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Red Wings Prospects Put Griffins in Playoffs First Time Since 2019



Albert Johansson, NHL, grand rapids griffins
Albert Johansson (No. 23) is proving he deserves an NHL shot (Photo courtesy of Griffinshockey)

While the Detroit Red Wings’ postseason fate is still to be determined, the Grand Rapid Griffins clinched their playoff spot with a 5-2 win against the Cleveland Monsters.

The Griffins have not competed in the AHL playoffs since 2019, although the league didn’t have a postseason in 2020 and 2021 because of Covid 19. Grand Rapids is the fourth AHL team to clinch a playoff berth. Since the Christmas break, the team is 23-5-4-3 (.757).

Detroit prospect goalie Sebastian Cossa established a new team record by registering at least one team point in his 16th consecutive game (11-0-5). The 2021 Red Wings first round pick needed only 17 saves to break the record previously held by former Red Wings goalie Marc Lamothe who had held the record since 2003-04.

Jonatan Berggren, recently sent down by the Red Wings, and Matt Luff each had a goal and an assist to lead the offensive charge.

Prospect Elmer Soderblom (drafted 159th in 2019) also netted his 12th goal of the season to give him three goals in his past four games. Cross Hanas (drafted 55th overall in 2020) contributed a pair of assists. Marco Kasper (drafted eighth in 2022) and Amadeus Lombardi (drafted 113th in 2022) also registered assists. Kasper has two goals and three assists for five points in his past five games. He is fifth in scoring (31 points) for the Griffins.

Under coach Dan Watson, the Griffins have improved impressively defensively in the second half of the season. Albert Johansson (drafted 60th overall in 2019) was plus-2 against Cleveland to raise his season plus-minus to plus-10.  Johansson will no longer be waiver exempt next season, meaning the Red Wings will have to find a spot for him on the roster.