Grand Rapids Griffins Have a Positive Week
The Grand Rapids Griffins finish off the week with a big win over the division leading Toronto Marlies.
The Griffs started the week off right with a 4-2 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Wednesday, a 6-1 win over the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday and then the 3-2 win over the Marlies Saturday afternoon. 3 Division wins in a week is what the Griffins needed to boost the teams morale
The Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate had been in a slump since losing their number one Goalie Joey MacDonald to the number two position for the Wings. With Ty Conklin in net a new life has emerged for the Griffins. All cylinders seem to be firing in the right direction.
Conklin who passed the waiver period was moved down to the Griffins after a poor showing for the Red Wings as the number 2 goalie. When Howard was out for his broken finger MacDonald from the Griffins was pulled up to fill the number 2 spot with Conklin starting. But as we all know MacDonald replaced Conklin and never looked back. He will be missed by the team and fans of Grand Rapids.
Conklin has come on strong for the Griffins and has protected the net well for the team. Conklin has been named the number one star for the past three games. With a 1.34 GAA and a .94 SV% he could be what was needed for the Griffins to shoot ahead and earn a playoff spot in their division.
Another player with great potential is forward Chris Minard. Minard has showed himself in the past 5 games with the Griffins earning 2 hat tricks along with an assist. Minard is a big forward who is not afraid to throw his body around to make something happen in front of the net. He does a great job fore-checking for the team and is able to cover defense when caught off guard.
The Owen Sound, ON 6-1 205 pounder is quick on his feet and jumps into plays when needed. Chris Minard who was acquired from the Springfield Falcons in 2010 started his Professional Hockey stent with the Albany River Rats 2005. He has played in the Calder Cup Playoffs for the WB/SC Penguins both in 2008 and 2009. He was named to the Canadian AHL 2009 All-Star Team. He has registered 348 goals and 150 assists in his career with a plus rating total of 13.
Chris currently has a plus 9 rating and has scored 12 goals with 5 assists in the 17 games he has played. Compared to his last year finish of -5 rating he has improved tremendously. On a side note Minard started his season in January since he was out on injury due to a concussion.
With the season on the downward turn I do not see him up in the big show this year but look for him to make a name for himself next year and possibly make the jump.
The Griffins now 23 and 21 for the season have moved into 4th place in the tight North Division. The Griffins are 2 games short of the 1st place Marlies who have played 55 games compared to the Griffins 53 and are 4 points out of third.
The Griffins Nation is pumped up over in Hockey Town West and ready to see the team battle forward into the playoffs with 2 more important games this week with the division rival Hamilton Bulldogs.