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Griffins win Calder Cup

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The Grand Rapids Griffins came back three times last night against the Syracuse Crunch to win 4-3 on a nifty game winner from Martin Frk in the third period as for the second time in the past five years the Baby Wings defeated the Kid Lighting (Ha take that @TropicalFruitGirl26 lol) to win the Calder cup as the AHL's top team.


  The last time the club was filled with prospects who would go on to secure jobs with the Wings over the next year or two, guys like Tatar, Nyquist, Mrazek Sheahan, Dekeyser and Glendening all still play key roles in Detroit while others like Brendan Smith, Jurco, Jarnkrok, and others still play regularly for other clubs. The 2016-17 Griffins.....not so much.


   The team was built around veterans, Matthew Ford Ben Street, Conor Allen Cal Heeter and Eddie Pasquale and Dylan Mcilrath were added to a crew that already included Captain  Nathan Paetch and Eric Tangradi among others. Frankly this is one of the oldest AHL teams that I have ever seen. Add in that quite a few of the prospects are becoming more suspect as time goes by, the Griffins championship this time around was fun but not led by a dozen future NHLers chomping at the bit but by grizzled vets coming together for a fun postseason.


  Dont get me wrong, there are some kids who almost certainly will be with the big Wings next year:


Evgeny Svechnikov will likely start the year in Grand Rapids unless he has a monster camp in september but is a solid go to the net forward who looks like the real deal and will fit in very nicely with Mantha, AA and Larkin.


 Tyler Bertuzzi scored the tying goal in the third, he has scored timely goals all postseason (again) and has nothing to prove at this level. He will certainly be a bottom six forward with the Wings next year with a bit of scoring touch.


 Matt Lorito and especially Thomas Nosek had solid postseasons, I am suspicious of both because of their age but both will run the Detroit/Grand Rapids shuttle.  Both bring offense to middle six roles and non stop motors.




Joe Hicketts is a little guy with good vision and a nasty streak and will be in the mix on defense. so will Robbie Russo, Dan Renouf and Filip Hronek. All four will be called up at times but will likely spend most of the year in GR.


In net, Jared Coreau did enough, nothing more or less. He was shaky at times but won. If Howard or Mrazek are dealt he will likely be the backup netminder.


  So that is it, a bunch of vets who came in and made it a fun season, a studly young forward in Svechnikov and a baker's half a dozen middling prospects. Great run, lots of fun, but in perspective not exactly 2012-13. 

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Boy, our hockey players sure are making it a habit of meeting in post season contests, aren't they?


Wings-Lightning in the NHL...and the Griffs and Crunchy Men in the minors.


Congrats on the victory.

Now...if only Detroit can translate that success of the Griffons over to the NHL.


Many of the Crunch players found success as Lightning players, indeed, last season, almost that entire Syracuse roster made at least one appearance for Tampa Bay due to the ridiculous injuries that mounted up.

So now it is the Wings' turn to find players from Grand Rapids that will stick.


And BTW, it makes this Calder Cup victory for GR that much more impressive when you realize that many of those Syracuse players had plenty of NHL experience just this past season alone! :VeryCool:

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 It bodes well that Coreau won an AHL championship. Good experience and although he was inconsistent at times with the parent Wings, he moves well for a big man and had some impressive games as a NHL rookie.....with a suspect Wings defense and an offense that rarely supplies enough goals.


 Also nice to see Bertuzzi play so well. I'm betting the Wings hope he can springboard his AHL playoff performance into next falls TC.

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