Griffins Top Midwest Division
The Grand Rapids Griffins are continuing to play good hockey this season. Every game has been close and really exciting to watch. Coach Jeff Blashill has brought the team to a new level with his coaching style and it has been great for the fans. He really works the bench and you can see him constantly communicating with the team throughout play.
The Griffins are currently in first place in the Midwest Division with 43 points. With the end of the NHL lockout the fans are sitting on their hands waiting to see who we are going to lose when the Red Wings are back to playing hockey. The team has already lost defenseman Brendan Smith with his call up coming on Sunday. Also waiting in the wings are forwards Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Joakim Andersson, defenseman Brian Lashoff and even hot goalie Petr Mrazek could be on the list of short timers for the team.
The Griffins are still sitting on a bunch of talent on the bench and in Toledo. Forward Luke Glendening is really coming on strong and has been a great asset since coming up to GR. Glendening currently has 5 points with 3 goals and 2 assists. He is a big guy but fast on his skates and makes some great plays with the puck. He has been put on a couple different lines and melds well with the other players.
Defenseman Gleason Fournier is another player who has been up and down with the Griffins and Walleye waiting for his time to show his stuff. He has only played 4 games with the Griffs this year but has been playing well on the ice. Look for him to really grow over the next few weeks as he gets more ice time with the callus.
You can't forget about players like Francis Pare, Chad Billins, Adam Almquist, Tomas Jurco, Mitch Callahan, Louis Marc Aubry, Captain Jeff Hogan and Trevor Parkes who have been putting points on the board and making positive things happen in the corners. The whole team has been doing their job this year.
The Griffins face the Rockford Ice Hogs Weds and Friday in Rockford and then will host the Peoria Rivermen on Saturday. If they continue to play strong hockey there for sure will be a pot for them in the playoffs. We will see what happens as the NHL continues to pull players from the whole league over the next couple weeks.