Ace of hearts for Grand Rapids Griffins, affiliate to Detroit Red Wings

Grand Rapids Griffins players need a hero to emerge as their playoff confidence is shaken. Here’s who and why.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Humility is a valuable lesson, but one of the most challenging things to feel in the moment. Rarely, if ever, is it fun. Often times it comes from the hardest moments.

After setting a record for most consecutive points earned in the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I thought the Grand Rapids Griffins were a lock to beat their opponents in the first round of the American Hockey League (AHL) playoffs when they scored home ice advantage. 

As they like to say, this is why games must be played. (“Who is they?” I can hear my dad. People. People in the hockey world).

The Grand Rapids Griffins underestimated their opponent. They didn’t anticipate the physicality or intensity, even allowing players to run Sebastian Cossa with minimal pushback. Somehow they left their hearts in Rockford, Illinois. I’m hoping they just took the long way back to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It’s a stark contrast to the Grand Rapids Griffins that we are used to seeing. They fight for each other, play hard, and focus on the details of their game. As recently as game 1, players were making successful no look, drop passes–seemingly poetry on ice at times.

Fortunately, there’s a quick turnaround for game 3 as the Grand Rapids Griffins search for their hero. Here’s who it is and why.

For the Grand Rapids Griffins, their biggest opponent isn’t the other team or even the referees contrary to some fans’ beliefs. Rather, it’s the Grand Rapids Griffins. They create their destiny.

This team has my favorite attitude of any team I’ve watched. 

They are spunky, smack-talking, and unruly. Yet, talented, determined, and confident. From the goofballs to the serious, the affable to the shy, the old to the new guys on the block, they’ve come together to inspire and captivate a fanbase starved for something positive.

People keep talking about Detroit sports needing to take the next step towards a championship. Sometimes the things we seek so desperately are right in our backyards like Grand Rapids (and I’m not talking about Ohio either). More like when Star-Lord realizes he’s always had a dad and he’s as cool as David Hasselhoff.

If the Grand Rapids Griffins can regain their confidence, as they should–they’re a tremendous team, nothing is impossible. Their confidence is reminiscent of an I Prevail song, a self-proclaimed modern rock band. Here are some lyrics for reference:

"“Deep down I love it when you hate me
Keep it up, it’s funny that you can’t see
This is everything you wanted to be
So give up, give up, feed your hate to me
I’ll just bite my tongue and leave your mouth to run…
You can say what you want, you’ll never be me”"

I Prevail - “Come and Get It”

(Parental Advisory Warning)


Here’s to hoping that each Grand Rapids Griffins player can find their inner ace of hearts, as each one is needed to raise the Calder Cup. For now, hopefully they can focus on the third game in this series.

Next. Grand Rapids Griffins Year of reflection. Grand Rapids Griffins: Measuring a year (Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate). dark