Grand Rapids Griffins Weekly Report 4: Series Split

The Grand Rapids Griffins split their two game weekend series with the Manitoba Moose after suffering a 6-2 defeat on Saturday.  The loss ended a three-game win streak dating back to last weekend for the Griffins.

Player to Watch

Calvin Pickard

Calvin Pickard is the #1 goalie for the Griffins and is showing that he is also excellent insurance in case a goaltender in Detroit succumbs to injury.

At 29, Pickard has played parts of 10 seasons in the AHL and eight seasons in the NHL.

After Friday’s 2-0 shutout victory, and two periods played on Saturday, Pickard has a 5-2-0 record, 1.82 GAA, and .941 SV% for the season.

Detroit Prospects Update

Taro Hirose continues to lead the Griffins in scoring with 11 assists  and 13 points in 11 games.  He has also improved his play away from the puck and looks like he is ready for a recall to Detroit at some point in the near future.

Chase Pearson continues to play in all situations and has scored nine points in 11 games.  Pearson could be recalled if the Red Wings lose a bottom-six forward to injury.

Jonatan Berggren continues to provide offense for the Griffins.  He now has eight points in 11 games, good for 4th in Griffins scoring.  Berggren is establishing himself as a top prospect and could be recalled at some point if a forward in the middle-six goes down with an injury.

Ryan Murphy was signed as insurance for the Red Wings.  Last year’s Eddie Shore Award winner as the Top Defenseman in the AHL, could easily slide into the Red Wings lineup and replace some of the struggling defensemen at the NHL level.  Murphy now leads the Griffins defensemen with seven points in 11 games.

Joe Veleno continues to struggle offensively since his demotion from the Red Wings.  Veleno remains at three goals and three points in seven games with the Griffins.

Victor Brattstrom got a rare start in goal for the Griffins and once again disappointed in his return to the net.  Brattstrom allowed four goals in the first period and was replaced by Calvin Pickard to start the second.  Brattstrom saved 15/19 for the game.  In parts of four games, Brattstrom has a 0-3-1 record, 5.32 GAA, and a .835 SV%.  The 24-year-old goaltender needs to improve his play or he could be replaced by Kaden Fulcher who is playing terrific in Toledo (ECHL).

Next Week

The Griffins have a busy three game week starting Wednesday morning at home against the Chicago Wolves.  Game time is 11:00 AM ET at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI.

The Griffins then travel to play a two-game set with the Texas Stars.  The  games will be played Friday and Saturday at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park in Cedar Park, TX.  Game time for both games is 8:00 PM ET.