The Rapidian

Griffins in position for another deep playoff run

The Grand Rapids Griffins have set a new franchise record for points in consecutive games. Their 18-game point streak tops their previous record of 16 set in the 2002-03 season.

Grand Rapids Griffins

The Griffins look to extend their points streak to 19 games against the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday, March 20th.

Home ice: Van Andel Arena, 130 Fulton West, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

With the playoffs soon approaching, the Griffins have bounced back from a slow start to the season. The Griffins have gained a point in 18 straight games and have notched 13 wins in that time. Their current streak sets a new franchise record for most consecutive games with a point. The previous record of 16 games was set during the 2002-03 season.

Since the beginning of February, the Griffins have not lost a game in regulation time. The Griffins started February with a 23-17-3-1 record. This put them tied with the Chicago Wolves for 3rd in the Midwest Division. Since their loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on January 31st, the Griffins have jumped to first place in the division, bolstering a 37-17-6-2 record, good enough for first place in the Western Conference. They currently hold a 7-point lead over the second place Rockford IceHogs. This is a comfortable lead, but the Griffins still have a lot of work ahead of them.

The Griffins have 14 games left in the regular season, six of which are against division opponents. The Griffins have a two-game series against the IceHogs in the first week of April. This series could decide the winner of the Midwest Division. The Griffins have a 3-3 record against the IceHogs this season.

The Griffins have seen production from almost all of their players. During this streak, seven different players have five or more goals. Not including Jonas Gustavsson, who only started one game on a conditioning assignment, the Griffins have started three different goalies. Tom McCollum and Peter Mrazek have split most of the time, but Jared Coreau has started four games. With Mrazek currently called up to the Red Wings, McCollum will most likely be starting the next few games with Coreau as a backup. Mrazek is not the only player who has recently been called up to the Red Wings.

The Griffins best player, Teemu Pulkkinen, has also been called up to the Red Wings. Pulkkinen has shared time with both the Red Wings and Griffins during the streak. Pulkkinen only played 8 games with the Griffins since the beginning of February, but he has notched 10 goals. This mark leads the team during their streak. Pulkkinen also leads the AHL with 34 goals in 46 games on the season. This is 6 goals more than any other player in the league even though he has played 10 less games than the fourteen players behind him in the rankings.

Other players have stepped up in spite of Pulkkinen’s absence. Young players like Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou have produced for the Griffins during the streak. Both players are 20 years old and have scored six goals during the team’s point streak.

The team looks to make it back to the Calder Cup Finals. The Griffins won the cup in the 2012-13 season, but had an early exit in last year’s playoffs. They look to redeem last year’s performance by locking up the top seed in the Western Conference and make the path to the finals a little easier.

The Griffins look to extend their points streak to 19 games against the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday, March 20th. The Griffins have four wins and two loses against the Admirals this season.

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