Search Grand Rapids Griffins



03/06/2006 5:06 PM - Rare Friday-Saturday Off Precedes Five Games in Seven Nights

This Week’s Games
Wed., March 8 - Peoria Rivermen at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM/B2 Networks

Sun., March 12 - GRIFFINS at Chicago Wolves - 4 p.m. - Comcast Local/WOOD

Last Week’s Results
Wed., March 1 - Cleveland Barons 1 at GRIFFINS 5 - 42-15-1-4, 89 pts. (1st, North Division)

Fri., March 3 - GRIFFINS 2 at Chicago Wolves 5 - 42-16-1-4, 89 pts. (1st)

Sun., March 5 - Rochester Americans 1 at GRIFFINS 6 - 43-16-1-4, 91 pts. (1st)

On the Verge: The Griffins, who continue to possess the most wins (43) and points (91) in the AHL, enter the week with an 11-point lead over both Manitoba and Syracuse in the North Division race. With Grand Rapids already having ensured a higher finish than both Cleveland and Hamilton, the Griffins’ magic number for securing a playoff spot outright now stands at six points over Rochester. They could clinch as early as this Friday, March 10.

A Couple Days Off: Following this Wednesday’s home contest against Peoria, a scheduling rarity will give the Griffins both Friday and Saturday off, providing them well-needed rest before plunging into a five-games-in-seven-nights set that begins Sunday in Chicago. Discounting three holiday instances (in which the Griffins were off consecutively for either Christmas Eve/Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve/New Year’sDay), this weekend will mark just the second time in the team’s history and the first time in three years that it is idle on both a Friday and Saturday. The prior occurrence – March 21-22, 2003 – came after the Griffins had played six games in the preceding nine days, including five road contests in a seven-day span.

Nobody Does it Better: Donald MacLean broke Michel Picard’s nine-year-old franchise record by scoring his AHL-high 47th goal of the season on Sunday against Rochester, adding to the team marks he has already set this season for power play goals (18) and longest point streak (19 games). The unprecedented success of MacLean, whose current five-game goal-scoring binge is one shy of the Griffins standard, can be seen in the following numbers:

0 – Griffins players who have led the league in goals (Binghamton’s Denis Hamel currently stands second with 38);
0.59 – MacLean’s goals-per-game average for his Griffins career (previous franchise record = 0.45, Mark Mowers);
0.76 – MacLean’s goals-per-game average this season (franchise record = 0.56, Michel Picard in 1996-97);
5 – Years since an AHL player scored 50 goals, MacLean’s next target (Brad Smyth, 2000-01 Hartford);
25 – Games, out of the last 26, in which MacLean has recorded a point (27-14—41);
32 – Games, out of the last 34, in which he has recorded a point (35-18—53);
45 – Times in the previous 69 AHL seasons that a player reached 50 goals;
46 – Goals scored by MacLean in his last 53 outings (0.87 per game);
52 – Grand Rapids pro hockey record for goals scored in a single season (George Parker, 1950-51 IHL Rockets);
58 – MacLean’s current goal-scoring pace, a total that would rank sixth in AHL history;
70 – Points by MacLean this season, tied for fifth in the AHL and already ninth on the Griffins’ single-season chart.

Hundred for Hudler?: Only 94 players in AHL history have eclipsed the 100-point plateau, but Jiri Hudler is attempting to join that exclusive club. Hudler’s 81 points – currently third in the league and just four off the leader, Houston’s Kirby Law – put him on track for 101, which would tie the franchise mark set by Michel Picard in 1996-97. Just the seventh player in franchise history and the first in three years to reach the 80-point milestone, Hudler could join Derek King (83 points in 2000-01) as the only Griffins to win a scoring title. His two goals on Sunday versus Rochester give him 32 for the season and 61 for his Grand Rapids career, tying him with Slava Butsayev for third on the team’s all-time list.

Kopecky Gets the Call: Tomas Kopecky made his NHL debut with Detroit last Tuesday in the Red Wings’ 5-1 loss at San Jose, logging 9:41 in ice time and finishing plus-1. He became the 79th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL.

Spread the Wealth: The Griffins already have the most 40-point scorers (10) and 20-assist men (12) of any team in franchise history, obliterating the previous highs of six (2000-01 and 1999-00) and eight (four times), respectively. Their five players with at least 50 points tie the record set in 2000-01.

Who’s Hot?: Tomas Kopecky has points in four of his last six games (3-3—6)…Kent McDonell, whose four-game point streak (2-3—5) ended Sunday, has points in five of the last seven outings (2-5—7)…Valtteri Filppula has assists in four of his last six appearances (0-5—5)…Bryan Helmer, owner of a five-game assist streak (0-5—5), has points in 12 of 16 games (1-14—15) and 18 of 23 games (2-22—24)…Jiri Hudler has points in eight of 11 games (7-9—16)…Darryl Bootland has goals in four of the last six games (4-2—6), giving him a career-high 19 on the season…Jimmy Howard has led the team to points in 14 of his last 15 decisions (12-1-1-1).

League Leaders: Jiri Hudler: 32 goals (6th), 49 assists (3rd), 81 points (3rd) and six game-winning goals (T4th); Donald MacLean: 47 goals (1st), 70 points (T5th), 18 power play goals (T2nd) and seven game-winning goals (T2nd); Eric Manlow: 41 assists (T10th) and 57 points (T18th); Valtteri Filppula: 38 assists (T17th) and a plus-15 rating (T16th); Tomas Kopecky: Plus-16 rating (T12th); Kent McDonell: 14 power play goals (T7th) and five game-winning goals (T8th); Matt Ellis: Plus-14 rating (T19th) and two shorthanded goals (T14th); Bryan Helmer: Plus-21 rating (T3rd) and 44 points (7th among defensemen); Darryl Bootland: 282 penalty minutes (2nd); Nate DiCasmirro: Plus-21 rating (T3rd); Clay Wilson: two shorthanded goals (T14th); Joey MacDonald: 16 wins (T13th) and two shutouts (T11th); Jimmy Howard: 16 wins (T13th) and a 2.84 GAA (T18th).

This Week in Griffins History: March 6: Two goals by Michel Picard propel Grand Rapids to a 2-1 win at San Antonio. With the victory, the Griffins become the first team to secure a spot in the 2004 Calder Cup playoffs and clinch a postseason berth on their earliest date ever (2004). March 7: Griffins make their first-ever visit to Minnesota for the rematch of the Jan. 22 game in Houston that was postponed. The Aeros take a 3-1 win at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (2005). March 8: Michel Picard's goal 1:07 into overtime gives Grand Rapids a 4-3 triumph at San Antonio (2003). March 9: Thanks to losses by Rochester and Cincinnati, the idle Griffins claim the 2002-03 John Chick Trophy as champions of the Central Division. The title marks their second straight as AHL members and fourth consecutive overall, dating back to the 1999-00 IHL campaign (2003). March 10: A 4-3 shootout win at Michigan gives Guy Charron his 71st win as the Griffins’ head coach, setting a franchise record (2000). March 11: Griffins receive center Jeff Panzer on loan from the Syracuse Crunch in exchange for left wing Nathan Robinson. Later that night, Joey MacDonald sets a Griffins mark by playing in his 16th straight game in goal during a 3-2 overtime win against Manitoba (2005). March 12: Matt Ellis becomes the first player in Griffins history to score two shorthanded goals in a home game, leading Grand Rapids to a 4-1 triumph over Hamilton. Niklas Kronwall registers two helpers to break Travis Richards’ franchise record for assists by a defenseman in one season (2005).

Scouting Report

Wed., March 8 vs. Peoria Rivermen (34-22-1-4) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.

Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video ($6 – B2 Networks) and audio (free) available through Season Series: 2-1-0-0 Overall, 1-0-0-0 Home. Fourth and final meeting overall, second of two in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues. Head Coach: Steve Pleau (1st season). Rollin’ on the River: Following an embarrassing 7-4 loss at Peoria in their first-ever meeting, the Griffins have rebounded with a pair of 4-2 wins against the Rivermen…Eight of the Rivermen’s 11 goals against the Griffins this season have been scored on the power play (8-for-19, 42.1%), while only three of Grand Rapids’ 12 goals have come during an advantage (3-for-28, 10.7%)…Ryan Oulahen has scored three of his six goals versus Peoria.

Sun., March 12 at Chicago Wolves (25-26-3-6) – Allstate Arena – 4 p.m.
TV: Comcast Local (ch. 23) at 4 p.m. Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 3:40 p.m. Web Cast: Audio (free) available through Season Series: 1-1-1-0 Overall, 0-1-0-0 Road. Fourth and final meeting overall, second of two in Rosemont. All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 37-24-2-2-2 Overall, 19-14-0-1-0 Road. NHL Affiliation: Atlanta Thrashers. Head Coach: John Anderson (9th season). Hungry Like the Wolf: Eight third-period power plays helped the Wolves stave off Grand Rapids for a 5-2 win at Allstate Arena on Friday night…Chicago is the lone team on the Griffins’ schedule that they’ve yet to defeat in regulation…Former Griffin Kip Miller (2000-02;04-05), tied for fifth on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 136 points (50-86—136), ranks second on the Wolves with 42 points (11-31—42)…Chicago sits in sixth place in the West Division, four points out of a playoff spot, putting its streak of 11 straight playoff appearances in jeopardy.

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004