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SECOND HALF PUSH

This Week’s Games
Fri., Feb. 5    GRIFFINS at Rockford IceHogs    8 p.m.       WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Feb. 6    Rockford IceHogs at GRIFFINS    7 p.m.       WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com

Last Week’s Results
Wed., Jan. 27    Toronto Marlies 4 at GRIFFINS 0    24-15-1-1, 50 points (4th, Central Division)
Fri., Jan. 29    Toronto Marlies 4 at GRIFFINS 2    24-16-1-1, 50 points (4th)

Sat., Jan. 30    GRIFFINS 3 at Milwaukee Admirals 7    24-17-1-1, 50 points (4th)
 

Opening Faceoff: The Griffins have dropped five in a row, six of their last seven, and are 22-9-1-0 in their last 32 games. Good for 24-17-1-1 (0.581) overall, Grand Rapids is currently situated fourth in the Central Division, sixth in the Western Conference and 11th in the AHL. Following the all-star break, the Griffins resume play with a road-home back-to-back on Friday and Saturday against the Central Division-leading Rockford IceHogs.

This Week’s Promotions: On Saturday against Rockford, the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a Teemu Pulkkinen bobblehead.

Ebbs and Flows of the Season: With the AHL season being a 76-game grind, there are bound to be some ups and downs along the way. After starting the year with a 2-8-0-1 mark, the Griffins reeled off a franchise-record 15 straight wins from Nov. 18-Dec. 26 and are now 1-5-1-0 in their last seven (Jan. 17-30). The Griffins were also held scoreless in back-to-back games (Jan. 23 vs. Rochester, Jan. 27 vs. Toronto) for just the fourth time in their 20-year history (previous most recent: Dec. 14-16, 2012). To add some perspective to the recent bump in the road Grand Rapids has encountered, the 2014-15 team that advanced to the Western Conference Finals enjoyed a 19-game point streak (15-0-3-1, Feb. 4-March 20, 2015) but also battled through a six-game winless streak (0-5-1-0, Oct. 24-Nov. 8, 2014). The 2012-13 Calder Cup Championship team rode out an eight-game winning streak (8-0-0-0, Nov. 3-24, 2012) while also fighting a pair of 1-3-1-1 stretches (Oct. 12-27, 2012; March 24-April 6, 2013). 

Griffins After the All-Star Break: Since moving from the IHL to the AHL in 2001-02, Grand Rapids has perennially proved to be a surging team following the all-star hiatus. In fact, the Griffins have tallied a 229-172-22-21 (0.564) AHL record in games played after the mid-season classic. In his last five seasons as a head coach, Todd Nelson has guided his teams (2010-14: AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons; 2014-15: NHL’s Edmonton Oilers) to a 77-56-8-20 (0.565) mark after the all-star break.

Busy, Busy: January was the most frenetic month of the season on the ice for the Griffins, playing 14 games in the 31-day month including four sets of back-to-backs. February’s schedule does not appear to let up as Grand Rapids will play 12 games in 29 days as well as two groups of back-to-back-to-backs (Feb. 12-14, Feb. 26-28). All 12 games in February will come against Central Division foes.

All-Star Nods: Defenseman Xavier Ouellet and forward Jeff Hoggan (playing captain) were selected to participate in the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic held on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, N.Y. Ouellet received his second consecutive all-star nod, but was unable to play in the 2015 All-Star Classic because he was on recall with the Detroit Red Wings. He became just the fourth Griffins defenseman ever to be selected to play in two all-star games, joining Niklas Kronwall (2004 and 2005), Travis Richards (2001 IHL and 2004) and John Gruden (2000 IHL and 2002). Selected as one of two playing captains, along with Syracuse’s Mike Angelidis, Hoggan made his first career all-star appearance. Hoggan became the third Griffin to be chosen as a playing captain for an All-Star Classic, joining Kip Miller (2007, PlanetUSA) and Travis Richards (2004, PlanetUSA). Ouellet and Hoggan helped the Central Division win the All-Star Challenge on Monday night as the Central shut out the Atlantic Division 4-0 in the championship game. Overall for the night, Ouellet accounted for two goals and two assists while Hoggan was responsible for two goals and an assist

Win Some and Lose Some: The Griffins own a 24-17-1-1 (.581) record through 43 games. Take a look at how Grand Rapids’ numbers stack up between its 24 wins and 19 (including overtime and shootout) losses:

  GF GA Saves PP Chances PP Goals PP % Opp. PP Chances Opp. PP Goals PK % SF SA
W (24) 4.13 1.79 30.92 4.04 0.75 18.56% 3.83 0.33 91.30% 32.42 32.71
L (19) 1.42 3.74 28.00 4.53 0.37 8.14% 3.63 0.84 76.81% 34.16 31.74


Back-to-Backs:
The Griffins have played 13 full sets of back-to-backs thus far. Compare the statistical differences between the first and second games:

  First Night Second Night
W 8 6
L 5 7
GF 3.85 2.62
GA 2.62 3.08
PP % 19.35% 10.20%
PK % 90.00% 82.61%
SF 34.31 30.00
SA 33.69 34.31


Whoa, Nellie:
Named the franchise’s 10th head coach on June 19, 2015, Todd Nelson has already attached his name to several records in Griffins lore. In the first few months under Nelson’s watch, Grand Rapids has set franchise records for overall win streak (15, Nov. 18-Dec. 26) and home win streak (14, Nov. 11-Jan. 15). Additionally, the Griffins’ 0.833 winning percentage (10-2-0-0) in the month of December marked the most successful December ever in the franchise’s 20 seasons. Now in his sixth season as an AHL head coach, including five spent in Oklahoma City with the Barons, Nelson claimed his 200th career AHL win (200-128-13-35) in Grand Rapids’ 3-2 overtime win against Lake Erie on Jan. 20.
 
Making the Grade: Eric Tangradi became the 153rd Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he debuted with the Red Wings during Detroit’s 4-2 victory at the New York Islanders on Jan. 25. Becoming the 899th player in Red Wings history, he did not record a point in 6:55 of ice time. Tangradi was assigned back to Grand Rapids on Jan. 26. The first-year Griffin set a team-best this season when he recorded an eight-game point streak from Nov. 27-Dec. 26. Tangradi’s team-leading 16 goals are buoyed by his fourth career hat trick recorded on Dec. 5 against Lake Erie, one of three Griffins to net three goals in a game this season (Colin Campbell, Dec. 26 at LE; Tomas Jurco, Nov. 20 vs. San Diego). League wide, Tangradi is tied for 14th in goals (16) and tied for 35th in points (31).

Sorry, Not Sorry: In addition to putting together their own winning streak of 15 games earlier this season (Nov. 18-Dec. 26), which set a franchise record, the Griffins have also made a habit out of being able to stop the streaks of their opponents. Consider the significant runs that Grand Rapids has been responsible for halting this season: Rockford’s 10-game point streak on Nov. 18 (3-2 W), Milwaukee’s 11-game point streak and franchise-record 10-game winning streak on Nov. 27 (6-0 W) and Charlotte’s 12-game point streak on Jan. 12 (5-3 W).
 
The Central Conversation: Despite a 2-8-0-1 record and a last-place 0.227 winning percentage to begin the season, the Griffins have rebounded with a 22-9-1-0 mark to climb into contention in the Central Division. Overall, the Griffins place sixth in the Western Conference and 11th in the AHL.
 
Against the Best: The Griffins own a 20-14-1-1 (0.583) record against teams with a winning record this season, including an 8-8-0-0 (0.500) mark against teams with a winning percentage greater than 0.600 as of Feb. 2. Grand Rapids has also posted a 21-8-1-1 (0.710) record against its Central Division rivals. Thus far, the division has shown to be one of the toughest in the AHL as three Central teams rank in the top 10 of the overall league standings and Grand Rapids sits just outside the top 10 in 11th place. 
 
Road Redemption: After dropping their first five away games, the Griffins have won nine of their last 14 on the road, including a six-game winning streak that lasted from Nov. 21-Dec. 26. Grand Rapids has put together streaks of five consecutive wins or more on foreign ice in each of the last four seasons (2014-15: 7; 2013-14: 5; 2012-13: 6). On the road this season, the Griffins recorded their largest margin of victory in a 6-0 victory at Milwaukee on Nov. 27, mounted their biggest comeback in a 4-3 overtime win at Iowa on Dec. 13 after dipping into an early 3-0 deficit, matched a season high for goals scored during a 7-3 win at Lake Erie on Dec. 26, snapped the Checkers 12-game point streak in a 5-3 win at Charlotte on Jan. 12 and overcame a 2-1 third-period deficit to defeat Lake Erie in overtime on Jan. 20.
 
Goal Scoring: Partly attributable to the Griffins’ current 11th-place standing in the AHL is the fact they rank in the top 10 for both goals for (2.93, tied for 10th) and goals against (2.65, 10th) per game. 
 
Magic Numbers: The Griffins are 22-3-1-0 when scoring three or more goals and 17-3-0-0 when allowing two goals or fewer…Grand Rapids is 11-2-0-0 when leading after one period, 15-2-0-0 when leading after two and 19-4-1-0 when striking first.
 
Griffins Leaders: Eric Tangradi (16-15—31) and Andy Miele (9-22—31) continue to pace the offense, ahead of Anthony Mantha (12-15—27), Martin Frk (14-10—24), Mark Zengerle (5-17—22) and Robbie Russo (2-16—18).
 
Fantastic Frk: Martin Frk ranks second on the team and is tied for 29th in the league with 14 goals. In January alone, the third-year Griffin accumulated five goals and nine points (5-4—9), both of which topped on the team. Frk accounted for a Griffins’ best this season with his four-game goal streak that lasted Dec. 18-27.

On the Plus Side: Among the 19 Griffins skaters who have appeared in 10 or more games this season, 12 find themselves with a positive plus/minus rating. Rookie Robbie Russo leads the team at plus-21, which ties for sixth in the league.
 
Stone Wall: Goaltender Jared Coreau has been nothing short of magnificent during the team’s 22-9-1-0 stretch that dates back to Nov. 18. Since that date, consider the accomplishments of the third-year pro: matching a career high (Dec. 31, 2014 vs. RFD) by recording 47 saves in a 3-2 victory over Lake Erie on Dec. 16, shutting out Milwaukee in a 6-0 win on Nov. 27 by executing 22 saves, tallying his second bagel of the season behind 23 saves in a 3-0 blanking of Milwaukee on Dec. 31, and shutting out Lake Erie in a 1-0 win on Jan. 15. Coreau is responsible for all three Griffins’ shutouts this season. In a 3-2 loss at Lake Erie on Dec. 27, Coreau had his career best 11-game winning streak snapped, leaving him just one shy of tying Jimmy Howard’s record for a Grand Rapids goalie. Overall for the season, Coreau’s 20 wins are fourth-most in the league and he also ranks inside the top five for save percentage (0.927, fifth) and GAA (2.27, tied for fourth).
 
Russo’s Rookie Relevance: Rookie defenseman Robbie Russo registered just one assist and a single point through his first seven professional games this season. His eighth career game, a three-point night (1-2—3) in a win over Rockford on Nov. 18, jumpstarted his season as he has dished out 16 helpers from his blueline position to rank third on the team in assists. Russo’s seven-game assist streak (Dec. 5-19) matched a franchise record for most consecutive games with an assist in a single season (most recent: Kris Newbury, Oct. 25-Nov. 13, 2009) and was one shy of the overall assist streak record set by Valtteri Filppula (8, March 26, 2006-Oct. 13, 2006). His plus-21 rating is tied for sixth in the league.  
 
No. 152: Center Tomas Nosek became the 152nd Griffin to play in the NHL after he debuted with the Red Wings during Detroit’s 3-2 win over Nashville on Dec. 26. Nosek played in six games for Detroit and did not record a point. The Red Wings assigned him back to the Griffins on Jan. 5.  Nosek has collected five points (3-2—5) in his first 12 games back in Grand Rapids. 
 
Mantha Mania: Ranking third on the team in points (12-15—27), Anthony Mantha has twice this season produced a three-game goal streak (Jan. 9-13, Dec. 16-19).
 
Milestones: Andy Miele recorded his 100th point as a Griffin on an assist at Lake Erie on Jan. 20. Doing so in 109 regular-season games, Miele became the ninth fastest player in franchise history to hit the century mark reached by a total of 32 players previously. The second-year Griffin leads the team with 22 assists overall and is tied for the team lead in points (9-22—31)…Nathan Paetsch appeared in his 500th career minor professional game on Jan. 20 at Lake Erie and currently stands at 505 minor pro games and 724 total pro games…Anthony Mantha and Colin Campbell  and both played in their 100th games as a Griffin on Jan. 30 at Milwaukee…

Points in Bunches: The Griffins have combined to produce 58 multi-point games this season, led by eight from Eric Tangradi. Mark Zengerle and Andy Miele set a Griffins’ season-high when they both contributed three assists at Iowa on Nov. 25. Miele and Martin Frk are the only Griffins this year to produce back-to-back three-point efforts (Miele, Nov. 25 vs. Iowa and Nov. 27 at Milwaukee; Frk, Dec. 19 vs. Texas and Dec. 26 at Lake Erie).
 
Climbing the Charts: With 41 saves against Lake Erie on Dec. 5, Tom McCollum earned his 92nd win as a Griffin, which ranks second in franchise history behind only Joey MacDonald (109). McCollum, who needs one more appearance to equal MacDonald’s mark of 210, has broken the 5,000-save barrier this season and, with 5,192 stops, stands behind only MacDonald (5,362) in club archives.

Walleye World: A recent 9-1-0-0 stretch has the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye atop the North Division standings with a 27-11-1-3 record (58 points). The Walleye lead second-place Wheeling (18-19-2-3) by 17 points. Former Griffins Shane Berschbach (14-26—40) and A.J. Jenks (14-20—34) pace the offense. Rookie netminder Jake Paterson, Detroit’s second pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, shows a 7-7-1-1 record with a 2.38 GAA and 0.922 save percentage as an understudy to former Michigan State Spartan Jeff Lerg (19-4-0-2, 1.86 GAA, 0.935%).  Paterson was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Jan. 25-31 after he posted a 2-0-0 record, a 0.99 GAA and a 0.966 save percentage in a pair of Walleye wins. While spending 15 games with the Griffins earlier this season, Paterson made his first career AHL start on Jan. 13 at Charlotte and recorded 38 saves in a 4-3 loss.
 
Goaltender of the Month: Jared Coreau was selected as the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for December, as announced by the AHL on Jan. 4. In 11 December starts, Coreau posted a 9-2-0 record along with a 1.92 goals against average and a 0.938 save percentage. He becomes the fifth Griffins goaltender to earn monthly league (AHL/IHL) accolades and the first since Jimmy Howard in December 2007. Coreau recorded his second shutout of the season and the fifth of his three-year professional career in Dec. 31’s 3-0 win over Milwaukee. Two of Coreau’s three shutouts this year have come against the Admirals (Nov. 27, Dec. 31). 
 

SEASON NOTES

Record Setters: The Griffins posted a franchise-record 15-game winning streak from Nov. 18-Dec. 26 before Lake Erie halted the historic run on Dec. 27 by defeating Grand Rapids 3-2. Grand Rapids’ 15-game run marked the longest streak in the AHL since Norfolk set the standard by rattling off 28 in a row on its way to winning the Calder Cup in the 2011-12 season.

Longest Winning Streaks in Griffins History:

Games Dates Coach
15 Nov. 18-Dec. 26, 2015 Todd Nelson
11 March 5-31, 2006 Greg Ireland
9 Feb. 14-March 4, 2015 Jeff Blashill
  Oct. 23-Nov. 13, 2009 Curt Fraser
  Dec. 22, 2000-Jan. 12, 2001 Bruce Cassidy
8 Nov. 3-24, 2012 Jeff Blashill

Elite Status: The Griffins’ 15-game streak allowed them to join some rare company among professional hockey in North America. Consider that the Griffins’ 15-game run tied for the third longest in the AHL since 1992 and that just three teams in the 98-year history of the NHL have recorded winning streaks of 15 or longer (17, 1992-93 Pittsburgh; 15, 1981-82 New York Islanders and 2012-13 Pittsburgh).

Longest AHL Winning Streaks Since 1992:

Year Team Length Season Record Division Finish Postseason Result
2011-12 Norfolk 28 55-18-1-2 1st East Calder Cup Champions
2004-05 Philadelphia 17 48-25-3-4 2nd East Calder Cup Champions
2007-08 Syracuse 15 46-26-2-6 2nd North L, Division Finals
1995-96 Albany 15 54-19-7-0 1st Central L, Division Finals
2015-16 Grand Rapids 15 ? ? ?
2004-05 Manchester 13 51-21-4-4 1st Atlantic L, Division Finals

Only on the West Side: Grand Rapids has twice put together winning streaks of at least 11 games in the last 11 seasons, while its parent club in Detroit has never won more than nine consecutive games in its 90 seasons of play (seven times, most recently Oct. 18-Nov. 9, 2007).

November and December to Remember: The Griffins posted a 10-2-0-0 record in the final month of the calendar year after starting December with an 8-8-0-1 mark and closing at 18-10-0-1. In fact, Grand Rapids’ 0.833 winning percentage in December marked the most prosperous December in the franchise’s 20-year history, just edging out the 2000-01 team (12-3-0-0, 0.800%). The strong December record comes on the heels of a fruitful November, where the Griffins’ 7-2-0-1 tally marked their second-most successful November over the last 10 years. The Griffins’ November winning percentage of 0.750 under Todd Nelson was eclipsed in the last decade by only Jeff Blashill’s 0.8333 mark (10-2-0-0) during his second month at Grand Rapids’ helm in 2012.
 
Home Cooking: With a 4-3 overtime loss against Chicago on Jan. 17, the Griffins had their franchise-record 14-game home winning streak snapped. Grand Rapids’ stretch tied for the fourth-longest home streak in the AHL since 1998-99. In addition, Jared Coreau had his franchise-record 12-game winning streak between the pipes on home ice come to an end during Jan. 17’s defeat.

Longest Home Winning Streaks in Griffins History:

Games Dates Coach
14 Nov. 11, 2015-Jan. 15, 2016 Todd Nelson
10 Jan. 23-Feb. 27, 2004 Danton Cole
  Dec. 22, 2000-Jan. 26, 2001 Bruce Cassidy
9 March 1-April 14, 2006 Greg Ireland
8 Oct. 30-Dec. 7, 2013 Jeff Blashill
  Oct. 23-Nov. 13, 2009 Curt Fraser

 

Scouting Report


Friday, Feb. 5 at Rockford IceHogs (27-10-3-4) – BMO Harris Bank Center – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6 vs. Rockford IceHogs – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.

Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:35 p.m. on Friday, 6:35 p.m. on Saturday Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series: 9-13-2-3 Road, 17-8-1-2 Home, 26-21-3-5 Overall. Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Road, 1-1-0-0 Home, 2-1-0-0 Overall. Fourth and fifth meetings of eight overall, second of four at BMO Harris Bank Center, third of four at Van Andel Arena. NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks. Head Coach: Ted Dent (5th season). Notes: The Rockford IceHogs rank first in the Central Division, second in the Western Conference and third overall with a 27-10-3-4 record (0.693)...The IceHogs are 7-1-1-1 over their last 10 games and have collected points in seven straight (5-0-1-1)...Rookie Vinnie Hinostroza leads the IceHogs in points (10-16—26), while Pierre-Cedric Labrie is the leading goal scorer (13-7—20)…Mark McNeill has collected points in nine straight contests dating back to Jan. 12…Michael Leighton’s 23 wins between the pipes are one off the league lead…Leighton also ranks third in GAA (2.04), third in save percentage (0.931) and has tallied four shutouts…The IceHogs place 18th overall (16.1%) in the power play and tied for ninth (84.6%) in the penalty kill...In a 3-2 win over Rockford on Nov. 18, the Griffins snapped the IceHogs’ 10-game point streak…The most recent meeting between the teams came on Dec. 12 when Grand Rapids earned a 4-1 victory in Illinois behind goals from Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Eric Tangradi and Anthony ManthaRobbie Russo (1-4—5) and Mantha (1-3—4) lead the Griffins in three games against the IceHogs this season.




 

 


 

This Week’s Games
Fri., Feb. 5    GRIFFINS at Rockford IceHogs    8 p.m.       WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Feb. 6    Rockford IceHogs at GRIFFINS    7 p.m.       WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com

Last Week’s Results
Wed., Jan. 27    Toronto Marlies 4 at GRIFFINS 0    24-15-1-1, 50 points (4th, Central Division)
Fri., Jan. 29    Toronto Marlies 4 at GRIFFINS 2    24-16-1-1, 50 points (4th)

Sat., Jan. 30    GRIFFINS 3 at Milwaukee Admirals 7    24-17-1-1, 50 points (4th)
 

Opening Faceoff: The Griffins have dropped five in a row, six of their last seven, and are 22-9-1-0 in their last 32 games. Good for 24-17-1-1 (0.581) overall, Grand Rapids is currently situated fourth in the Central Division, sixth in the Western Conference and 11th in the AHL. Following the all-star break, the Griffins resume play with a road-home back-to-back on Friday and Saturday against the Central Division-leading Rockford IceHogs.

This Week’s Promotions: On Saturday against Rockford, the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a Teemu Pulkkinen bobblehead.

Ebbs and Flows of the Season: With the AHL season being a 76-game grind, there are bound to be some ups and downs along the way. After starting the year with a 2-8-0-1 mark, the Griffins reeled off a franchise-record 15 straight wins from Nov. 18-Dec. 26 and are now 1-5-1-0 in their last seven (Jan. 17-30). The Griffins were also held scoreless in back-to-back games (Jan. 23 vs. Rochester, Jan. 27 vs. Toronto) for just the fourth time in their 20-year history (previous most recent: Dec. 14-16, 2012). To add some perspective to the recent bump in the road Grand Rapids has encountered, the 2014-15 team that advanced to the Western Conference Finals enjoyed a 19-game point streak (15-0-3-1, Feb. 4-March 20, 2015) but also battled through a six-game winless streak (0-5-1-0, Oct. 24-Nov. 8, 2014). The 2012-13 Calder Cup Championship team rode out an eight-game winning streak (8-0-0-0, Nov. 3-24, 2012) while also fighting a pair of 1-3-1-1 stretches (Oct. 12-27, 2012; March 24-April 6, 2013). 

Griffins After the All-Star Break: Since moving from the IHL to the AHL in 2001-02, Grand Rapids has perennially proved to be a surging team following the all-star hiatus. In fact, the Griffins have tallied a 229-172-22-21 (0.564) AHL record in games played after the mid-season classic. In his last five seasons as a head coach, Todd Nelson has guided his teams (2010-14: AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons; 2014-15: NHL’s Edmonton Oilers) to a 77-56-8-20 (0.565) mark after the all-star break.

Busy, Busy: January was the most frenetic month of the season on the ice for the Griffins, playing 14 games in the 31-day month including four sets of back-to-backs. February’s schedule does not appear to let up as Grand Rapids will play 12 games in 29 days as well as two groups of back-to-back-to-backs (Feb. 12-14, Feb. 26-28). All 12 games in February will come against Central Division foes.

All-Star Nods: Defenseman Xavier Ouellet and forward Jeff Hoggan (playing captain) were selected to participate in the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic held on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, N.Y. Ouellet received his second consecutive all-star nod, but was unable to play in the 2015 All-Star Classic because he was on recall with the Detroit Red Wings. He became just the fourth Griffins defenseman ever to be selected to play in two all-star games, joining Niklas Kronwall (2004 and 2005), Travis Richards (2001 IHL and 2004) and John Gruden (2000 IHL and 2002). Selected as one of two playing captains, along with Syracuse’s Mike Angelidis, Hoggan made his first career all-star appearance. Hoggan became the third Griffin to be chosen as a playing captain for an All-Star Classic, joining Kip Miller (2007, PlanetUSA) and Travis Richards (2004, PlanetUSA). Ouellet and Hoggan helped the Central Division win the All-Star Challenge on Monday night as the Central shut out the Atlantic Division 4-0 in the championship game. Overall for the night, Ouellet accounted for two goals and two assists while Hoggan was responsible for two goals and an assist

Win Some and Lose Some: The Griffins own a 24-17-1-1 (.581) record through 43 games. Take a look at how Grand Rapids’ numbers stack up between its 24 wins and 19 (including overtime and shootout) losses:

  GF GA Saves PP Chances PP Goals PP % Opp. PP Chances Opp. PP Goals PK % SF SA
W (24) 4.13 1.79 30.92 4.04 0.75 18.56% 3.83 0.33 91.30% 32.42 32.71
L (19) 1.42 3.74 28.00 4.53 0.37 8.14% 3.63 0.84 76.81% 34.16 31.74

Back-to-Backs: The Griffins have played 13 full sets of back-to-backs thus far. Compare the statistical differences between the first and second games:

  First Night Second Night
W 8 6
L 5 7
GF 3.85 2.62
GA 2.62 3.08
PP % 19.35% 10.20%
PK % 90.00% 82.61%
SF 34.31 30.00
SA 33.69 34.31

Whoa, Nellie: Named the franchise’s 10th head coach on June 19, 2015, Todd Nelson has already attached his name to several records in Griffins lore. In the first few months under Nelson’s watch, Grand Rapids has set franchise records for overall win streak (15, Nov. 18-Dec. 26) and home win streak (14, Nov. 11-Jan. 15). Additionally, the Griffins’ 0.833 winning percentage (10-2-0-0) in the month of December marked the most successful December ever in the franchise’s 20 seasons. Now in his sixth season as an AHL head coach, including five spent in Oklahoma City with the Barons, Nelson claimed his 200th career AHL win (200-128-13-35) in Grand Rapids’ 3-2 overtime win against Lake Erie on Jan. 20.
 
Making the Grade: Eric Tangradi became the 153rd Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he debuted with the Red Wings during Detroit’s 4-2 victory at the New York Islanders on Jan. 25. Becoming the 899th player in Red Wings history, he did not record a point in 6:55 of ice time. Tangradi was assigned back to Grand Rapids on Jan. 26. The first-year Griffin set a team-best this season when he recorded an eight-game point streak from Nov. 27-Dec. 26. Tangradi’s team-leading 16 goals are buoyed by his fourth career hat trick recorded on Dec. 5 against Lake Erie, one of three Griffins to net three goals in a game this season (Colin Campbell, Dec. 26 at LE; Tomas Jurco, Nov. 20 vs. San Diego). League wide, Tangradi is tied for 14th in goals (16) and tied for 35th in points (31).

Sorry, Not Sorry: In addition to putting together their own winning streak of 15 games earlier this season (Nov. 18-Dec. 26), which set a franchise record, the Griffins have also made a habit out of being able to stop the streaks of their opponents. Consider the significant runs that Grand Rapids has been responsible for halting this season: Rockford’s 10-game point streak on Nov. 18 (3-2 W), Milwaukee’s 11-game point streak and franchise-record 10-game winning streak on Nov. 27 (6-0 W) and Charlotte’s 12-game point streak on Jan. 12 (5-3 W).
 
The Central Conversation: Despite a 2-8-0-1 record and a last-place 0.227 winning percentage to begin the season, the Griffins have rebounded with a 22-9-1-0 mark to climb into contention in the Central Division. Overall, the Griffins place sixth in the Western Conference and 11th in the AHL.
 
Against the Best: The Griffins own a 20-14-1-1 (0.583) record against teams with a winning record this season, including an 8-8-0-0 (0.500) mark against teams with a winning percentage greater than 0.600 as of Feb. 2. Grand Rapids has also posted a 21-8-1-1 (0.710) record against its Central Division rivals. Thus far, the division has shown to be one of the toughest in the AHL as three Central teams rank in the top 10 of the overall league standings and Grand Rapids sits just outside the top 10 in 11th place. 
 
Road Redemption: After dropping their first five away games, the Griffins have won nine of their last 14 on the road, including a six-game winning streak that lasted from Nov. 21-Dec. 26. Grand Rapids has put together streaks of five consecutive wins or more on foreign ice in each of the last four seasons (2014-15: 7; 2013-14: 5; 2012-13: 6). On the road this season, the Griffins recorded their largest margin of victory in a 6-0 victory at Milwaukee on Nov. 27, mounted their biggest comeback in a 4-3 overtime win at Iowa on Dec. 13 after dipping into an early 3-0 deficit, matched a season high for goals scored during a 7-3 win at Lake Erie on Dec. 26, snapped the Checkers 12-game point streak in a 5-3 win at Charlotte on Jan. 12 and overcame a 2-1 third-period deficit to defeat Lake Erie in overtime on Jan. 20.
 
Goal Scoring: Partly attributable to the Griffins’ current 11th-place standing in the AHL is the fact they rank in the top 10 for both goals for (2.93, tied for 10th) and goals against (2.65, 10th) per game. 
 
Magic Numbers: The Griffins are 22-3-1-0 when scoring three or more goals and 17-3-0-0 when allowing two goals or fewer…Grand Rapids is 11-2-0-0 when leading after one period, 15-2-0-0 when leading after two and 19-4-1-0 when striking first.
 
Griffins Leaders: Eric Tangradi (16-15—31) and Andy Miele (9-22—31) continue to pace the offense, ahead of Anthony Mantha (12-15—27), Martin Frk (14-10—24), Mark Zengerle (5-17—22) and Robbie Russo (2-16—18).
 
Fantastic Frk: Martin Frk ranks second on the team and is tied for 29th in the league with 14 goals. In January alone, the third-year Griffin accumulated five goals and nine points (5-4—9), both of which topped on the team. Frk accounted for a Griffins’ best this season with his four-game goal streak that lasted Dec. 18-27.

On the Plus Side: Among the 19 Griffins skaters who have appeared in 10 or more games this season, 12 find themselves with a positive plus/minus rating. Rookie Robbie Russo leads the team at plus-21, which ties for sixth in the league.
 
Stone Wall: Goaltender Jared Coreau has been nothing short of magnificent during the team’s 22-9-1-0 stretch that dates back to Nov. 18. Since that date, consider the accomplishments of the third-year pro: matching a career high (Dec. 31, 2014 vs. RFD) by recording 47 saves in a 3-2 victory over Lake Erie on Dec. 16, shutting out Milwaukee in a 6-0 win on Nov. 27 by executing 22 saves, tallying his second bagel of the season behind 23 saves in a 3-0 blanking of Milwaukee on Dec. 31, and shutting out Lake Erie in a 1-0 win on Jan. 15. Coreau is responsible for all three Griffins’ shutouts this season. In a 3-2 loss at Lake Erie on Dec. 27, Coreau had his career best 11-game winning streak snapped, leaving him just one shy of tying Jimmy Howard’s record for a Grand Rapids goalie. Overall for the season, Coreau’s 20 wins are fourth-most in the league and he also ranks inside the top five for save percentage (0.927, fifth) and GAA (2.27, tied for fourth).
 
Russo’s Rookie Relevance: Rookie defenseman Robbie Russo registered just one assist and a single point through his first seven professional games this season. His eighth career game, a three-point night (1-2—3) in a win over Rockford on Nov. 18, jumpstarted his season as he has dished out 16 helpers from his blueline position to rank third on the team in assists. Russo’s seven-game assist streak (Dec. 5-19) matched a franchise record for most consecutive games with an assist in a single season (most recent: Kris Newbury, Oct. 25-Nov. 13, 2009) and was one shy of the overall assist streak record set by Valtteri Filppula (8, March 26, 2006-Oct. 13, 2006). His plus-21 rating is tied for sixth in the league.  
 
No. 152: Center Tomas Nosek became the 152nd Griffin to play in the NHL after he debuted with the Red Wings during Detroit’s 3-2 win over Nashville on Dec. 26. Nosek played in six games for Detroit and did not record a point. The Red Wings assigned him back to the Griffins on Jan. 5.  Nosek has collected five points (3-2—5) in his first 12 games back in Grand Rapids. 
 
Mantha Mania: Ranking third on the team in points (12-15—27), Anthony Mantha has twice this season produced a three-game goal streak (Jan. 9-13, Dec. 16-19).
 
Milestones: Andy Miele recorded his 100th point as a Griffin on an assist at Lake Erie on Jan. 20. Doing so in 109 regular-season games, Miele became the ninth fastest player in franchise history to hit the century mark reached by a total of 32 players previously. The second-year Griffin leads the team with 22 assists overall and is tied for the team lead in points (9-22—31)…Nathan Paetsch appeared in his 500th career minor professional game on Jan. 20 at Lake Erie and currently stands at 505 minor pro games and 724 total pro games…Anthony Mantha and Colin Campbell  and both played in their 100th games as a Griffin on Jan. 30 at Milwaukee…

Points in Bunches: The Griffins have combined to produce 58 multi-point games this season, led by eight from Eric Tangradi. Mark Zengerle and Andy Miele set a Griffins’ season-high when they both contributed three assists at Iowa on Nov. 25. Miele and Martin Frk are the only Griffins this year to produce back-to-back three-point efforts (Miele, Nov. 25 vs. Iowa and Nov. 27 at Milwaukee; Frk, Dec. 19 vs. Texas and Dec. 26 at Lake Erie).
 
Climbing the Charts: With 41 saves against Lake Erie on Dec. 5, Tom McCollum earned his 92nd win as a Griffin, which ranks second in franchise history behind only Joey MacDonald (109). McCollum, who needs one more appearance to equal MacDonald’s mark of 210, has broken the 5,000-save barrier this season and, with 5,192 stops, stands behind only MacDonald (5,362) in club archives.

Walleye World: A recent 9-1-0-0 stretch has the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye atop the North Division standings with a 27-11-1-3 record (58 points). The Walleye lead second-place Wheeling (18-19-2-3) by 17 points. Former Griffins Shane Berschbach (14-26—40) and A.J. Jenks (14-20—34) pace the offense. Rookie netminder Jake Paterson, Detroit’s second pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, shows a 7-7-1-1 record with a 2.38 GAA and 0.922 save percentage as an understudy to former Michigan State Spartan Jeff Lerg (19-4-0-2, 1.86 GAA, 0.935%).  Paterson was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Jan. 25-31 after he posted a 2-0-0 record, a 0.99 GAA and a 0.966 save percentage in a pair of Walleye wins. While spending 15 games with the Griffins earlier this season, Paterson made his first career AHL start on Jan. 13 at Charlotte and recorded 38 saves in a 4-3 loss.
 
Goaltender of the Month: Jared Coreau was selected as the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for December, as announced by the AHL on Jan. 4. In 11 December starts, Coreau posted a 9-2-0 record along with a 1.92 goals against average and a 0.938 save percentage. He becomes the fifth Griffins goaltender to earn monthly league (AHL/IHL) accolades and the first since Jimmy Howard in December 2007. Coreau recorded his second shutout of the season and the fifth of his three-year professional career in Dec. 31’s 3-0 win over Milwaukee. Two of Coreau’s three shutouts this year have come against the Admirals (Nov. 27, Dec. 31). 
 

SEASON NOTES

Record Setters: The Griffins posted a franchise-record 15-game winning streak from Nov. 18-Dec. 26 before Lake Erie halted the historic run on Dec. 27 by defeating Grand Rapids 3-2. Grand Rapids’ 15-game run marked the longest streak in the AHL since Norfolk set the standard by rattling off 28 in a row on its way to winning the Calder Cup in the 2011-12 season.

Longest Winning Streaks in Griffins History:

 

Games Dates Coach
15 Nov. 18-Dec. 26, 2015 Todd Nelson
11 March 5-31, 2006 Greg Ireland
9 Feb. 14-March 4, 2015 Jeff Blashill
  Oct. 23-Nov. 13, 2009 Curt Fraser
  Dec. 22, 2000-Jan. 12, 2001 Bruce Cassidy
8 Nov. 3-24, 2012 Jeff Blashill

Elite Status: The Griffins’ 15-game streak allowed them to join some rare company among professional hockey in North America. Consider that the Griffins’ 15-game run tied for the third longest in the AHL since 1992 and that just three teams in the 98-year history of the NHL have recorded winning streaks of 15 or longer (17, 1992-93 Pittsburgh; 15, 1981-82 New York Islanders and 2012-13 Pittsburgh).

Longest AHL Winning Streaks Since 1992:

 

Year Team Length Season Record Division Finish Postseason Result
2011-12 Norfolk 28 55-18-1-2 1st East Calder Cup Champions
2004-05 Philadelphia 17 48-25-3-4 2nd East Calder Cup Champions
2007-08 Syracuse 15 46-26-2-6 2nd North L, Division Finals
1995-96 Albany 15 54-19-7-0 1st Central L, Division Finals
2015-16 Grand Rapids 15 ? ? ?
2004-05 Manchester 13 51-21-4-4 1st Atlantic L, Division Finals

Only on the West Side: Grand Rapids has twice put together winning streaks of at least 11 games in the last 11 seasons, while its parent club in Detroit has never won more than nine consecutive games in its 90 seasons of play (seven times, most recently Oct. 18-Nov. 9, 2007).

November and December to Remember: The Griffins posted a 10-2-0-0 record in the final month of the calendar year after starting December with an 8-8-0-1 mark and closing at 18-10-0-1. In fact, Grand Rapids’ 0.833 winning percentage in December marked the most prosperous December in the franchise’s 20-year history, just edging out the 2000-01 team (12-3-0-0, 0.800%). The strong December record comes on the heels of a fruitful November, where the Griffins’ 7-2-0-1 tally marked their second-most successful November over the last 10 years. The Griffins’ November winning percentage of 0.750 under Todd Nelson was eclipsed in the last decade by only Jeff Blashill’s 0.8333 mark (10-2-0-0) during his second month at Grand Rapids’ helm in 2012.
 
Home Cooking: With a 4-3 overtime loss against Chicago on Jan. 17, the Griffins had their franchise-record 14-game home winning streak snapped. Grand Rapids’ stretch tied for the fourth-longest home streak in the AHL since 1998-99. In addition, Jared Coreau had his franchise-record 12-game winning streak between the pipes on home ice come to an end during Jan. 17’s defeat.

Longest Home Winning Streaks in Griffins History:

Games Dates Coach
14 Nov. 11, 2015-Jan. 15, 2016 Todd Nelson
10 Jan. 23-Feb. 27, 2004 Danton Cole
  Dec. 22, 2000-Jan. 26, 2001 Bruce Cassidy
9 March 1-April 14, 2006 Greg Ireland
8 Oct. 30-Dec. 7, 2013 Jeff Blashill
  Oct. 23-Nov. 13, 2009 Curt Fraser

 

Scouting Report


Friday, Feb. 5 at Rockford IceHogs (27-10-3-4) – BMO Harris Bank Center – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6 vs. Rockford IceHogs – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.

Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7:35 p.m. on Friday, 6:35 p.m. on Saturday Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series: 9-13-2-3 Road, 17-8-1-2 Home, 26-21-3-5 Overall. Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Road, 1-1-0-0 Home, 2-1-0-0 Overall. Fourth and fifth meetings of eight overall, second of four at BMO Harris Bank Center, third of four at Van Andel Arena. NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks. Head Coach: Ted Dent (5th season). Notes: The Rockford IceHogs rank first in the Central Division, second in the Western Conference and third overall with a 27-10-3-4 record (0.693)...The IceHogs are 7-1-1-1 over their last 10 games and have collected points in seven straight (5-0-1-1)...Rookie Vinnie Hinostroza leads the IceHogs in points (10-16—26), while Pierre-Cedric Labrie is the leading goal scorer (13-7—20)…Mark McNeill has collected points in nine straight contests dating back to Jan. 12…Michael Leighton’s 23 wins between the pipes are one off the league lead…Leighton also ranks third in GAA (2.04), third in save percentage (0.931) and has tallied four shutouts…The IceHogs place 18th overall (16.1%) in the power play and tied for ninth (84.6%) in the penalty kill...In a 3-2 win over Rockford on Nov. 18, the Griffins snapped the IceHogs’ 10-game point streak…The most recent meeting between the teams came on Dec. 12 when Grand Rapids earned a 4-1 victory in Illinois behind goals from Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Eric Tangradi and Anthony ManthaRobbie Russo (1-4—5) and Mantha (1-3—4) lead the Griffins in three games against the IceHogs this season.