It’s a massive weekend ahead for the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL farm club of the Detroit Red Wings. In the fight of their lives to qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs, Grand Rapids is facing the Iowa Wild on Friday at Van Andel Arena (7pm ET).
This game is about as must win as must win games get.
The top five teams in the AHL’s Central Division qualify for the postseason. Since AHL clubs are playing a different number of games this season, points percentage will determine playoff positions. With seven games remaining, Iowa (29-27-4-5) is fifth in the Central Division at .515. The Chicago Wolves are also .515 and showing six games to play.
At the bottom of the Central in seventh spot, GR is at .493 (30-31-6-2) with seven games left on the schedule.
Forward Jonatan Berggren may be a rookie with the Griffins but he speaks with the phiilosophical tone of a seasoned veteran. Instead of focusing on the steep hill they must climb, Berggren wants his teammates to emabrace the opportunity awaiting them.
Jonatan Berggren continues his great rookie season as he tallies his 8th head-to-head point against the Monsters with this game-tying tally.
— Deana Weinheimer (@FPHMonsters) April 7, 2022
“I think you need to like love the movement,” Berggren said. “We know that we are in a tough situation but I feel like every guy here loves this and we are just trying to win. I’m feeling we have a good feeling.”
Griffins coach Ben Simon is also all about embracing the chance every day is presenting to his team to achieve something great.
“At the end of the day when you take a step back, whether we make the playoffs or not – obviously we hope we do – this is a pretty damn good job you have here as a player, as a coach, as a member of this organization,” Simon said. “Come in and value that every day. Come in, compete, have fun and get better every day.
“If we do that, let’s see what happens.”
Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider scored his fourth game winner of the season in Thursday’s 3-0 shutout of Carolina. Seider’s first NHL goal was an OT winner at Buffalo.
— Stefan Kubus (@StefanKubus) November 21, 2019
Then again, Seider’s first AHL goal for the Griffins was also a game winner.
Detroit defenseman Filip Hronek has gone 21 games without a goal.
Red Wings In Case You Missed It
- Swedish goaltender Magnus Hellberg will join the team at practice on Friday and is ready to battle for a position with the Red Wings
- Red Wings draftee Robert Mastrosimone is entering the NCAA transfer portal
- Two Detroit draft picks rating among TSN’s top 50 NHL prospects
National Hockey Network
Vancouver: A 7-1 over the Arizona Coyotes is keeping the Vancouver Canucks in the playoff hunt.
Calgary: Johnny Gaudreau has reached the 100-point plateau for the Calgary Flames.
Pittsburgh: A 6-3 win over the New York Islanders saw the Pittsburgh Penguins clinching a Stanley Cup playoff berth for the 16th straight season.
Boston: Now it’s goalies getting hurt for the injury-plagued Boston Bruins. Linus Ullmark left Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators due to injury.
Florida: The Florida Panthers are at Detroit to face the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. Is Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau a legitimate Hart Trophy candidate?
Washington: One of the NHL’s most polarizing figures, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was reflective about his season to date.