11/02/2010 12:10 PM
This Week’s Games
Last Week’s Results
Ready to Rumble: After claiming the season’s first home ice win last Saturday (4-2 against Manitoba), the Griffins sport a 1-1-0-2 mark at Van Andel Arena. They’ll close-out a four-game homestand this weekend by welcoming arguably their fiercest current foe, the Moose, this Friday for their final meeting of the season, before hosting their one-time biggest rival, the Chicago Wolves, on Saturday for their first clash of the campaign. Grand Rapids will conclude its second three-in-three of the season on Sunday with a road contest against the Lake Erie Monsters.
Promotional Highlights: Fri. vs. Manitoba – The first 5,000 fans will receive a Griffins Rally Towel, presented by Play N Trade Alpine. It’s another Dollar Beers, Dollar Dogs night from 6-8 p.m. while supplies last, and the College Night and D-Zone promotions also return. Sat. vs. Chicago – It’s Faith and Family Night, presented by Appletree Christian Learning Centers, and the first 3,000 fans will receive a Griffins aluminum water bottle. Fans are welcome to stick around after the game for a post-game faith chat with select Griffins players and team chaplain Tom Mellema, who will talk about how their faith has guided them in their respective careers. Huntington Bank is giving youth hockey players the chance to join the team on the ice during pre-game introductions, and all fans can bring their skates for the Post-Game Open Skate.
Ups and Downs: Joey MacDonald was recalled by Detroit last Thursday and twice backed up Chris Osgood while Jimmy Howard recovered from back spasms. Even though Howard has since healed, MacDonald accompanied the Wings on their three-game western road swing (Nov. 3-6) due to a groin injury sustained by Osgood during practice on Monday…The Red Wings on Monday assigned defenseman Doug Janik to the Griffins. Janik appeared in seven games with Detroit since his Oct. 11 recall, going scoreless with seven penalty minutes, eight shots, a minus-two rating and an average ice time of 13:13. The 10-year veteran and alternate captain of the Griffins saw action in the team’s first two games this season, scoring a goal and showing an even rating…Rookie defenseman Sebastien Piche today was reassigned by Detroit to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. Piche, who had his apparent first AHL goal nullified by a scoring change following Saturday’s 4-2 win over Manitoba, played three games with Grand Rapids, recording one assist and four PIM.
Time to Socialize: In addition to the Griffins’ Facebook and Twitter pages, be sure to check out the team’s new blog, Half Eagle, Half Lion, All Griffin. It’s home to The Afternoon Shift, a daily collection of links to news stories, videos and features about the Griffins, their NHL alumni, the AHL, and Grand Rapids’ upcoming opponents. You’ll also find a video clip of every NHL goal scored by a former Griffin during the 2010-11 season.
Reebok/AHL Player of the Week Nominee: The Griffins on Monday nominated center Cory Emmerton for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award, after he tallied five assists in two games to extend his point streak to a career-high five games. He finished with two assists and a plus-three rating in Friday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Barons, assisting on the game-tying goal with 1:07 left. After following that up with three assists in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Moose, Emmerton leads the Griffins with seven assists and is tied for first on the club and 17th in the league with 10 points. He also paces the Griffins and ranks among the league’s leaders with three power play goals (T3rd) and six power play points (T5th).
Very Special Teams: The Griffins rank first in the AHL in power play (28.2%), tie for second in shorthanded goals (3) and stand sixth in penalty killing (88.9%).
Tom Terrific: The Griffins have earned points in four consecutive games (3-0-0-1) behind the goaltending of Thomas McCollum, who has posted a 2.45 GAA and a 0.909 save percentage over that span. McCollum, whose four consecutive starts tie his career high, is now 5-2-1 in his last eight games dating to last season, following an 8-15-2 start to his AHL career. For the season, he owns a 3-1-1 record to go with a 0.895 save percentage and a 2.96 goals against average, his first sub-3.00 mark since last Dec. 26.
Familiarity Breeds Success: Grand Rapids is 5-0-0-1 within the North Division and 0-2-0-1 against the West Division.
Off to a Good Start: Brendan Smith has goals in consecutive games to go along with a three-game point streak (2-3—5)…Francis Pare has points in four of the last five games (1-4—5)…Jan Mursak owns a career-high six-game point streak (5-3—8) as well as a three-game goal streak (four goals)…Ilari Filppula had consecutive multi-point outings (3-2—5) before going scoreless on Saturday…Jamie Tardif has scored three goals in the last two games…Derek Meech has points in four of the last six games (1-5—6).
Milestones: With 90 career wins as a Griffin, Joey MacDonald (currently with Detroit) needs just one more to break a tie with Jimmy Howard for franchise supremacy…Derek Meech has played 239 regular season games as a Griffin, putting him just four shy of Tomas Kopecky for 10th place on the all-time list…Francis Pare needs six points to become the 21st player to reach 100 as a Griffin and eight goals to become the 14th player to score 50…Last Friday’s game against Oklahoma City marked Jamie Johnson’s 500th professional contest…Ilari Filppula needs four points for 200 as a pro (64-132—196).
Batten Down the Hatches: For the season, Grand Rapids has surrendered just 27.11 shots per game, the fourth-fewest in the AHL. On the other end, the Griffins have averaged only 27.22 shots, tying for 23rd.
Fri., Nov. 5 vs. Manitoba Moose (5-4-0-0) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 6 vs. Chicago Wolves (5-4-1-0) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 7 at Lake Erie Monsters (5-5-0-1) – Quicken Loans Arena – 5 p.m.
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