11/24/2008 2:30 PM
Last Week’s Results
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.
Wed., Nov. 26 vs. Manchester Monarchs (6-6-0-3) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 28 vs. Chicago Wolves (12-4-1-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 29 vs. Rochester Americans (2-15-0-1) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Nov. 18 at MIL - 2-3 L
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