Griffins Start Six-Game Road Trip in California
Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Taro Hirose and the Griffins bench
(Grand Rapids Griffins, Credit: Sam Iannamico/Griffins)
This Week's Games
GRIFFINS at San Diego Gulls // Wed., Dec. 11 // 10 p.m. EST // Pechanga Arena San Diego
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 9:35 p.m.
Season Series: First of four meetings overall, first of two at Pechanga Arena San Diego
All-Time Series: 0-1-0-0 Road, 1-1-0-0 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Anaheim Ducks
Noteworthy: The clubs are meeting for the first time since Nov. 20, 2015 at Van Andel Arena.
GRIFFINS at Bakersfield Condors // Fri., Dec. 13 // 10 p.m. EST // Rabobank Arena
GRIFFINS at Bakersfield Condors // Sat., Dec. 14 // 10 p.m. EST // Rabobank Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 9:35 p.m. both nights
Season Series: First and second of four meetings overall, first and second of two at Rabobank Arena
All-Time Series: 0-1-0-0 Road, 0-2-0-0 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Edmonton Oilers
Noteworthy: The Griffins and Condors are matching up for the first time since April 16, 2016 at Van Andel Arena.
Last Week's Results
Wed., Dec. 4 Chicago Wolves 5 at GRIFFINS 2 9-13-1-1 (20 pts., 7th Central Division)
Fri., Dec. 6 Rockford IceHogs 2 at GRIFFINS 1 SO 9-13-1-2 (21 pts., 7th Central Division)
Status Update: The Grand Rapids Griffins head off to San Diego and Bakersfield this week to begin a season-high six-game road swing. Grand Rapids picked up a point in a shootout defeat against Rockford last Friday to end a six-game losing streak in regulation.
Last Week's Notes:
Wednesday vs. Chicago - Grand Rapids is 1-2 in the season series...Second-year head coach Ben Simon coached in his 100th regular season game as head coach of the Griffins...Taro Hirose, who was assigned by Detroit on Tuesday, scored in his AHL debut...Brandon Anselmini (signed to a PTO on Tuesday) made his Griffins debut and Tyler Spezia (recalled from Toledo on Monday) made his AHL season debut...Evgeny Svechnikov scored a power play goal for his fourth of the season...Grand Rapids finished 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill...Chicago's visit to Van Andel Arena was its first since Game 4 of the 2019 Central Division Semifinals on April 24, a series the Wolves went on to win 3-2 as their first step on the way to a Calder Cup Finals appearance.
Recap | Highlights
Friday vs. Rockford - Grand Rapids is 2-2-0-1 in the season series...Eric Tangradi scored in his return to Grand Rapids after signing a one-year contract 90 minutes before the opening faceoff...Tangradi's tally was the eighth unassisted of his Griffins career, tying him with Jeff Hoggan and Landon Ferraro for third place in franchise history...Grand Rapids played its third game past regulation this season and second in a shootout...Matt Puempel returned to the lineup after missing the previous seven games due to injury...The Griffins finished 0-for-3 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Recap | Highlights
Follow the Leaders:
Player GP G A Pts
Chris Terry 25 11 16 27
Matt Puempel 18 9 10 19
X Filip Zadina 20 7 6 13
Moritz Seider 25 1 11 12
Joe Hicketts 17 0 12 12
Goalies GP Record GAA SV%
Pat Nagle 2 0-1-0 1.40 0.943
Calvin Pickard 17 7-7-3 2.93 0.900
Road Trippin': The Griffins' 14-day, six-game road trip is the team's longest this season in both categories. The trip covers 4,243 miles and begins on Wednesday at San Diego, traverses to Bakersfield this weekend, before heading back to San Diego next Tuesday and concluding Dec. 20-21 at Iowa. Grand Rapids has posted a 0.500 record or better during each of its last six road trips lasting six games or longer: 5-1-0-0 in 2018-19 (March 16-26), 3-2-0-2 in 2016-17 (Feb. 28-March 12), 4-2-0-1 in 2013-14 (March 13-28), 4-2-0-1 in 2012-13 (March 23-April 6), 3-3-0-0 in 2010-11 (Jan. 6-18), 4-1-0-1 in 2009-10 (March 12-25).
We're Going Going, Back Back, to Cali Cali: This week will mark games No. 17, 18 and 19 all time for Grand Rapids in the Golden State, including playoffs. The Griffins are 4-9-1-2 (0.344), which includes 1-1 in the postseason.
Date Opponent Result
Jan. 17, 1998 Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL) L, 1-6
Nov. 24, 1998 Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL) L, 3-5
Oct. 15, 1999 Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL) L, 4-5
Oct. 16, 1999 Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL) W, 5-3
Nov. 24, 2004 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks* SOW, 4-3
Oct. 9, 2015 Bakersfield Condors L, 0-1
Oct. 10, 2015 San Diego Gulls L, 2-4
March 11, 2017 San Jose Barracuda SOL, 0-1
March 12, 2017 Stockton Heat SOL, 4-5
May 20, 2017 San Jose Barracuda# W, 3-1
May 21, 2017 San Jose Barracuda# L, 2-4
Oct. 13, 2017 San Jose Barracuda W, 7-3
Oct. 14, 2017 Stockton Heat L, 0-4
April 3, 2019 Ontario Reign L, 1-3
April 5, 2019 San Jose Barracuda L, 1-3
April 6, 2019 San Jose Barracuda OTL, 4-5
# Playoff game
* Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim
Time to Tango: Eric Tangardi was signed by Grand Rapids to a one-year contract 90 minutes prior to the opening faceoff against Rockford last Friday. In his first Griffins appearance since Game 4 of the Central Division Semifinals against Manitoba on April 26, 2018, Tangradi tallied the team's only goal in their shootout loss. A 2017 Calder Cup champion with the Griffins, Tangradi ranks among the team's all-time leaders with 165 points (9th), 77 goals (6th), 21 power play goals (10th), 14 game-winning goals (4th), three overtime goals (T3rd) and eight unassisted goals (T3rd) in 201 games since 2015-16. His next goal will tie him with Jamie Tardif for fifth all time. Tangradi set a franchise record for most assists in a single postseason with 17 during the team's Calder Cup run in 2017. His 22 playoff assists are third in the team's record book while his 28 points tie for eighth in 30 appearances. Tangradi posted nine points (5-4-9) in 22 games for Astana Barys of the Kontinental Hockey League this season and spent the 2018-19 campaign in the New Jersey organization.
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 14:44 of ice time and has tallied 21 PIM in 15 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 six games with an average ice time of 13:55. In total, there have been eight players who have played for both clubs this season - Ericsson, Joe Hicketts, Taro Hirose, McIlrath, Calvin Pickard, Givani Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov and Zadina. After playing in 23 games to begin the season for Detroit, Hirose was assigned by Detroit last Tuesday and has played in two games for the Griffins.
Back Up, Terr: Chris Terry ties for fourth in the AHL in points (27) while pacing the Griffins 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.
Blueline Scoring: Moritz Seider (1-11-12) and Joe Hicketts (0-12-12) tie for the team lead among defensemen in points. Hicketts' 12 assists tie for 14th among all AHL blueliners while Seider ties for fourth among rookie defensemen 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 having two tilts at Van Andel Arena to begin the month, Grand Rapids is not back within friendly confines until Dec. 27. The Griffins will make up for it in January as an eight-game homestand from Jan. 10-25 is the team's longest since an eight-game stretch Oct. 14-Nov. 4, 2006.
Rotating Roster: The Griffins have used 27 skaters already this season (not including three goalies), which is the team's most through Dec. 9 in the last 15 seasons. Since the AHL's regular season began on Oct. 4, the Red Wings have recalled or assigned a player from or to Grand Rapids a total of 40 times.
Milestones Within Reach:
Chris Terry - needs six games to reach 600 in the AHL and 100 as a Griffin
Evgeny Svechnikov - needs two games to reach 150 in the AHL
Matthew Ford - needs one goal to reach 200 in the AHL
Matt Puempel - needs one game to reach 400 as a pro
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 974-669-27-59-114 (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 tie Providence for third behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's 317 and Toronto's 334 while the Griffins' 682 points in that span are fourth, trailing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (687), Providence (695) and Toronto (724)...Since the affiliation began in 2002-03, 91 Griffins have gone on to play for the Red Wings.
Pacific Coasting: The Griffins hold a 7-11-1-3 record (0.409) against current teams in the Pacific Division, including a 2-6-1-2 (0.318) mark on the road. Grand Rapids will play eight games against the Pacific this season.
San Diego Notes: Current record 9-9-1-0, 19 points, 6th Pacific Division...The clubs are meeting for the first time overall since Nov. 20, 2015 at Van Andel Arena (7-4 W) and at San Diego for the first time since Oct. 10, 2015 (2-4 L)...San Diego's 4-2 win on Oct. 10, 2015 came during its AHL debut...Grand Rapids holds a 25-11-2-0-0 all-time record (0.684) against Anaheim's AHL affiliates, including 22-10-2-0-0 against the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, 2-0-0-0 against the Iowa Chops and 1-1-0-0 against San Diego...Eric Tangradi was selected in the second round, 42nd overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by Anaheim but did not suit up for any clubs in the organization...Rookie defenseman Alec McCrea hails from San Diego.
Bakersfield Notes: Current record 9-10-2-1, 21 points, 5th Pacific Division...The clubs are matching up for the first time since the 2015-16 season...Grand Rapids' 2015-16 campaign was bookended with games against the Condors, as the Griffins opened the year with a 1-0 loss at Bakersfield on Oct. 9 and concluded the regular season on April 16 with a 3-2 defeat at Van Andel Arena...Grand Rapids shows a 26-19-1-1-3 all-time record (0.570) against Edmonton's AHL affiliates (note this does not include the 2006-07 campaign when Edmonton held partial affiliations with five AHL clubs, one of those being the Griffins)...Bakersfield forwards Tomas Jurco and Luke Esposito are former Griffins...A 2013 Calder Cup champion, Jurco was chosen in the second round, 35th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit and skated in 113 career games for the Griffins over parts of four seasons (2012-14; 2015-17), and amassed 71 points (33-38-71)...Esposito spent his rookie campaign in 2017-18 with Grand Rapids and recorded eight points (1-7-8) in 31 games...Captain Matt Ford suited up for the Condors during their inaugural AHL season in 2015-16 and led the team in points (51) and goals (27) in 64 contests.
Win Some, Lose Some: Compare the statistics between the Griffins' nine wins and 16 (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 (16) 1.94 4.31 14.93% 74.07% 31.44 27.00
Back-to-Back: This weekend will mark the ninth of 25 times total this season the Griffins will play on consecutive nights.
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 left wing Taro Hirose and the Griffins bench
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