The fire for Grand Rapids Griffins, Nate Danielson’s debut, & updated playlist

Where’s the fire of the Grand Rapids Griffins? Plus, quick hits of games 2 and 3 (including Nate Danielson’s AHL debut), as well as reviewing the updated unofficial Grand Rapids Griffins playlist.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Top Prospects Media Availability
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Top Prospects Media Availability / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Where’s the fire of the Grand Rapids Griffins?

At times, players rose to the occasion. I remember big hits, Marco Kasper clearing out Cossa’s crease, great offensive chances. Yet, there still seemed to be something missing.

Much like round 1 where part way through the series, the Grand Rapids Griffins lost their identity, they’ve seemed to misplaced it again. 

When captain Josiah Didier stepped in, things seemed to settle down and players remembered who they were, how to play, and that their teammate is more important than anything else on the ice.

So far in this second series, I haven’t seen the true power of the Grand Rapids Griffins and their heart. Maybe it has to do with a captain getting a bit too emotional.

They might be tired, injured, or out matched.  

Rather, I think they’re still figuring things out, trying to come alive again. 

They’ve been kicked while they’re down (both literally and figuratively), disallowed goals for absolutely no reason, and had a revolving door of linemates and defensive pairs.

I think players know all of these things. For one of the few times this season, they might feel sorry for themselves. They have every right to feel this way. I’m hoping they’ve given themselves some grace to allow for the emotions to get out.

Once they can either overcome or move on from their self-pity, it will free them to play their game.

When the Grand Rapids Griffins click on all cylinders, none of the things out of their control matter. They play together, communicate, and cover each other without hesitation. 

They don’t care what calls go or don’t go their way, they continue playing the same way. Instead of arguing with referees (as warranted as it might be), feeling sorry for themselves, or taking undisciplined penalties, they channel their energy and efforts into the game between whistles.

After last game, I hope the guys jammed out to Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff” to let out the tension that’s been building this series. It’s been added to the Grand Rapids Griffins unofficial playlist as an honorary song. It really heals pieces of me, whether good or bad, it helps sometimes.