Round 1 playoff awards for the Grand Rapids Griffins

With the sun setting on round 1 of the playoffs, here are a few awards for certain Grand Rapids Griffins players and why.
Arizona Coyotes v Detroit Red Wings
Arizona Coyotes v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Most Valuable Player (MVP): Marco Kasper

Unsurprisingly, Marco Kasper is the MVP of this series. 

A quieter game for Kasper in game 4 didn’t takeaway from his series. To me, Kasper’s motor was on full display reminiscent of Dylan Larkin. It just doesn’t stop. 

After taking a questionable penalty in the context of the game, Kasper succeeded in his revenge. Scoring an empty net goal., sealing the Grand Rapids Griffins fate was just the icing on the proverbial cake. 

In addition to the motor, Kasper plays with an edge that drives opponents nuts. When opponents retaliate or go at Kasper hard, he just laughs. 

It reminds me of way back when former Detroit Red Wings captain, Henrik Zetterberg, left his opponent fuming to the point of the saltiest tears. The opposing young captain sat crying in the penalty box, while Zetterberg didn’t take a penalty and remained his calm, collected self. 

Of course, Kasper is not at the level of legendary Zetterberg or Larkin. He isn’t going to follow in anyone else’s footsteps, but create his own path to success. Kasper is meticulously developing. He makes his teammates lives so much easier when he’s on the ice, and is dreaded nightmare to play against. 

As the playoffs continue, I hope to see even more from Kasper. His physical play seems to be at an all-time high. Next, I hope to see his offensive side of things take a step. 

Grand Rapids Griffins head coach has made interesting line combinations, especially when it comes to Kasper. The past 2 games have seen Dominik Shine and Zach Aston-Reese as his wingers. These aren’t the choices I would make, but it’s helped the Grand Rapids Griffins move on to round 2 of the playoffs, so I can’t be too bothered. 

Kasper’s defensive game is sound, not quite as high as his physicality, but it’s almost at the same level. If he even takes a baby step in round 2 defensively, it would help his team tremendously. 

Even before taking these next steps in his development, Kasper has shown to be a force on the ice. He’s creating space and time for his linemates and providing some pops of skill of his own. His shot and playmaking skills are underrated, so he gets to use these to his advantage. 

Without him, I don’t know where the Grand Rapids Griffins would be, but I know it wouldn’t be anywhere good.