgeon started the period’s goal cascade with his eighth of the year 46 seconds in...Dennis Cholowski scored his first AHL goal in his 40th game at 2:36 of the second period…In his second game back after missing the previous 23 due to injury, Michael Rasmussen posted his third goal of the season at 12:30 of the second and added his fourth at 6:21 of the third...Moritz Seider (2) and Chris Terry (15) added power play goals at 15:34 and 18:31, respectively, in the middle frame…The Griffins tied a season high with three power play goals. Recap | Highlights
Follow the Leaders:
Staycation: The Griffins are 2-0 to start their eight-game homestand that lasts through Jan. 25. It is the team’s lengthiest since an eight-game stretch from Oct. 14-Nov. 4, 2006 (4-3-0-1 record). In fact, the only longer homestand Grand Rapids has enjoyed is nine games from Oct. 26-Nov. 18, 2004 (4-4-1-0 record). Chris Terry (8-10—18) and Matt Puempel (6-9—15) lead the team in scoring at Van Andel Arena this season. Calvin Pickard has turned aside 85 of 88 shots (0.966) in his last three home appearances. Since the 2016-17 season, Grand Rapids is 15-6-0-1 (0.705) in West Michigan in January.
Pickard Named Player of the Week: The AHL announced yesterday that Griffins goaltender Calvin Pickard has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending January 12, 2020. Pickard turned aside 82 of the 86 shots he faced in his three victories last week. Pickard is the first Griffins player to garner Player of the Week accolades since netminder Jared Coreau on Feb. 18, 2018.
Back Up, Terr: 2020 AHL All-Star Classic selection Chris Terry is on a four-game point streak (2-5—7) and has nine points (2-7—9) in his last six outings. He ties for fourth in the AHL in points (39) while pacing the Griffins in goals (15), assists (24), multi-point games (13) and power play goals (9). In his 11th-year pro, Terry guided the Griffins with 61 points last season and the most recent player to lead GR in scoring in back-to-back seasons was Andy Miele in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
0 to 100: Chris Terry became the 43rd player in franchise history to score 100 points in a Griffins uniform (44-56—100) following his three-point effort last Saturday. He ties Slava Butsayev as the seventh-fastest player to reach the century mark.
Red Wings Report: There have been 12 players who have played for both Detroit and Grand Rapids this season – Madison Bowey, Dennis Cholowski, Jonathan Ericsson, Jimmy Howard (conditioning), Joe Hicketts, Taro Hirose, Brian Lashoff, Dylan McIlrath, Calvin Pickard, Givani Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov and Filip Zadina. Lashoff, Pickard, Smith and Zadina remain on recall.
Rotating Roster: Kevin Poulin made his Griffins debut on Jan. 4 and became the fifth goaltender to log minutes for Grand Rapids this season, the team’s most since five suited up during the 2014-15 campaign (Pat Nagle, Jonas Gustavsson, Petr Mrazek, Jared Coreau, Tom McCollum). Including those five goalies, the Griffins have used 38 players already just past the halfway mark this season. Here is how the current usage stacks up to the final player counts in recent seasons: 2018-19 – 41 players, 2017-18 – 32, 2016-17 – 39, 2015-16 – 37 and 2014-15 – 39. Since the AHL’s season began on Oct. 4, the Red Wings have recalled or assigned a player from or to Grand Rapids a total of 63 times.
Ford, Terry Heading to All-Star Classic: The AHL announced on Jan. 3 that Chris Terry has been selected to the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic. Terry joins Matthew Ford on the all-star team, after the Griffins’ captain was named as one of the two playing captains on Dec. 18. Terry, in his 11th season as a pro and second in Grand Rapids, has earned his fourth straight AHL All-Star bid and fifth overall (2012). He becomes the sixth Griffin ever to be named an all-star in back-to-back years (Matt Lorito 2017-18, Xavier Ouellet 2015-16, Gustav Nyquist 2012-13, Niklas Kronwall 2004-05, Michel Picard 1997-98 in the IHL) and only the third Grand Rapids forward to earn consecutive AHL selections, joining Lorito and Nyquist. A SoCal native, Ford is in his third season as the Griffins’ captain, fourth in Grand Rapids and 12th in the AHL. He becomes the fourth Griffin to be chosen as a playing captain for an AHL All-Star Classic, joining Jeff Hoggan (2016, West), Kip Miller (2007, PlanetUSA) and Travis Richards (2004, PlanetUSA).
Knuble Named Honorary Coach: USA Hockey announced last Tuesday that Mike Knuble will serve as one of two honorary head coaches for the 2020 BioSteel All-American Game on Jan. 20 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. Scott Gomez is the other coach. Knuble, a Kentwood, Mich., native is in his seventh season as an assistant coach for the Griffins and represented Team USA at the 2006 Winter Olympics as well as the 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2005 IIHF World Championships.
Lights Out: Since the third period on Nov. 27 at Chicago, Grand Rapids has fended off 62 of its last 68 penalties (91.2%). The Griffins have vaulted from 30th in the AHL in penalty killing on Nov. 28 to their current position of 15th.
Page Turner: Turner Elson is on a four-game point streak (1-4—5) and his six points (2-4—6) in 2020 are second on the team to Chris Terry’s nine (2-7—9).
Time to Tango: Eric Tangradi shows eight points (6-2—8) in his first eight Griffins games of the season, finding the scoresheet in seven of those contests. His current four-game goal streak is a team high this season. In his 11th year pro, Tangradi is making his return to the Griffins after signing a one-year contract with the club 90 minutes prior to the opening faceoff against Rockford on Dec. 6. A 2017 Calder Cup champion with Grand Rapids, Tangradi ranks among the team’s all-time leaders with 172 points (9th), 82 goals (5th), 24 PPG (T6th), 14 GWG (4th), three OT goals (T3rd) and nine unassisted goals (3rd) in 208 games since 2015-16. Tangradi posted nine points (5-4—9) in 22 games for Astana Barys of the KHL this season and spent the 2018-19 campaign in the New Jersey organization.
Milestones Within Reach:
Joe Hicketts – needs three points to reach 100 as a pro
Eric Tangradi – needs two points to reach 350 in the AHL
Tyler Spezia – needs three games to reach 100 as a pro
Matthew Ford – needs two games to reach 700 in the AHL
Matt Puempel – needs five points to reach 250 in the AHL
Griffins in General: Grand Rapids is in the franchise’s 24th overall season of play, 19th as a member of the American Hockey League and 18th as the primary affiliate of the 11-time Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings…Grand Rapids is 982-675-27-60-114 (0.583) in the regular season since 1996-97 to go along with 17 playoff appearances, seven division titles and two Calder Cups (2017, 2013)…The Griffins have earned 40 or more wins and accumulated 90 or more points in six of the last seven seasons…Grand Rapids has qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in a franchise-record seven consecutive seasons and advanced to at least the second round on five occasions…The Griffins’ 8-5 season-opening win at Chicago on Oct. 5 marked the club’s 750th win in the AHL…Grand Rapids’ 322 regular season wins since the 2012-13 campaign tie Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for second, behind only Toronto’s 338 while the Griffins’ 699 points in that span tie Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for third, trailing Providence (707) and Toronto (732)…Since the affiliation began in 2002-03, 92 Griffins have gone on to play for the Red Wings.
Rockford Notes: Current record 18-17-1-1, 38 points, T4th Central Division…In the last meeting on Dec. 6, Eric Tangradi signed a one-year contract with the Griffins 90 minutes prior to the opening faceoff and then scored the team’s only goal in their shootout loss…Grand Rapids is winless in the last three matchups (0-2-0-1)…Chris Terry (1-3—4 in 5 GP) is the series’ leading scorer…As a member of the Griffins, Matt Puempel has 18 points (8-10—18) in 20 GP against the IceHogs…Grand Rapids’ has killed off 13 consecutive penalties against the IceHogs and gone 19-for-20 on the PK this season (95.0%)…Rockford’s lone PPG came during a 5-on-3 on Nov. 15…Since the 2016-17 season, the home team in the series has posted a 24-8-2-1 record (0.729)…Grand Rapids has points in 10 of the last 11 meetings at Van Andel Arena (7-1-2-1)…In the last 10 overall against Rockford, the Griffins are 3-4-2-1…Head coach Ben Simon served as an assistant in Rockford for two seasons (2011-13)…Rockford head coach Derek King played in Grand Rapids from 1999-01 and 2002-04 and is the franchise’s all-time leading playoff scorer (16-25—41) and ranks fifth in regular season points (73-130—203).
Belleville Notes: Current record 23-13-2-1, 47 points, 1st North Division…Grand Rapids will make the return trip to Belleville on March 20…In the inaugural matchups between the teams last season, Grand Rapids finished 2-1-0-1, including 1-0-0-1 at Van Andel Arena…Matt Puempel (2-2—4) and Matt Ford (1-3—4) led the Griffins in scoring in the series…The Griffins are 143-93-1-11-18 (0.594) all time against current North Division members, with 98 of those games coming against Cleveland (53-30-0-5-10), 72 against Rochester (41-24-1-3-3) and 68 against Toronto (32-31-0-3-2)…Eric Tangradi played three seasons (2006-09) for Belleville in the OHL and totaled 168 points (67-101—168) in 176 games.
Stepbrothers: Belleville is in its third season as the primary affiliate to the Ottawa Senators. The Griffins spent three seasons (1999-2002) as Ottawa’s affiliate, including their last two as members of the International Hockey League (1999-2001) and their first in the American Hockey League (2001-02). From 1999-2002, the Griffins won three straight division titles while compiling a 146-71-11-4-12 regular season record (0.653) to go along with an 18-14 playoff mark (0.563). The Senators showed similar success during the affiliation, advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs all three seasons and showing a 128-76-29-13 regular season record (0.606). Of the Griffins’ 182 alumni to play in the NHL, 38 came from 1999-02.
|Season||GR Reg. Season Record||GR Playoff Result||OTT Reg. Season record||OTT Playoff Result||Players Skating for Both GR & OTT|
|1999-00||51-22-0-0-9||L, Turner Cup Finals (2-4)||41-28-11-2, 95 pts., 2nd Northeast||L, conference QF (2-4)||11|
|2000-01||53-22-0-4-3, 113 pts., 1st East||L, conference finals (2-4)||48-21-9-4, 109 pts., 1st Northeast||L, conference QF (0-4)||10|
|2001-02||42-27-11-0-0, 95 pts., 1st West||L, conference QF (2-3)||39-27-9-7, 94 pts., 3rd Northeast||L, conference SF (3-4)||10|
Win Some, Lose Some: Compare the statistics between the Griffins’ 17 wins and 23 (including OT and SO) losses:
Back-to-Back: This weekend will mark the 14th of 25 times total this season the Griffins will play on consecutive nights.
|W||L (incl. OT, SO)||GF||GA||PP%||PK%||SF||SA|
Photo by Sam Iannamico/Griffins