Here is your positive to last night’s negative result. The Admirals have a quick turn-around and a chance to rebound tonight. Sounds great on paper but games in Grand Rapids have been hit and miss for the Admirals. They lost 4-2 in their first visit but were in cruise control with a 4-0 shutout in their last trip. What will we get tonight? Let’s find out.
The Grand Rapids Griffins have a record of 27-17-5-1 (60 points) which is good for third place in the Midwest Division. That’s correct, the Griffins have managed to leap past the Chicago Wolves in the divisional standings and big reason as to how is because in their last ten games the Griffins have pulled off a 7-1-2-0 (16 points) record including a point scoring streak of six games – dating all the way back to when the Admirals shut them out..
During this current six game run for the Griffins they have outscored opponents 24-17, averaged 32.0 shots per game, and averaged 27.8 shots allowed per game. Their power-play has gone 4/21 and, even better, their penalty kill has gone a perfect 18/18.
Some good news is that the Griffins will be without the AHL’s top scorer Teemu Pulkkinen tonight. He was called up to the Detroit Red Wings yesterday. The “Holy Slapper” has scored 57 points (30 goals, 27 assists) in 44 AHL games for the Griffins this season. He was second on the Griffins in scoring in the head-to-head match up against the Admirals with 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) in 4 games. His NHL stat-line has 1 goal and 2 penalty minutes in 6 games of work.
So, incredible Pulk. What does that mean for the Griffins in the scoring department? Oddly enough, the first three names that came to mind as guys to watch out for all follow Pulkkinen on the Griffins team scoring list: Andy Miele, 46 points (15 goals, 31 assists)… Mitch Callahan, 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists)… Landon Ferraro, 28 points (20 goals, 8 assists). All of these guys play great and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see them in the scoresheet later tonight. Idea, don’t let them do it.
Remember when I said good news Pulkkinen up? I deviously neglected some other news that came with that roster move. Petr Mrázek, known Admiral killer, has been reassigned to the Griffins. My reaction is something along these lines.
What’s to fear about Mrázek against the Admirals? Here is his career line in the match-up: 11 games, 7-3-0-1 record, 1.66 goals against average, 0.934 save percentage, and 2 shutouts. Yeah. I’m begging for Tom McCollum or, even the man who shutout the Admirals not too long ago, Jared Coreau. Anything but Mrázek please. Players like himself and Pulkkinen belong up in the NHL anyways.
Expectations for tonight? Will it matter who the Grand Rapids Griffins put in net? Who should the Admirals counter with in net for tonight’s game?