Griffins Host Two Illinois Squads this Week
Grand Rapids Griffins react after a goal against the Rockford IceHogs
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Sam Iannamico/Griffins)
This Week's Games
GRIFFINS vs. Chicago Wolves // Wed., Dec. 4 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m.
Season Series: 0-0-0-0 Home, 1-1-0-0 Overall. Third of eight meetings overall, first of four at Van Andel Arena
All-Time Series: 42-27-2-4-2 Home, 85-62-2-6-3 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Vegas Golden Knights
Noteworthy: Matt Ford (2-2-4 in 2 GP), Chris Terry (2-2-4 in 2 GP) and Evgeny Svechnikov (1-3-4 in 2 GP) lead Grand Rapids in the season series.
GRIFFINS vs. Rockford IceHogs // Fri., Dec. 6 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m.
Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Home, 2-2-0-0 Overall. Fifth of 10 meetings overall, second of five at Van Andel Arena
All-Time Series: 30-11-3-2 Home, 45-34-7-8 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks
Noteworthy: Since the 2016-17 season, the home team in the series has posted a 24-8-2-0 record (0.735).
Last Week's Results
Wed., Nov. 27 GRIFFINS 2 at Chicago Wolves 5 9-10-1-1 (20 pts., T4th Central Division)
Fri., Nov. 29 Manitoba Moose 4 at GRIFFINS 2 9-11-1-1 (20 pts., 6th Central)
Sat., Nov. 30 GRIFFINS 1 at Rockford IceHogs 3 9-12-1-1 (20 pts., T6th Central)
Status Update: The Grand Rapids Griffins will look to halt a five-game losing streak this week when they host the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday and the Rockford IceHogs on Friday. Grand Rapids will then have both Saturday and Sunday off from games for the first of two times this season (Feb. 1-2). The Griffins begin December under 0.500 for the first time since 2017-18 (8-10-0-2). Keep in mind, Grand Rapids has made the Calder Cup Playoffs in a franchise-record seven consecutive seasons.
Last Week's Notes:
Wednesday at Chicago - Chris Terry scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season and Dominic Turgeon added his fourth...Calvin Pickard made his fourth consecutive start in net...The Griffins outshot the Wolves 29-22 and Grand Rapids holds an 85-76 shot advantage during its three-game losing streak...Nine AHL rookies skated for Grand Rapids in the contest...The season series between Chicago and Grand Rapids stands 1-1 and the next meeting is Dec. 4 at Van Andel Arena.
Friday vs. Manitoba - Chris Terry and Dominic Turgeon both have goals in back-to-back games...Grand Rapids finished 1-for-4 on the power play, 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and outshot Manitoba 28-24...Pat Nagle, recalled from the ECHL's Toledo Walleye on Thanksgiving, stopped all seven shots he faced in a relief effort...Nagle has made four career appearances with the Griffins and nine in the AHL...The Moose have won the last three in the series after Grand Rapids won the first matchup...Captain Matt Ford skated in his 200th game as a Griffin...Givani Smith returned to the Griffins lineup after missing the last seven games (three due to injury, four while on recall with Detroit)...Over 2,000 teddy bears were tossed onto the ice after the first Griffins goal and all will be donated to Hug-A-Bears of Kent County. Recap | Highlights
Saturday at Rockford - Pat Nagle recorded 26 saves while making his first start of the season for Grand Rapids...Brian Lashoff notched his second goal of the season...Rookie Gustav Lindstrom extended his assist streak to three games...Grand Rapids outshot Rockford 30-29 and finished 5-for-5 on the penalty kill...The Griffins have dropped their last four road games. Recap | Highlights
Follow the Leaders:
Player GP G A Pts
Chris Terry 23 11 16 27
Matt Puempel 17 9 10 19
X Filip Zadina 19 7 6 13
Dominic Turgeon 23 5 6 11
Matthew Ford 17 3 8 11
Goalies GP Record GAA SV%
Pat Nagle 2 0-1-0 1.40 0.943
Calvin Pickard 15 7-6-2 3.00 0.898
Adding to the List: Recalled on Thanksgiving, goaltender Calvin Pickard became the 181st Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he made his Detroit debut on Nov. 29 in the team's 6-1 loss at Philadelphia. He recorded 29 saves. A second-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche, Pickard has logged 105 NHL games since 2014-15 with Colorado, Toronto, Philadelphia, Arizona and Detroit. He was assigned back to Grand Rapids on Sunday.
Saarijarvi Traded: The Red Wings on Saturday acquired goaltender Eric Comrie from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Vili Saarijarvi. Selected in the third round, 73rd overall, of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit, Saarijarvi skated in 125 games for the Griffins since 2017-18, totaling 28 points (2-26-28), a plus-13 rating and 32 penalty minutes.
Simon Says: The 11th head coach in Griffins history, Ben Simon is set to coach his 100th game as head coach of the Griffins on Wednesday (47-39-8-5 record). In 2018-19, he became the eighth head coach in franchise history to lead the Griffins to the postseason during his first full season behind the bench. Wednesday will mark his 328th game overall behind Grand Rapids' bench as he served as an assistant under Todd Nelson from 2015-18.
November Notes: Chris Terry led the Griffins in points (15), goals (7) and assists (8) while playing in all 14 November contests. The Red Wings recalled or assigned a player from or to Grand Rapids a total of 17 times in the month. A total of 24 skaters suited up for the Griffins in the month, marking the highest number of players to see action in the last 15 Novembers (The next closest is Nov. 2011 with 23 players.)
Red Wings Report: Defensemen Dylan McIlrath and Jonathan Ericsson and forward Filip Zadina are on recall with the Red Wings. Since being summoned on Nov. 5, McIlrath is averaging 14:53 of ice time and has tallied 21 PIM in 14 games. Ericsson has played in seven games, averaging 17:19 of ice time. Zadina made his season debut with the Red Wings on Nov. 24 vs. Carolina and has picked up two assists in five games with an average ice time of 13:55. In total, there have been seven players who have played for both clubs this season - Ericsson, Joe Hicketts, McIlrath, Calvin Pickard, Givani Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov and Zadina.
Back Up, Terr: Chris Terry lit the lamp in two of three games last week and his 15 points in November tied for eighth in the AHL. The second-year Griffin ties for the AHL lead in points (27) while pacing the club in goals (11), assists (16), multi-point games (9) and power play goals (7). In his 11th-year pro, Terry led the Griffins with 61 points last season and the most recent player to lead GR in scoring in back-to-back seasons was Andy Miele in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Net Nagle: Recalled from Toledo on Thanksgiving, goalie Pat Nagle made his season debut with the Griffins last week, stopping 33 of 35 shots over two games. He entered in relief of Filip Larsson on Friday and recorded seven saves before notching 26 saves on Saturday. A former Ferris State Bulldog, Nagle is 1-1-1 with a 2.13 GAA and a 0.916 save percentage in five career games with the Griffins since 2014-15.
Apple Seider: Moritz Seider (1-10-11) ties Joe Hicketts (0-11-11) as the team's top scoring defenseman while ranking fifth among rookie AHL blueliners in points. Born April 6, 2001, Seider ties Ontario's Tobias Bjornfot for the second-youngest player in the AHL this season. Only Bridgeport's Simon Holmstrom (May 24, 2001) is younger.
Away for the Holidays: The Griffins will play four home games this month, their fewest in December in franchise history. After Friday's home game against Rockford, Grand Rapids embarks on a season-high six-game road trip and will not return to Van Andel Arena until Dec. 27.
Puzzle Pieces: The Griffins have recently been missing several key components that were on the team's opening night roster:
Dylan McIlrath (0-3-3 in 10 GP) - on recall with Detroit since Nov. 5, missed last 12 games
Matt Puempel (9-10-19 in 17 GP) - missed last six due to injury
Michael Rasmussen (2-7-9 in 10 GP) - missed last eight due to injury
Filip Zadina (7-6-13 in 19 GP) - on recall with Detroit since Nov. 24, missed last three
Milestones Within Reach:
Matthew Ford - needs one goal to reach 200 in the AHL
Matt Puempel - needs two games to reach 400 as a pro
First Things First: Grand Rapids' roster currently features four recent Detroit first-round draft picks (Moritz Seider 2019, Joe Veleno 2018, Michael Rasmussen 2017, Evgeny Svechnikov 2015). Four of the Red Wings' last six first rounders are on the west side of the state, with the exceptions being Dennis Cholowski (2016), who made Detroit's roster following training camp, and Filip Zadina (2018), who was recalled on Nov. 24. From 2002-15, the Griffins had only seven Detroit first rounders total suit up for them: Jakub Kindl (2005-11; 14-15), Niklas Kronwall (2003-06), Dylan Larkin (2015 playoffs only), Anthony Mantha (2014-15), Tom McCollum (2009-15), Riley Sheahan (2011-14) and Brendan Smith (2010-13). The Griffins' opening night lineup had five Detroit first rounders in it, far surpassing the previous record of two. The Griffins had never seen more than three Red Wings first rounders suit up for the club at any point in the same season until this year. Adding in Matt Puempel (24th overall by Ottawa in 2011), Grand Rapids' roster boasts five former first-round draft selections.
Griffins in General: Grand Rapids is in the franchise's 24th overall season of play, 19th as a member of the American Hockey League and 18th as the primary affiliate of the 11-time Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings...Grand Rapids is 974-668-27-59-113 (0.583) in the regular season since 1996-97 to go along with 17 playoff appearances, seven division titles and two Calder Cups (2017, 2013)...The Griffins have earned 40 or more wins and accumulated 90 or more points in six of the last seven seasons...Grand Rapids has qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in a franchise-record seven consecutive seasons and advanced to at least the second round on five occasions...The Griffins' 8-5 season-opening win at Chicago on Oct. 5 marked the club's 750th win in the AHL...Grand Rapids' 314 regular season wins since the 2012-13 campaign are third behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's 317 and Toronto's 332 while the Griffins' 681 points in that span are fourth, trailing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (686), Providence (691) and Toronto (720)...Since the affiliation began in 2002-03, 91 Griffins have gone on to play for the Red Wings.
Chicago Notes: Current record 9-13-2-0, 20 points, T6th Central Division...Chicago is 2-7-1-0 in its last 10...The teams have split the two meetings so far, with both coming at Allstate Arena...In the last 10 overall against Chicago, the Griffins are 4-6-0-0...Matt Ford (2-2-4 in 2 GP), Chris Terry (2-2-4 in 2 GP) and Evgeny Svechnikov (1-3-4 in 2 GP) lead Grand Rapids in the season series...The Griffins' power play has scored on 3 of 7 chances against Chicago (42.9%)...Grand Rapids has faced Chicago 158 times in the regular season, the second-most of any Griffins opponent (Milwaukee, 188)...Second-year head coach Ben Simon and Wolves' third-year bench boss Rocky Thompson are both members of Todd Nelson's coaching tree...Simon was an assistant under Nelson in Grand Rapids from 2015-18 and won the 2017 Calder Cup...Thompson served on Nelson's staff in Oklahoma City from 2010-14 as an assistant...As part of his 11-year professional playing career, Simon registered 87 points (37-50-87) in 196 games with the Wolves from 2001-03 and 2004-05 and was a part of Chicago's first Calder Cup title in 2002.
Rockford Notes: Current record 11-8-0-1, 23 points, 5th Central Division...Grand Rapids won the first two meetings of the season and Rockford has claimed the last two...Chris Terry (1-3-4 in 4 GP) is the series' leading scorer...As a member of the Griffins, Matt Puempel has 18 points (8-10-18) in 19 GP against the IceHogs...Since the 2016-17 season, the home team in the series has posted a 24-8-2-0 record (0.735)...Dating to April 1, 2017, Grand Rapids has points in seven of its last 14 games at Rockford (2-7-2-3)...Grand Rapids has points in nine of the last 10 meetings at Van Andel Arena (7-1-2-0)...In the last 10 overall against Rockford, the Griffins are 4-4-2-0...Grand Rapids' penalty kill is 14-for-15 against Rockford this season (93.3%)...Head coach Ben Simon served as an assistant in Rockford for two seasons (2011-13)...Rockford head coach Derek King played in Grand Rapids from 1999-01 and 2002-04 and is the franchise's all-time leading playoff scorer (16-25-41) and ranks fifth in regular season points (73-130-203).
Win Some, Lose Some: Compare the statistics between the Griffins' nine wins and 14 (including OT and SO) losses:
GF GA PP% PK% SF SA
W (9) 4.67 2.22 32.43% 83.33% 26.44 30.89
L (14) 2.00 4.43 15.00% 71.11% 31.71 26.57
Back-to-Back: The Griffins will play on consecutive nights a total of 25 times this season.
W L (incl. OT, SO) GF GA PP% PK% SF SA
First Night 3 5 3.00 3.00 33.33% 78.79% 31.00 27.75
Second Night 2 6 2.38 4.25 12.12% 76.67% 30.38 26.50
Images from this story
Grand Rapids Griffins react after a goal against the Rockford IceHogs
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