Griffins: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Here we are again. The Milwaukee Admirals are on the road heading into the Van Andel Arena to face the Grand Rapids Griffins. The run of defeats in Grand Rapids now stands at nine straight games (0-8-1-0 record). For Admirals head coach Dean Evason his record in Grand Rapids is 5-14-1-0. Should the Admirals fail to win tonight it would mean their last win in Grand Rapids would be over two years ago coming on 1/31/15 in a 4-0 shutout with Magnus Hellberg in net. The Admirals aren’t in Grand Rapids again until the start of February.

If long term history isn’t your thing the short term history sets up well for this game. The Admirals and Griffins both enter tonight’s game on three-game winning streaks. The Admirals have a record of 17-5-2-1 (37 points, 0.740 points percentage). The Griffins are right behind them in the Central Division standings with a record of 17-7-1-2 (37 points, 0.685 points percentage).

What sets the Griffins apart from the Admirals this season is their offense. It’s a funny thing to say after the Admirals won 9-1 but even then the Admirals average 3.12 goals per game while the Griffins average 3.44 goals per game. Both teams allow practically the same amount of goals per game so it is on the Admirals defense to be smart tonight -especially- due to the Griffins home power-play that rakes in a goal 29.0% of the time.

The Griffins leading scorer right now is Matt Lorito who has 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 27 games this season. He is currently in a three-way tie for the AHL lead in scoring with Taylor Beck and Kenny Agostino. After finishing a four-year career at Brown University Lorito’s transition to the pro game has been nothing short of brilliant. Between his time with the Albany Devils and Griffins he has 96 points (31 goals, 65 assists) in 109 games at the AHL level for a 0.88 points per game average.

Behind Lorito there are still plenty of scorers for the Griffins offense: Mitch Callahan, 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists)… Kyle Criscuolo, 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists)… Ben Street, 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists)… Martin Frk, 15 points (10 goals, 5 assists)… Tomas Nosek, 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists)… and Robbie Russo, 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists).

In net the same old story of Jared Coreau doing well seems to continue. For what it is worth, in lesser appearances, Eddie Pasquale has also done real well for the Griffins this season.

Coreau has played in 17 games this season for the Griffins with a record of 11-6-0-0, 2.18 goals against average, 0.924 save percentage, and a shutout. Coreau also made a start for the Detroit Red Wings this season and lost in his NHL debut that saw him stop 32/36 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pasquale has only played in 8 games this season and has had some hard luck results that see his record go 4-1-1-2. Despite some of the wins alluding him he has done well in net by posting a 2.32 goals against average and 0.923 save percentage.

What are your expectations for tonight’s game? Is this finally the end of the Milwaukee Admirals woes on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins? Do you feel the performances by the Admirals in Texas can spill into tonight’s game or will this be more of a playoff style atmosphere than a track meet?

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