4 heroes emerge as Grand Rapids Griffins roast more than a pig (3 Red Wings prospects)

These 3 Detroit Red Wings prospects and a bonus Grand Rapids Griffins player stepped up in the fourth game of the series. Here's who and why.
Detroit Red Wings v Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings v Dallas Stars / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Sebastian Cossa

Let’s address the elephant in the room: stopping 27 of 30 shots on goal (for a .900 goals against average) isn’t ideal. I’m sure Cossa wants all of the goals back–it’s just who he is as a competitor.

As a fan, I understand there is more to the game than simply numbers. 

Last game, Cossa surrendered 5 goals, but he was also run early on in the game. It was considered incidental contact. In the very next game, an opponent checked Cossa and hit him in the head, knocking his helmet off of his head.

In any conceivable league, head contact is considered more than a 2 minute penalty. The American Hockey League (AHL)? It’s two offsetting minors. A penalty for the opponent, another for Simon Edvinsson who dispatched said opponent in an appropriate manner. 

It's abundantly clear that their opponent knows Cossa is fair game. The referees see the bumps and checks Cossa receive. Inform Cossa they see them, but do not call anything. They tell Cossa, don't worry. If a goal is scored on you, we'll call it back for interference. Interesting, interference is no longer a penalty to be called.

In some ways, I pitty the opponent. How insecure do they have to be to stoop so low? Is your game that terrible where you must run goalies to stay relevant? Apparently, yes. At any rate, I really must thank them.

Any of these events could have rattled Cossa, but as he’s demonstrated from the past season and a half, he’s matured. Mentally, physically, and emotionally Cossa is regaining his composure incredibly well and quickly. These challenges are making him that much stronger for his next start.

Throughout game 3, Cossa gave his team a chance to win.

In addition to his fun saves, Cossa’s puck tracking/vision was on full display throughout the game. He made plays behind his net to keep pucks moving and help his defensemen out. 

To me, Cossa still resembles a hybrid of Alex Nedeljkovic and Alex Lyon in a sense that they see themselves as part of the team. It’s a stark contrast to goalies who separate themselves from the team (staying in their net, playing more of a safe/reactive game as opposed to a proactive game).

As this series progresses, I anticipate Cossa’s game will only elevate from here, especially now that he knows he gets to protect himself against some goons. I would pick a few other players before I selected Cossa to bully. But, what do I know?

One thing that I know, The Beast is about to let loose.