Griffins Game #50 * Home Game #25 * AHL Game #807
season series: 3-1-0-0 home series: 1-0-0-0 Street Series: 2-1-0-0
All-Time Series: 94-82-2-7-3 All Time Home Series: 45-37-2-5-2 All-Time Road Series: 49-45-0-2-1
Wolves at Griffins
Fifth of 10 meetings overall, second of five at Van Andel Arena…Grand Rapids have played Chicago 188 times in the regular season since their IHL days, second most of all Griffins’ opponents (Milwaukee, 209)…The Griffins are currently up a three-game winning streak against Chicago, her first such run against Wolves since Oct. 20-Nov. December 28, 2018…Sixteen goals were scored between the two teams on December 22 (8-7 OTW) in what was Grand Rapids’ first 8-7 result in franchise history. Chicago’s seven goals was the second-most conceded by the Griffins in a win, only behind a 10-8 win over Chicago on Nov. 27, 2010… As of the 2020-21 season, Grand Rapids is down 7-18-1 – 0 (.288) against Wolves and was surpassed 105-59… The Griffins have held an overall record of 15-31-1-1 (.333) against Chicago since 2017-18 and have been surpassed 183-123… Since of the 2017-18 season, the Griffins are 5-16-1-0 (.250) against Wolves in West Michigan and were outplayed 84-47… Last time was Grand Rapids at .500 at Van Andel Arena against the Wolves was in the 2018/19 season when it went 2-2-0-0… Wolves go into the competition with a 6-3-0-1 record in their last 10 games and have an 11-12 0 -0 Ledger on the road… The Griffins are 6-4-0-0 in their last 10 games and have a 9-12-2-1 streak at home… As part of his 11-year pro career, Griffins trainer ben simon scored 87 points (37-50-87) in 196 games with the Wolves from 2001-03 and 2004-05 and was part of their first Calder Cup title in 2002.
last time out
The Griffins’ five-game winning streak was ended by the Moose in a 5-1 loss at Canada Life Centre. After surpassing the 100 goal milestone on Sunday, Joel L’Esperance scored again with his 16th goal of the season as team captain. Austin Czarnik And Matt Luff both made the scorers’ list with an assist on the L’Esperance goal. Manitoba goaltender Oskari Salminen has now made 102 saves in four games against Grand Rapids (.962 SV%) this season.
shake up roster
– 14th of February-F. Jakub Vrana recalled from Detroit
– 21st of February-F. Riley Sawchuk signed by Grand Rapids to a PTO and standard player contract for the 2023-24 season
– February 22—F. Jakub Vrana reassigned from Detroit
– February 23—F. Jakub Vrana recalled from Detroit; D Seth Barton transferred from Detroit to Grand Rapids from Toledo (ECHL).
This date in Griffins history
2002: A franchise-record nine players lights the lamp in a 9-1 win over Utah at Van Andel Arena, marking the Griffins’ biggest win of all time on home ice. Grand Rapids also set another franchise record with four power play goals.
The Griffins saw an end to their five-game winning streak Monday in Manitoba, which was their longest streak since February 23 through March 19, 2016. 4, the Griffins allowed their opponent to score four or more goals just once. Since then, however, Grand Rapids has conceded at least four goals in each of their last six games after toppling 28-15. This pushed Grand Rapids further from the postseason as the Griffins are now seven points from a playoff berth with 23 games remaining. Grand Rapids has points in 10 of their last 15 competitions (8-5-1-1). Since the New Year, Grand Rapids has lost just seven times in 20 games (10-7-1-2, .575).
Right wing Chris Neil had his No. 25 jersey retired by the Ottawa Senators on Friday, making him the first Griffins alum to have his number retired by an NHL franchise. Neil ran for the Griffins from 1999-2001, making his pro debut with the franchise and helping lead the team to the 2000 IHL Turner Cup Finals and two division titles. He averaged 24 goals and 55 points in 129 games for Grand Rapids, while his 655 penalty minutes rank fourth in team history. Neil played for the Ottawa Senators from 2001 to 2017 and played all of his 15 NHL seasons with the club. He is one of two players in NHL history with at least 1,000 games played and 2,500 penalty minutes to have played with the same team his entire career. Neil ranks third in Senators history in games played (1,026) and first in penalty minutes (2,522).
Beginner Simon Edwinson posted a season-high four points (1-3-4) and a plus-five in a 5-4 win over the Rockford IceHogs last Wednesday. He followed that performance with an assist on Feb. 19 in Manitoba. The 6-foot-6 defenseman ranks fifth among rookie defenders with 19 assists and his 23 points ranks fifth among freshman defenders. Edvinsson has 13 points (3-10-13) in 19 games since the new year.
On the hunt for Chiasson
veteran Alex Chiasson exploded for two goals on February 15 against Rockford and returned on February 17 with two more points (1-1-2). Chiasson’s three-game scoring streak (3-2-5) ended on Monday, but he still has 10 points (3-7-10) in his last 13 games. In 26 games this season, the Montreal, Quebec native has eight goals, ten assists and a plus-three rating.
Home again, home again, jiggity, jig
The Griffins finished their four-game home game last Friday with a 1-3-0-0 (.250) record. After two games in Manitoba, the Griffins are now returning to West Michigan for five home games and will play seven of their next eight games at Van Andel Arena from February 24th to March 11th. Grand Rapids is 9-12-2-1 (.438) home this season and 12-12-0-1 (.500) away.
Just keep it close
The Griffins got off to a rocky start to the season, but they excelled at winning close games. In fact, Grand Rapids is 12-0-2-2 (.875) in games to be decided by one goal and 4-0-2-0 (.833) in overtime contests. In comparison, the Griffins are only 9-24-0-0 (.273) in games decided by two or more goals. In the 2021-22 season, the Griffins finished with a 13-7-6-2 (.607) mark in games decided by a goal.
AHL leaderboard tracker
Austin Czarnik—Five game-winning goals rank third, three shorthanded goals rank first
Simon Edwinson—19 assists for fifth among rookie defenders, 23 points for fifth among rookie defenders
Joel L’Esperance—Nine power play goals are sixth, 160 shots are fourth
Joel L’Esperance scored his 100th goal as a pro on February 19 in Manitoba. Adam Erne surpassed 50 assists in the AHL on February 17 against the Cleveland Monsters. Simon Edwinson scored four points (1-3-4) on February 15, surpassing 50 points as a pro. Albert Johanson scored his 50th assist as a pro on February 15 against Rockford and Tyler Spezia skated in his 250th game as a pro.
Alex Chiasson—Four assists out of 150 as a pro
Simon Edwinson—Four assists out of 50 as a pro
Adam Erne—Three assists out of 100 as a pro
Taro Hirose—Four points from 150 as Griffin and in the AHL
Steven Fighter—Two assists out of 150 as a pro
Joel L’Esperance—Four goals from 100 in the AHL
Alex Nedeljkovic—Three wins out of 100 in the AHL
Chase Pearson—Two assists from 50 as a pro, in the AHL and as a Griffin
Dominik Schein—An assist from 50 as a pro, as a Griffin, and in the AHL
Photo by Mark Newman/Griffins