The division leading Grand Rapids Grffins roll into town tomorrow night. The Ads defeated them on their big Calder Cup banner raising ceremony night by the score, 3-2. Since then the Griffins have gone 7-1-0-1 including seven-straight wins in regulation. Just for good measure they’ll be entering Wednesday night’s game off of two consecutive games where they’ve scored six goals. For an Admirals team that has allowed 125 shots in their last three games… this could be trouble.
Leading the way for the Griffins is a guy I still can’t believe isn’t in the NHL, Gustav Nyquist. He currently leads the team in goals (7) and assists (10). The previous two games, where the team put up six goals in both contests, he has two goals and two assists. The whole team right now is rolling offensively. The man that will cause the most trouble for the Ads defense with each and every shift? Nyquist. It’s not all about scoring goals for him. He’s a great playmaker that creates quality chances for his teammates. While there is no denying he isn’t the only hot offensive player on the Griffins right now. To slow down the Griffins offensive attack the Ads defense will need to stay tight to Nyquist and keep him from controlling the game.
We all know about Petr Mrazek and how good he is. Yet, Tom McCollum is starting to really shine in net for the Griffins this season. McCollum was the first round draft pick for the Detroit Red Wings in the 2008 NHL Draft. He is entering his fifth season with the Griffins and might just finally be proving his value to the organization. This year he has won six games out of seven starts in net. He has allowed 2.25 goals per game but does has a good 0.922 SV%. Both McCollum and Mrazek are proving themselves to be very reliable options in net for the Griffins. No matter who gets tipped to start Wednesday the Ads will be in for a test offensively just as much as they will defensively.
How will the Ads match up against the division leaders? Who steps up big in this game? Will Hellberg continue to face 40+ shots? How can the Ads slow down the Griffins?