Grand Rapids Griffins

Griffins Battle Top Two Teams in Division During Three-Game Week

February 20, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

This Week's Games

GRIFFINS vs. Texas Stars // Wed., Feb. 21 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

GRIFFINS vs. Texas Stars // Sat., Feb. 24 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:45 p.m. each night

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 1-4-1-0 overall, 1-1-0-0 home. Seventh and eighth of eight meetings overall, third and fourth of four at Van Andel Arena.

All-Time Series: 40-29-5-5 Overall, 21-12-1-4 Home

NHL Affiliation: Dallas Stars

Noteworthy: The Griffins enter the week in third place in the Central Division, just one point behind the Texas Stars with a game in hand. Grand Rapids is on a 12-game point streak (8-0-2-2), while Texas is riding a five-game point streak (3-0-1-1).

GRIFFINS vs. Milwaukee Admirals // Sun., Feb. 25 // 5 p.m. // Van Andel Arena

Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 4:45 p.m.

Watch: AHLTV

Season Series: 2-2-0-0 overall, 1-1-0-0 home. Fifth of eight meetings overall, third of four at Van Andel Arena

All-Time Series: 111-82-7-8-8 Overall, 59-39-2-3-3 Home

NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators

Noteworthy: Milwaukee is on an astounding 17-game win streak, which is tied for the second-longest run in AHL history (2018-19 Bakersfield and 2004-05 Philadelphia, behind Norfolk's 28-game streak in 2011-12). The Admirals' last defeat came against the Rockford IceHogs on Dec. 31, 2023.

Keep the Good Times Rolling: The Griffins saw their season-high seven-game win streak (Jan. 19-Feb. 9) come to an end on Feb. 9, which was the longest win streak since the team rattled off a 13-game run from Feb. 20-March 19, 2016. However, Grand Rapids is still on a 12-game point streak (8-0-2-2, Jan. 13-Feb. 17), which is the second-longest run in the AHL this season and the team's longest since Feb. 20-March 19, 2016 (13-0-0-0). Grand Rapids saw its season-best seven-game road winning streak (Dec. 27-Feb. 2) come to an end last Tuesday, which was tied for the longest road winning streak in franchise history (Jan. 29-Feb. 28, 2015 and Oct. 16-Dec. 3, 2004). Grand Rapids' active nine-game road point streak (8-0-0-1) is the longest since an 11-game run (9-0-1-1) from Jan. 29-March 12, 2015. The Griffins have secured at least a point in 19 of their last 22 contests (14-3-3-2). The Griffins are 13-2-2-2 since Christmas and have a pair of winning streaks of five or more games in the same season for the first time since 2015-16. Grand Rapids has points in 13 of its last 17 games (10-4-2-1) inside Van Andel Arena and has points in 10 of its past 11 road appearances (8-1-1-1). The Griffins have been solid at home with a 12-6-3-1 mark, outscoring their opponents 68-54. Grand Rapids has started to find a rhythm on the road, earning points in nine straight games to move above the .500 mark away from home (10-9-2-2).

I Need to Rest: The Griffins competed in five straight games that were decided past regulation from Feb. 2-16, which tied a franchise record set from Jan. 19-20, 2009. Last Friday was the first time in Griffins history that they lost on a penalty shot in overtime. The only other time they faced one was against the Monsters on Nov. 7, 2010 when Jordan Pearce stopped Lake Erie's Brandon Rogers. The Griffins came away with two of the five victories from Feb. 2-16 (2-0-1-2) and are now 4-8 this season in games decided after regulation. As a team, the Griffins are a combined 6-for-25 during a shootout (24%), as Tim Gettinger (2-for-3) paces the team with a 66.7% conversion rate. Sebastian Cossa has stopped 75% (9-for-12) of opponents' shootout attempts and Michael Hutchinson comes in at 66.7% (8-for-12). The Griffins have an all-time record of 117-126 during a shootout.

Sea Bass Fishing: Rookie netminder Sebastian Cossa won a team-high four straight games from Jan. 19-Feb. 2 and is currently on a six-game point streak (4-0-2) from Jan. 19-Feb. 16. The 6-foot-7 goaltender is 7-2-3 in his last 12 outings from Dec. 15-Feb. 16. Since returning from the holiday break on Dec. 27, Cossa has a 6-1-2 ledger with a 2.11 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. The former 15th overall pick by the Red Wings in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft has allowed more than two goals just three times in his past nine games. Through 22 contests, Cossa is 10-7-5 with a 2.76 goals against average and a .905 save percentage. The 21-year-old ranks seventh among rookie goaltenders in goals against average and tied for seventh in save percentage.

Clutch Hutch: Veteran goaltender Michael Hutchinson has been solid for the Griffins this year, posting an 11-8-3 mark with one shutout in 23 games to go along with a 2.79 goals against average and a .897 save percentage. The 33-year-old is on an active five-game point streak from Jan. 13-Feb. 17 (3-0-2) and has a .903 save percentage and a 2.52 goals against average during the run. Since returning from the holiday break on Dec. 27, Hutchinson has accumulated a 6-1-2 record with a .865 save percentage and a 2.55 goals against average. The Barrie, Ontario, native has an all-time AHL record of 117-79-23 with a 2.60 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Hutchinson has also appeared in 154 NHL contests, showing a 2.94 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Wall-E: Rookie defenseman William Wallinder is on a season-high three-game assist streak (0-3-3) from Feb. 13-17. Through 43 games, the Solleftea, Sweden, native has 11 points (3-8-11), eight penalty minutes and a plus-four rating. Wallinder's three goals are tied for 12th among first-year defensemen in the AHL. The 21-year-old was selected with the 32nd overall pick by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Last season with Rogle BK (SHL), Wallinder paced the Champions Hockey League defensemen with seven assists and in 2021-22 was named the Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year in addition to claiming a bronze medal at the World Junior Championship.

Oh, It's You Again: The Griffins are in third place in the Central Division with a 22-15-5-3 record and 52 points, 13 points clear of a playoff spot. In the final 27 games of the regular season, Grand Rapids will compete against the Central Division 24 times, with its only games outside of the division coming against Cleveland (3). The Griffins have done well against their division rivals, as they are 16-9-2-1 (.625) with a plus-12 scoring margin against the Central Division. Grand Rapids is undefeated this season against Chicago (3-0-0-0) and Iowa (2-0-0-0), while it has collected just one win against Texas (1-4-1-0). Iowa will be the Griffins' most frequent opponents down the stretch, as there are still six meetings against the franchise. Grand Rapids will also see a lot of Chicago (5) and Rockford (5) as the season progresses.

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