Calder Cup Champions - 2013 & 2017
AHL Affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings
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Old Milwaukee

Nov 28, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

This Week’s Games

GRIFFINS vs. Chicago Wolves // Wed., Nov. 29 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:45 p.m.

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Home. Second of eight meetings overall, second of four at Van Andel Arena

All-Time Series: 97-84-2-8-4 Overall, 47-38-2-6-3 Home

NHL Affiliation: None

Noteworthy: Grand Rapids is now 6-3-1-1 (.636) against the Wolves since the beginning of the 2022-23 season, which is a welcomed sight after Chicago went 32-10-2-0 (.750) against the Griffins from 2017-22.

GRIFFINS vs. Milwaukee Admirals // Fri., Dec. 1 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
GRIFFINS at Milwaukee Admirals // Sat., Dec. 2 // 7 p.m. EST // Panther Arena

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, 96.1 The Game at 6:45 EST on Saturday

Watch: AHLTV on Friday and Saturday

Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Road. Second and third of eight meetings overall, first of four at Van Andel Arena, second of four at Panther Arena

All-Time Series: 110-80-7-8-8 Overall, 58-38-2-3-3 Home, 52-42-5-5-5 Road

NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators

Noteworthy: The Admirals lead the entire AHL with seven former first-round draft picks on their roster. Yaroslav Askarov (11th overall in 2020 by NSH) is the highest drafted player on the roster followed by Denis Gurianov (12th in 2015 by DAL), Joakim Kemell (17th in 2022 by NSH), Fedor Svechkov (19th in 2021 by NSH), Mark Jankowski (21st in 2012 by CGY), Zach L’Heureux (27th in 2021 by NSH), and Reid Schaefer (32nd in 2022 by EDM).

Home Sweet Home: The Griffins will conclude their four-game homestand this week against the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals. Grand Rapids split the home weekend series against the Manitoba Moose last Friday and Sunday but still has wins in two of its last three home contests. The Griffins are 4-3-1-0 (.563) with a plus-one scoring margin inside Van Andel Arena compared to 1-5-0-1 (.214) with a minus-12 margin in foreign territory.

It’s Taco Time: Taro Hirose is currently on a season-high four-game assist streak (2-5—7) from Nov. 17-26, which is also tied with Austin Czarnik for the longest point run of the 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 Sunday, Hirose tied Francis Pare (2008-13) for third on the Griffins’ all-time assists list with 135 and is 47 points from tying Travis Richards (2001-06) for second. The Calgary, Alberta, native also ranks eighth on the team’s all-time points list with 181 and is five points from tying Mitch Callahan (2011-17) for seventh place.

Return of the Czar: Veteran and alternate captain Austin Czarnik was reassigned to the Griffins by Detroit on Nov. 19. Last weekend’s games were the first for Czarnik in a Griffins uniform since opening weekend from Oct. 13-14. The Washington Township, Michigan, native continued his stellar start to the AHL season with recording points in both games against Manitoba and improving to five points (3-2—5) in four outings. Czarnik is currently riding a four-game point streak from Oct. 13-Nov. 26, which is tied with Taro Hirose for the longest on the team. In games that Czarnik has competed in, the Griffins are 3-1-0-0 (.750) compared to a 2-7-1-1 (.273) ledger without him.

How Swede It Is: Swedish prospects Jonatan Berggren and Simon Edvinsson have started to find a rhythm on the offensive side of the ice, as both are on a three-game point streak. After being held without a goal in his first six AHL contests, right wing Berggren has scored four goals in his last five appearances, including goals in three straight games from Nov. 18-26, which set a team-high goal streak. Berggren, who hails from Enkoping, Sweden, has 82 points (29-53—82) in 88 career AHL games. Defenseman Edvinsson has five assists in his last three games and six helpers in his last five outings. Edvinsson recorded two assists in consecutive games from Nov. 18-24. 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. Berggren was recalled by Detroit on Tuesday.

Fire at Will: For the first time this season, the Griffins have outshot their opponent in three consecutive games from Nov. 18-26. In fact, Grand Rapids has held a shot advantage in four of the last five contests after allowing an average of 39.8 shots in the first four games of the campaign. The Griffins have held their opponents to 29 or fewer shots in nine of the 15 outings this season but that has not directly turned into results for the team. When they have allowed 29 or fewer shots, the Griffins are 2-5-1-1 (.333) but are 2-1-0-0 when allowing 40 or more shots and 1-2-0-0 when allowing 30-39 shots.

AHL Leaderboard Tracker
Simon Edvinsson
—Three goals are tied for ninth among defensemen, two power-play goals are tied for first among defensemen
Wyatt Newpower
—31 penalty minutes rank sixth among defensemen

Last Sunday, Tim Gettinger appeared in his 250th AHL game and Taro Hirose registered his 150th pro assist and 200th pro point. On Friday, Taro Hirose tied Kip Miller (133) for fourth on the Griffins’ all-time assists list and Joel L’Esperance competed in his 300th pro game, scoring two goals in the process.
Zach Aston-Reese—Three points from 50 in the AHL
Austin Czarnik—Two goals from 100 in the AHL
Taro Hirose—One assist from claiming sole possession of third place on the Griffins’ all-time assist list, five points from tying Mitch Callahan for seventh on the team’s all-time point list
Michael Hutchinson—Two wins from 200 as a pro
Marco Kasper—One game from 150 as a pro
Jared McIsaac
—One point from 50 as a pro and as a Griffin, two games from 150 as a Griffin, one game from 150 as a pro

Photo by Mark Newman/Griffins