This Week’s Games
GRIFFINS vs. San Antonio Rampage // Wed., Nov. 20 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m.
Season Series: First of eight meetings overall, first of four at Van Andel Arena
All-Time Series: 26-12-1-3-1 Home, 50-28-1-5-2 Overall
NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues
Noteworthy: Grand Rapids has won 14 of the last 16 matchups and outscored the Rampage 62-31.
GRIFFINS vs. Milwaukee Admirals // Fri., Nov. 22 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
GRIFFINS at Milwaukee Admirals // Sat., Nov. 23 // 7 p.m. EST // UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. on Friday and approximately 7:05 p.m. (joined in progress) on Saturday
Season Series: 1-1-0-0 Home, 0-0-0-0 Road, 1-1-0-0 Overall. Third and fourth of 10 meetings overall, third of five at Van Andel Arena, first of five at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
All-Time Series: 54-31-2-2-3 Home, 45-34-5-5-5 Road, 99-65-7-7-8 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators
Noteworthy: During Milwaukee’s current seven-game winning streak, the Admirals are outscoring opponents 33-17.
Last Week’s Results
Tue., Nov. 12 | GRIFFINS 4 at Cleveland Monsters 2 | 7-6-1-1 (16 pts., T3rd Central Division)
Fri., Nov. 15 | Rockford IceHogs 2 at GRIFFINS 5 | 8-6-1-1 (18 pts., 3rd Central)
Sat., Nov. 16 | GRIFFINS 2 at Rockford IceHogs 5 | 8-7-1-1 (18 pts., T3rd Central)
Status Update: The Grand Rapids Griffins won two of three games last week and tie for third in the Central Division standings with an 8-7-1-1 record (18 points). Grand Rapids hosts the San Antonio Rampage for the first time this season on Wednesday before squaring off against the first-place Milwaukee Admirals in a weekend home-and-home set.
Last Week’s Notes:
Tuesday at Cleveland – Rookie Joe Veleno scored his first game-winning goal with 42 seconds remaining in regulation after Cleveland tied the game 20 seconds prior...Matt Puempel tacked on an empty-net goal to extend his point streak to a career-high 10 games...Calvin Pickard stopped a season-high 40 shots...The Griffins have points in each of their last eight visits to Cleveland (5-0-1-2)…Grand Rapids has points in 12 of the last 15 meetings overall (9-3-1-2)...Filip Zadina pushed his goal streak to three games and recorded his first multi-point game of the season...With a goal and an assist, Turner Elson netted his second multi-point game of the year. Recap | Highlights
Friday vs. Rockford – Grand Rapids improved to 2-0 in the season series...Defenseman Alec McCrea tallied an assist while making his AHL debut...Rookie Chase Pearson recorded his first career two-goal game...Filip Zadina notched his second consecutive multi-point outing and has points in four straight...Chris Terry posted a goal and an assist for his team-leading eighth multi-point game of the year...Matt Puempel pushed his career-high point streak to 11 games...Calvin Pickard won his third straight start behind 25 saves...The Griffins finished 1-for-3 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill. Recap | Highlights
Saturday at Rockford – Evgeny Svechnikov recorded his first multi-goal game since Dec. 31, 2017 vs. Milwaukee…Rookie Joe Veleno posted two assists for his first multi-point outing…The Griffins fired 44 shots, their most since tallying 48 last March 15 vs. Rockford…Matt Puempel had his career-high 11-game point streak come to a close. Recap | Highlights
Follow the Leaders:
Red Wings Report: Defensemen Dylan McIlrath and Jonathan Ericsson and forward Givani Smith are on recall with the Red Wings. Since being summoned on Nov. 5, McIlrath is averaging 14:54 of ice time and has tallied six PIM in six games. Ericsson was recalled last Wednesday and has played in two games, averaging 18:20 of ice time. Smith has appeared in five games during his NHL debut and shows five PIM while averaging 8:58 of ice time. In total, there have been five players who have played for both clubs this season – Ericsson, Joe Hicketts, McIlrath, Smith and Evgeny Svechnikov.
Knowing Our Own Power: The Griffins place fourth in the AHL in power play efficiency at 26.0% (19-for-73) and have scored in six of the last eight games. Grand Rapids has netted two or more PPGs in a single game five times already this season, compared to eight in all of 2018-19. Chris Terry (6-6—12), Matt Puempel (3-6—9) and Filip Zadina (4-2—6) lead the way in power play points. The PP accounts for 32.2% of Grand Rapids’ goals.
Puemped Up: Matt Puempel, in his seventh year as a pro, had his career-high 11-game point streak (8-8—16) snapped in last Saturday’s loss at Rockford. His previous record was nine games, which was set Jan. 12-Feb. 4, 2018, during his first season as a Griffin. The 16th instance in team history of a double-digit point streak, his 11-game run tied for the sixth-longest in Griffins history and was the longest since Evgeny Svechnikov’s 12-game stretch from Jan. 20-Feb. 17, 2017. The 11-game streak ties Chicago’s Lucas Elvenes for the longest in the league this season. In his third season as a Griffin, Puempel is the team’s active leader in goals with 55 and he is fifth in the AHL in scoring with 19 points (9-10—19).
Longest Point Streaks in Griffins History:
Jan. 6-Feb. 18, 2006
Dec. 7, 2000-Jan. 13, 2001
Oct. 8-Nov. 15, 2005
Jan. 20-Feb. 17, 2017
Nov. 23, 2003-Jan. 17, 2004
Oct. 23-Nov. 15, 2019
March 25-Nov. 3, 2006
Jan. 30-Feb. 21, 1999
Back Up, Terr: Chris Terry leads the AHL in points (24) while pacing the Griffins in assists (15) and multi-point games (8) and tying for the team lead in goals (9). He has found the scoresheet in 10 of the last 12 games, accumulating 18 points (7-11—18) in that stretch. In his 11th-year pro, Terry led 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.
Z-Score: Nineteen-year-old Filip Zadina is on a four-game point streak (3-3—6) – including consecutive multi-point outings – to match his season high from Oct. 25-Nov. 2. He shows points in eight of his last 10 contests and places third on the club in scoring (6-5—11).
Blueline Scoring: Joe Hicketts, who was recalled by Detroit last Thursday and then assigned on Sunday, remains the team’s top point-producing defenseman with nine points (0-9—9). Moritz Seider, who is tied for being the second-youngest player in the AHL this season, ties for fifth among AHL rookie defensemen in scoring (0-8—8).
Pick-ing His Shots: Calvin Pickard is on a season-high three game winning streak, boasting a 1.67 GAA and a 0.946 save percentage in that span. The eight-year pro needs one more victory to reach 100 in the AHL.
That’s Cray Cray: Rookie defenseman Alec McCrea made his AHL debut in last Friday’s home win against Rockford and picked up his first point on an assist.
November to Remember: Despite a 3-5 record so far this month, November has historically been a fruitful one for Grand Rapids as the Griffins have posted a 0.500 record or better in the month 17 times in franchise history. Since the 2012-13 season, Grand Rapids has tallied a combined 54-22-1-5 (0.695) record in the 11th month of the year.
Close Enough: The Griffins have been involved in only two one-goal games so far this season, the fewest in the league. None of the one-goal affairs ended in regulation either, as Grand Rapids lost 4-3 in a shootout at Texas on Oct. 18 and fell 4-3 in overtime vs. Iowa on Oct. 30. In comparison, last year’s team had already played five one-goal games at this point in the season.
First Things First: Grand Rapids’ roster currently features five recent Detroit first-round draft picks (Moritz Seider 2019, Filip Zadina 2018, Joe Veleno 2018, Michael Rasmussen 2017, Evgeny Svechnikov 2015). Five of the Red Wings’ last six first rounders are on the west side of the state, with the exception being Dennis Cholowski (2016), who made Detroit’s roster following training camp. From 2002-15, the Griffins had only seven Detroit first rounders total suit up for them: Jakub Kindl (2005-11; 14-15), Niklas Kronwall (2003-06), Dylan Larkin (2015 playoffs only), Anthony Mantha (2014-15), Tom McCollum (2009-15), Riley Sheahan (2011-14) and Brendan Smith (2010-13). The Griffins’ opening night lineup had five Detroit first rounders in it, far surpassing the previous record of two. The Griffins had never seen more than three Red Wings first rounders suit up for the club at any point in the same season until this year. Adding in Matt Puempel (24th overall by Ottawa in 2011), Grand Rapids’ roster boasts six former first-round draft selections.
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 973-663-27-59-113 (0.585) 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’ 313 regular season wins since the 2012-13 campaign are third behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 314 and Toronto’s 327 while the Griffins’ 679 points in that span tie Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for third, trailing Providence (680) and Toronto (710)…Since the affiliation began in 2002-03, 90 Griffins have gone on to play for the Red Wings.
Milestones Within Reach:
Calvin Pickard – needs one win to reach 100 in the AHL
Brian Lashoff – needs one game to reach 600 as a pro
Matthew Ford – needs one goal to reach 200 in the AHL
Matt Puempel – needs two games to reach 400 as a pro
Milwaukee Notes: Current record 11-3-1-2, 25 points, 1st Central Division…During Milwaukee’s current seven-game winning streak, the Admirals are outscoring opponents 33-17…Milwaukee has lost twice in its last 11 games and one of those was to the Griffins on Oct. 23…Michael Rasmussen has a series-high three points (0-3—3) in two games and Chris Terry has a series-high two goals…In the last meeting on Oct. 23 at Van Andel Arena, Calvin Pickard recorded his 13th AHL shutout behind 26 saves…The Griffins’ last three shutouts have all come against the Admirals (March 9 and Jan. 19, 2019)…In his career, Pickard is 9-4-2 with a 2.29 GAA and a 0.920 save mark in 16 appearances against Milwaukee…Pickard’s older brother, Chet, appeared in 43 games with Milwaukee from 2009-11 and registered 15 wins to go along with a 2.86 GAA, a 0.893 save percentage and one shutout…As an Admiral, goaltender Troy Grosenick, a Wisconsin native, is 5-3-1 with a 1.79 GAA and a 0.948 save percentage in nine games against the Griffins…The Griffins and Admirals began their rivalry in 1996-97 in the International Hockey League and Milwaukee is Grand Rapids’ most frequent opponent as the two will meet for the 187th and 188th times in the regular season this weekend…Grand Rapids’ 99 regular season wins against Milwaukee are its most against any opponent…Head coach Ben Simonskated in 18 games with the Admirals during the 2003-04 campaign and finished with four points (1-3—4)...Since 2013-14, the Griffins are 40-19-2-1 against the Admirals, including 21-9-1-1 at home and 19-10-1-0 away.
San Antonio Notes: Current record 6-5-3-2, 17 points, T5th Central Division…San Antonio is winless in its last five overall (0-3-1-1)…Grand Rapids finished 6-2-0-0 against San Antonio in the 2018-19 season series…Filip Zadina (3-4—7 in 8 GP), Turner Elson (1-4—5 in 8 GP) and Chris Terry (1-4—5 in 8 GP) paced the Griffins in last season’s series…Since being swept in all four meetings during the 2015-16 campaign, Grand Rapids has won 14 of the last 16 matchups and outscored the Rampage 62-31…The Griffins have claimed the last four meetings with a +8 goal differential (13-5)…Grand Rapids has won eight in a row against San Antonio at Van Andel Arena, aided by a 38-16 scoring margin…Calvin Pickard appeared in 21 games with the Rampage during the 2015-16 season and posted a 9-8-4 record to go along with a 2.75 GAA, 0.917 save percentage and one shutout…Elson spent the 2016-17 with San Antonio and scored three points (1-2—3) while being limited by injury to 13 games…Rampage forward Zach Nastasiuk was a second-round draft selection, 48th overall, by Detroit in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and skated in 65 games with the Griffins from 2013-18, tallying 14 points (4-10—14) and four PIM.
Win Some, Lose Some: Compare the statistics between the Griffins’ eight wins and nine (including OT and SO) losses:
Back-to-Back: This weekend will mark the seventh 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 at top by Sam Iannamico/Griffins