Griffins Battle Lake Erie, Host Rochester this Week
Hello, 2016: Grand Rapids' remarkable run remains intact as the Griffins have earned points in 22 of their last 26 overall and are 5-2-1-0 in the New Year following Sunday's 4-3 overtime setback against Chicago. The Griffins earned a 1-0 overtime victory over Lake Erie on Friday, marking the first time Grand Rapids has involved itself in consecutive overtime games since March 6-7, 2015. Grand Rapids (0.649) is currently situated fourth in the Central Division, however, 0.030 percentage points are all that separate the top four teams in the division.
Weekend Promotions: For Friday's contest, fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs and $2 domestic drafts from 6-8 p.m., while supplies last. On Saturday, the first 2,500 children (12 and under) will receive a Griffins youth jersey, courtesy of Comerica Bank. The 2016 Great Skate Winterfest will run for 34 consecutive hours from Saturday to Sunday at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. The eighth annual Winterfest will begin at noon on Saturday, leading into the Griffins' game versus Rochester at 7 p.m. Following the contest, Griffins players will make their way to Rosa Parks Circle for the 14th annual Great Skate, which features at least one player skating with fans for 24 consecutive hours - 10 p.m. on Saturday to 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit griffinshockey.com/greatskate.
Win Some and Lose Some: The Griffins own a 23-12-1-1 (.649) record through 37 games. Take a look at how Grand Rapids' numbers stack up between its 23 wins and 14 (including overtime and shootout) losses:
GF GA Saves PP Chances PP Goals PP % Opp. PP Chances Opp. PP Goals PK % SF SA
W (23) 4.17 1.78 30.96 4.04 0.70 17.20% 3.87 0.35 91.01% 31.83 32.74
L (14) 1.36 3.50 27.71 4.71 0.43 9.09% 4.00 1.14 71.43% 32.71 31.21
Back-to-Backs: The Griffins have played 11 sets of back-to-backs thus far. Grand Rapids has won eight consecutive first night games and six of its last eight contests on the second night. Compare the statistical differences between the first and second games:
First Night Second Night
W 8 6
L 3 5
GF 4.09 2.82
GA 2.27 2.82
PP % 20.37% 12.50%
PK % 89.36% 79.49%
SF 32.91 29.27
SA 32.82 34.55
Busy, Busy: January will be the most frenetic month of the season on the ice for the Griffins as they are set to play 14 games in the 31-day month. The January schedule includes four sets of back-to-back games (Jan. 8-9, 12-13, 22-23, 29-30). Including Wednesday's tilt at Lake Erie, the Griffins will play three games in four nights.
Home Cooking: With a 4-3 overtime loss against Chicago on Sunday, 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 Sunday's defeat. The Griffins have collected points in 15 straight home contests, leaving them just one shy of tying the longest home point streak in franchise history (Jan. 9-Feb. 27, 2004, 13-0-3-0 record).
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
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 is approaching his 200th AHL win (199-123-13-35).
Movin' On Up: On Nov. 18, nearly nine weeks ago, Grand Rapids stood in last place in the league with a 0.227 winning percentage. Since that date, which marked the beginning of the Griffins' 22 points in 26 games stretch, Grand Rapids (0.649) has vaulted all the way up to the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference and No. 8 in the AHL.
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 Tuesday (5-3 W).
0 to 100: Accounting for 99 points in 108 regular season games as a Griffin, Andy Miele is on pace to attain the 100-point career plateau reached by 32 players previously. Should he record one more point in the next 13 games, he will rank among the 10 fastest Griffins to ever hit the century mark:
Games Player Date
81 Michel Picard April 12, 1997
87 Kip Miller Jan. 27, 2005
97 Jeff Nelson Dec. 21, 2003
98 Donald MacLean March 25, 2006
102 Gustav Nyquist Jan. 17, 2013
103 Derek King Feb. 14, 2001
107 Slava Butsayev Jan. 19, 2001
108 Teemu Pulkkinen Jan. 23, 2015
117 Jiri Hudler Oct. 28, 2005
121 Glen Metropolit Feb. 6, 1999
Against the Best: The Griffins own a 19-9-1-1 (0.667) record against teams with a winning record this season, including an 8-5-0-0 (0.615) mark against teams with a winning percentage greater than 0.600 as of Jan. 19. Grand Rapids has also posted a 20-7-1-1 (0.724) record against its Central Division rivals. Thus far, the division has shown to be one of the toughest in the AHL as four Central teams rank in the top eight of the overall league standings.
On the Plus Side: Among the 20 Griffins skaters who have appeared in 10 or more games this season, 18 find themselves with a positive plus/minus rating. Rookie Robbie Russo leads the team at plus-23, which is tied for second in the league.
Welcome to West Michigan: Grand Rapids' recent additions have made immediate impacts in their first week wearing a Griffins sweater. Forward A.J. Jenks, signed to a professional tryout on Jan. 10, has accounted for two goals, one assist (2-1 - 3) and five penalty minutes in four games. Defenseman Jakub Kindl, assigned by Detroit on Jan. 11, is responsible for one goal (1-0 - 1) and eight PIM in four games after tallying five points (2-3 - 5) in 23 games for the Red Wings this season.
Road Redemption: After dropping their first five away games, the Griffins have won eight of their last 12 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, and snapped the Checkers 12-game point streak in a 5-3 win at Charlotte on Jan. 12.
Goal Scoring: Partly attributable to the Griffins' current eighth-place standing in the AHL is the fact they rank in the top 10 for both goals for (3.11, sixth) and goals against (2.43, fourth) per game.
Magic Numbers: The Griffins are 21-1-1-0 when scoring three or more goals and 16-2-0-0 when allowing two goals or fewer...Grand Rapids is 11-1-0-0 when leading after one period, 15-2-0-0 when leading after two and 18-2-1-0 when striking first.
Griffins Leaders: Eric Tangradi (16-14 - 30) and Andy Miele (8-21 - 29) continue to pace Grand Rapids in scoring, just ahead of Anthony Mantha (11-14 - 25), Martin Frk (14-9 - 23), Mark Zengerle (5-16 - 21), and Robbie Russo (2-16 - 18).
Making the Grade: Eric Tangradi has accumulated points in six of the last nine outings (3-5 - 8) since being assigned by Detroit on Dec. 30. Tangradi was recalled by the Red Wings on Dec. 28 but did not appear in any games. He set a Griffins' best this season with 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 fifth in goals (16) and tied for 19th in points (30).
Fantastic Frk: Martin Frk has found a groove lately, accumulating points in 13 of the last 17 contests (11-9 - 20), including five multi-point efforts. His stretch of consecutive three-point games (Dec. 19 vs. Texas and Dec. 26 at Lake Erie) marked the second Griffin this season to deliver back-to-back three-point efforts (Andy Miele, Nov. 25 vs. Iowa and Nov. 27 at Milwaukee). Over the last 17 games (Dec. 9-Jan. 17) he leads the league with 11 goals and is tied for the most points with 20 (11-9 - 20). To top it off, his four-game goal streak lasting Dec. 18-27 set a Griffins' long this year.
Stone Wall: Goaltender Jared Coreau has been nothing short of magnificent during the team's recent 22 points in 26 games stretch as he is responsible for 17 of those victories. Among Coreau's accomplishments during the run, lasting Nov. 18-Jan. 17, include: 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. Over the last 26 games, he has stopped 612 of 654 shots (0.936) and recorded a 2.00 GAA. Overall for the season, Coreau's 19 wins are one off the league lead and he also ranks inside the top five for save percentage (0.931, second) and GAA (2.15, third).
Another Day, Another Start: Jared Coreau started 15 straight games in goal for the Griffins (Dec. 9-Jan. 12). To add some perspective, the Griffins record for consecutive games started by a goaltender is held by Joey MacDonald, who started 24 in a row from Feb. 25-April 9, 2005. The mark for most consecutive games played in a season by a netminder is 31, also owned by MacDonald (Feb. 4-April 9, 2005).
Russo's Rookie Relevance: Rookie defenseman Robbie Russo registered just one assist and a single point through his first seven professional games this season. However, his eighth career game, Nov. 18 against Rockford, proved to be his coming out party as Russo exploded for a three-point night including scoring - in game-winning fashion - his first professional goal. Since Nov. 18, Russo is tied for first on the team with 15 assists in 26 games. Russo's seven-game assist streak (Dec. 5-19) set a Griffins' best this season and his plus-23 rating is tied for second 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 four points (2-2 - 4) in his first six games back in Grand Rapids.
Mantha Mania: Ranking third on the team in points (11-14 - 25), Anthony Mantha has picked up points in three of the last five, including a multi-point outing (Jan. 9). His three-game goal stretch (Jan. 9-13) marked the second time this season he's produced at least one goal in three consecutive games.
Zengerle Pitches In: Mark Zengerle has displayed a consistent output over the season's first 37 games and is fifth on the team in points (5-16 - 21). The former Wisconsin Badgers standout has six points in the last nine games (2-4 - 6), including a season-best two goals on Jan. 3 at Manitoba.
Andy Assister: Leading the team with 21 assists overall and second with 29 points (8-21 - 29), Andy Miele had his three-game point streak snapped on Friday against Lake Erie. His three assists at Iowa on Nov. 25 tied a Griffins season-high as Mark Zengerle also contributed three assists in the same game.
Out of Action: Goaltender Tom McCollum is expected to return soon from his injury. While on a conditioning stint with the Toledo Walleye on Jan. 16, playing in his first game since Dec. 5, McCollum stopped 25 shots in the Walleye's 4-3 victory over Wheeling...Mitch Callahan has missed the last 12 games and is expected to be out an extended amount of time with a broken jaw...The Griffins have combined to miss 97 games due to injury this season.
Making Moves: Goaltender Jake Paterson was reassigned to Toledo by Detroit following Sunday's game.
All-Star Nods: Defenseman Xavier Ouellet and forward Jeff Hoggan (playing captain) have been 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 receives 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 becomes 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 will be making his first career all-star appearance. Hoggan becomes 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).
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).
Climbing the Charts: Matching a season-best 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 four more appearances to equal MacDonald's mark of 210, has broken the 5,000-save barrier this season and, with 5,113 stops, stands behind only MacDonald (5,362) in club archives.
Walleye World: A recent 7-3-0-0 stretch has the ECHL's Toledo Walleye atop the North Division standings with a 22-10-1-3 record (48 points). The Walleye lead second-place Wheeling (15-18-2-2) by 14 points. Former Griffin Shane Berschbach (12-20 - 32) paces the offense. Alden Hirschfeld and A.J. Jenks rank among the team's offensive leaders but are both with Grand Rapids. Rookie netminder Jake Paterson, Detroit's second pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, shows a 5-6-1-1 record with a 2.46 GAA and 0.921 save percentage as an understudy to former Michigan State Spartan Jeff Lerg (16-4-0-2, 1.89 GAA, 0.935%). While spending 15 games with the Griffins, Paterson made his first career AHL start on Jan. 13 at Charlotte and recorded 38 saves in a 4-3 loss.
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.
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).
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.
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
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
Wednesday, Jan. 20 at Lake Erie Monsters (20-14-3-3) - Quicken Loans Arena - 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series: 15-12-2-6 Road, 37-22-3-7 Overall. Season Series: 2-2-0-1 Road, 6-2-0-1 Overall. Tenth of 12 meetings overall, sixth of six at Quicken Loans Arena. NHL Affiliation: Columbus Blue Jackets. Head Coach: Jared Bednar (1st season). Notes: The Lake Erie Monsters are fifth in the Central Division, seventh in the Western Conference and 12th in the AHL with a 20-14-3-3 record (0.575)...Monsters head coach Jared Bednar played for the Griffins during their 1998-99 IHL campaign, racking up 21 points (3-18 - 21) and a team-high 220 PIM in 74 games...Lake Erie is 3-5-1-1 in its last 10, including a 3-1 loss at first-place Rockford on Monday night...The Monsters are 11-3-0-2 at home... The Monsters are responsible for snapping the Griffins' franchise record 15-game winning streak on Dec. 27...In the Dec. 27 game, which ended in a 3-2 Lake Erie victory, the two teams combined for an AHL season-high 158 PIM (GR 84, LE 74)...T.J. Tynan leads the Monsters with 25 points (3-22 - 25)...The Monsters rank ninth in goals against per game (2.70) but are 23rd in goals for (2.63)...Lake Erie is second in the penalty kill at 87.6%...The Griffins have won six of the last seven against the Monsters this season after dropping the first two...In the last meeting between the teams, Jan. 15 at Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids claimed a 1-0 overtime win behind Nick Jensen's game-winning goal...The last two meetings between the clubs have been decided in extra time as Andy Miele's goal in the second round of the shootout helped the Griffins to a 4-3 shootout win on Jan. 9...Eric Tangradi (6-1 - 7) and Anthony Mantha (4-3 - 7) lead the Griffins in point production against the Monsters.
Friday, Jan. 22 vs. Rochester Americans (18-19-2-1) - Van Andel Arena - 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 23 vs. Rochester Americans - Van Andel Arena - 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. each night. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through woodradio.com. All-Time Series: 23-7-1-1-2 Home, 39-22-1-3-3 Overall. Season Series: 0-0-0-0 Home, 0-0-0-0 Overall. First and second of four meetings overall, first and second of two at Van Andel Arena. NHL Affiliation: Buffalo Sabres. Head Coach: Randy Cunneyworth (1st season). Notes: The Rochester Americans rank sixth in the North Division, 12th in the Eastern Conference and 23rd in the AHL with an 18-19-2-1 (0.488) record...The Griffins are 9-0-1-1 against the Americans at home since the start of the 2010-11 season...Grand Rapids is 7-0-2-0 against Rochester in the last seven overall...The Americans post a 7-12-0-1 road record this season...Grand Rapids is 0-1-0-0 against North Division opponents this season (1-6 L at Toronto on Oct. 30)...Rochester is being outscored 46-24 by its opponents in the third period...The Americans are 28th in goals for (2.38) and 27th in shots for (27.55) per game...Jason Akeson leads the team in point production (7-17 - 24), followed by Cal O'Reilly (4-19 - 23)...Andrey Makarov and Nathan Lieuwen have both recorded over 900 minutes in between the pipes...Lieuwen is the team's leading goaltender showing a 10-7-1 record, a 2.81 GAA and a 0.913 save percentage.
This Week's Games
Wed., Jan. 20 GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters 7 p.m. WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Fri., Jan. 22 Rochester Americans at GRIFFINS 7 p.m. WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Jan. 23 Rochester Americans at GRIFFINS 7 p.m. WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Last Week's Results
Tues., Jan. 12 GRIFFINS 5 at Charlotte Checkers 3 22-11-0-1, 45 points (2nd, Central Division)
Wed., Jan. 13 Griffins 3 at Charlotte Checkers 4 22-12-0-1, 45 points (2nd)
Fri., Jan. 15 Lake Erie Monsters 0 at GRIFFINS 1 OT 23-12-0-1, 47 points (2nd)
Sun., Jan. 17 Chicago Wolves 4 at GRIFFINS 3 OT 23-12-1-1, 48 points (4th)
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