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Darren Haydar
11/24/2008 2:30 PM -

This Week’s Games
Wed., Nov. 26 - Manchester Monarchs at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM /

Fri., Nov. 28 - Chicago Wolves at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM /

Sat., Nov. 29 - Rochester Americans at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM /

Sun., Nov. 30 - GRIFFINS at Chicago Wolves - 4 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHL

Last Week’s Results
Tue., Nov. 18 - GRIFFINS 2 at Milwaukee Admirals 3 - 8-4-2-1, 19 pts. (4th, North Division) 

Fri., Nov. 21 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 at GRIFFINS 2 SO - 8-4-2-2, 20 pts. (4th)

Sat., Nov. 22 - GRIFFINS 3 at Chicago Wolves 6 - 8-5-2-2, 20 pts. (4th)  

Sun., Nov. 23 - GRIFFINS 5 at Iowa Chops 4 OT - 9-5-2-2, 22 pts. (4th) 

A Feast for Hockey Fans: After playing five of their last six games on the road, the Griffins will reacquaint themselves with Van Andel Arena this week by sandwiching three home games around Thanksgiving. Wednesday features their first-ever meeting with the Manchester Monarchs, Friday marks the season’s first visit by the defending Calder Cup champion Chicago Wolves, and Saturday will see the North Division-rival Rochester Americans come to town.

Holiday Cheer: A slew of promotions are on tap for Griffins fans this week: Wed. vs. Manchester – As part of Winning Wednesday, all fans in attendance can redeem their ticket stub for a free ticket to the Dec. 17 game vs. Syracuse if the Griffins defeat the Monarchs. Fri. vs. Chicago – Salute to Heroes Night, presented by the U.S. Army. The Griffins will salute local police officers and fire fighters, and Sgt. Slaughter will meet fans and sign autographs prior to the game from 6-7 p.m. (Fans are encouraged to bring their own item for The Sarge to sign, but color photos will be available for a monetary donation.) It’s another Dollar Beers, Dollar Dogs night, with $1 hot dogs and $1 domestic drafts available from 6-8 p.m. while supplies last, as well as College Night and Library Night. Sat. vs. Rochester – Ninth Annual Teddy Bear Toss, presented by Michigan Office Solutions. Fans are encouraged to bring new, store-tagged teddy bears and stuffed animals to toss onto the ice when the Griffins score their first goal. The Griffins’ annual teddy bear toss is the largest provider of stuffed animals to Hug-A-Bears of Kent County. In addition, fans can bring their skates and take to the ice for the post-game open skate.

Payback Time: The Griffins will complete their first four-games-in-five-nights stretch on Sunday when they pay their second and final visit of the season to Allstate Arena for a rematch with Chicago. The Wolves’ 6-3 victory in the Windy City on Saturday marked Grand Rapids’ largest margin of defeat this season.

Lone Star Landon: After being recalled from Grand Rapids by Dallas last Friday, left wing Landon Wilson logged two shots, two penalty minutes and 5:49 of ice time in the Stars’ 2-1 shootout loss to Anaheim on Saturday, becoming the 97th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL. Wilson, who made his first NHL appearance since the 2003-04 season with Pittsburgh, is tied for second in the AHL with seven power play goals and ranks among the Griffins’ leaders with eight goals (T1st), 15 points (4th) and 37 penalty minutes (1st). He currently owns a five-game point streak (2-3--5) and has been held off the scoresheet only three times in his 15 games with Grand Rapids.

Come One, Come All: The Griffins stand fifth in the AHL with an average attendance of 6,357, a year-to-date increase of 13.3% over the first eight home games of 2007-08 (5,610). The team’s total attendance of 50,857 is its highest through eight home games since 2003-04 (52,038).

There’s No Place Like Home: The Griffins maintain a 5-1-0-2 home record and have earned points in four straight games at Van Andel Arena (3-0-0-1). By contrast, they are just 4-4-2-0 in hostile territory but broke a three-game road losing streak with Sunday’s overtime win at Iowa.

Player of the Week Nominee: Right wing Darren Haydar earned the Griffins’ nomination for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award today after posting four goals and five points in four games last week. He contributed two points (1-1—2) and was named Third Star in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at Milwaukee, lit the lamp against his former mates in Saturday’s 6-3 setback at Chicago, then tallied two power play goals in Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win at Iowa.

Rare Occurrence: Jason Jozsa scored at 1:20 of overtime on Sunday to lift the Griffins to a 5-4 win at Iowa and become just the fifth defenseman in Grand Rapids history to score an overtime goal. He joined Joel Kwiatkowski (12/7/00 vs. CIN), Travis Richards (10/25/02 at RCH), Dave Van Drunen (11/22/02 vs. SAN) and Bryan Helmer (2/3/06 at MIL and 3/31/06 at MTB).

Reversal of Fortune: Following a stretch in which they had killed off 43 of 44 shorthanded situations, the Griffins have surrendered a power play goal in five straight games, as opponents have converted eight of their last 30 opportunities (26.7%) with the man advantage.

Take Me to Your Leaders: Several Griffins rank among the AHL’s individual leaders: Justin Abdelkader – T5th rookie goals (8), T5th rookie power play goals (3); Francis Pare, 8th rookie shooting percentage (0.211); Garrett Stafford – T8th defenseman points (12); Landon Wilson – T2nd power play goals (7).

Dynamic Duo: Darren Helm, who saw his team-high seven-game point streak (4-5—9) snapped on Sunday, has been held off the scoresheet in only three of the 16 games he’s played this season…Ville Leino leads the team with a plus-seven rating, 15 assists and 19 points, and he’s tallied points in 12 of his 16 appearances this season.

Scouting Report

Wed., Nov. 26 vs. Manchester Monarchs (6-6-0-3) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:59 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at and audio web cast (free at available through All-Time/Season Series: First of two meetings overall, first and only in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Los Angeles Kings. Head Coach: Mark Morris (3rd season). Notes: Manchester, which qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs in each of its first seven seasons, currently stands seventh in the Atlantic Division…Monarchs LW Scott Parse, a native of Kalamazoo, made his pro debut with the Griffins near the end of the 2006-07 season, scoring seven points (2-5—7) in 10 games…This will mark the Griffins’ first-ever meeting with Manchester and just their second-ever game against an Atlantic Division foe, following their 3-2 home win over Hartford on Nov. 14.

Fri., Nov. 28 vs. Chicago Wolves (12-4-1-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 30 at Chicago Wolves – Allstate Arena – 4 p.m.

TV: Comcast Cable 100 (Chicago) at 7 p.m. (Fri.) and 4 p.m. (Sun.). Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:59 p.m. (Fri.) and 3:35 p.m. (Sun.). Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at and audio web cast (free at available through All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 41-29-2-3-2 Overall, 20-11-2-2-2 Home, 21-18-0-1-0 Road. Season Series: 0-1-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0-0 Home, 0-1-0-0 Road. Second and third of four meetings overall, first of two in Grand Rapids, second of two in Rosemont. NHL Affiliation: Atlanta Thrashers. Head Coach: Don Granato (1st season). Notes: Three of Chicago’s AHL-low eight power play goals came in the Wolves’ 6-3 win over Grand Rapids on Saturday…West Division-leading Chicago is 5-0-0-1 at home and 7-4-1-0 on the road…Ondrej Pavelec ranks among the AHL’s best with a 1.54 GAA (2nd) and a 0.947% (1st).

Sat., Nov. 29 vs. Rochester Americans (2-15-0-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast ($6 at and audio web cast (free at available through All-Time Series (W-L-T-OTL-SOL): 17-15-1-1-0 Overall, 11-5-1-0-0 Home. Season Series: First of six meetings overall, first of three in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Florida Panthers. Head Coach: Benoit Groulx (1st season). Notes: Amerks LW Neil Clark went scoreless in 14 games with the Griffins last season…Rochester’s five points tie for the fewest in the AHL and already have them 17 points out of a playoff spot…The Americans are winless in their last six overall (0-5-0-1) and are 0-7 on the road….Their penalty kill ranks 29th in the AHL (74.3%) while their power play stands 28th (10.6%).

Griffins Game Rewind

Nov. 23 at IOW - 5-4 OTW
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Official Game Report
Nov. 22 at CHI - 3-6 L
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2 3
Official Game Report

Nov. 21 vs. WBS - 2-3 SOL
GriffVision Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2 3
Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

Nov. 18 at MIL - 2-3 L
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Official Game Report

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