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Grand Rapids Griffins-Syracuse Crunch Game 4 open post

The Grand Rapids Griffins will attempt to sweep the Syracuse Crunch and capture their first Calder Cup tonight at Van Andel Arena (7 PM EDT, AHLLive.com/WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids/WOOD Radio; Adam Almquist won't play tonight), and the Red Wings' website posted a game-day preview video:

Several TMR readers have attempted to "live blog" the game in other threads, so this is an "open post" for live-blogging purposes, save two articles (and the Drew Miller post has been updated, too)::

1. First, a story from Fox Sports' Art Regner regarding Chris Chelios and Chris Osgood's respective roles as player mentors for the Griffins' players:

“To be part of the Red Wing organization is a special thing,” Blashill said. “They’ve been the best-run sports team over the last twenty years.  They’re an Original Six franchise and I think our players realize just how special this really is.” Our guys just don’t want to play in the NHL, they want to play for the Detroit Red Wings and that’s a great thing.”

Blashill added that the Wings are a treasure trove of information.

“When you add the experience of Cheli, Ozzie, Drapes, Jiri Fischer, Ken Holland, Jim Nill, Mike Babcock and Ryan Martin, it’s been great,” said Blashill.  “I can lean on them in different situations.  I’m the type of person in a leadership role where I ask for a lot of opinions and then I make a decision. I’ve asked all those guys for their opinions at different times this year.”

...

“I’m basically here learning how to coach,” Chelios said.  “I don’t have a whole lot of input as far as the games, but it’s been good on the ice talking to kids if they do have some trouble, if you see them struggling or not even getting the opportunity because of the numbers, that’s when (my input) comes into play.” When I’m asked my opinion, I give it.  I’ve played long enough that when you’re watching up in the press box, it's a whole different game as to standing behind the bench coaching.”

Chelios would like to coach too someday, but he’s at least a year away from committing to the profession full-time.  With a daughter playing college lacrosse and two sons being seniors next year on Michigan State’s hockey team, he wants the freedom to watch his children compete. Even though Chelios is not in Grand Rapids on a daily basis, he has had a positive influence on the Griffins.
...
“From a player’s side, things that used to anger you or you thought were right when you played aren’t the case when you find out what it’s like being a coach,” Osgood said.  “There are a lot of tough decisions.  There’s a lot more work that goes into it than you ever imagined as a player. Coaches actually like the players.  Sometimes you (players) think they don’t, but they do.  They want to see them do well.”
....

“Everybody is a little different,” Osgood said.  “Everybody has their own way as to how they want to be coached.  You have to learn the different ways to push buttons to make a player successful.”

2. And second, via RedWingsFeed, the Griffins spoke to Mark Newman about making the Calder Cup Final:

“I’m going to enjoy it just like a little kid,” said Pare, now in his fifth season in a Griffins jersey.

Sharing his excitement were Brian Lashoff and Jan Mursak, who have appeared in at least parts of five and six seasons in Grand Rapids, respectively, along with Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson, who have played the better part of four seasons with the Griffins.

“Obviously, not making the playoffs the last three years was tough, but the core group of guys here have learned a lot,” Lashoff said. “This year has been a lot of fun.”

The Griffins beat Houston in five games in the first round, Toronto in six games in the second round, then Oklahoma City in seven games to advance to the American Hockey League finals for the first time. Grand Rapids reached the Turner Cup Finals in the old IHL in 2000.

“It’s been a while, so we’re extra excited,” Mursak said. “We’ve played a lot of good teams in the playoffs and the games have been close, but we beat them. To come so far, we want to win it all now.”

Syracuse entered the finals with an 11-1 postseason record. Ten Crunch players were also members of last year’s Calder Cup-winning Norfolk Admirals team that finished the postseason with 10 straight wins. “It’s going to be a really tough challenge,” Tatar said.

3. Okay, make it 3: Fox 17 posted three game-day videos, including a profile of Griffins play-by-play commentator Bob Kaser, a profile of Griffins trainer John Bernal, and something of an inside merchandising scoop.

Update: Make it four things:

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Comments

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klank's avatar

take what is yours, Griffins!!

Posted by klank from the finest hot tub in Marin on 06/14/13 at 06:25 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Thanks, George.  Sure ‘preciate it.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 06:33 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

I wonder if they have a special overnight place for Chelios and/or Osgood to stay overnight in downtown GR.

If Wikipedia has it right, if GR takes the series, it will be the city’s first pro hockey championship (the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Detroit Tigers Low A affiliate, have the city’s last pro sport championship, their 5th Midwest League baseball title in 2007).

Posted by Bugsy on 06/14/13 at 06:36 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Here we go!

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:04 PM ET

SYF's avatar

brb, 19.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:06 PM ET

SYF's avatar

GR looking like the Wings:  back on their heels early and on the PK.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:15 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Good kill by GR.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:16 PM ET

SYF's avatar

MR. ANDERSSSOOOOOOOOOONNNN!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:17 PM ET

SYF's avatar

1-nil GR.  Caught the Crunch in a bad change.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:18 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

The crowd is noisy, I like it!

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/14/13 at 07:18 PM ET

SYF's avatar

shit.  Crunch tied it right back up.  Right through Razer’s five-hole.  Seriously.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:19 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I asked for the GR feed and I get the Crunch broadcast.  WTF….

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:21 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Hoggan wants this game more than anyone on the ice right now.  Dude’s turning the Crunch defensemen into pretzels.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:22 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Crunch are throwing their elbows waaay too high above the clavicles.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:25 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Holy shit, 65DD handles the puck like Dangles.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:28 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Mursak on the rebound!!!!!!!!!!!!1

2-1 Griffs.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:30 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Quick observations: DeKeyser’s using a CCM stick tonight. He’s been an all-Bauer guy since the beginning of his college career.

And Mursak must be thinking twice about heading to post-Soviet KHL given his play…He could’a latched on with an NHL team if he’d waited.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/14/13 at 07:32 PM ET

SYF's avatar

GR on the PP.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:34 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

No sound now.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/14/13 at 07:35 PM ET

SYF's avatar

What happened there?  Another penalty against the Crunch?

5-on-3 for GR.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:35 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Crunch got a second penalty for delay of game—but Griffins couldn’t capitalize.

Posted by SK77 on 06/14/13 at 07:39 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I just lost my feed, refreshed my screen, and now I reverted right back to the first two minutes of the game.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:40 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Well, after a few manipulations, I got my feed back.

And fuch the Crunch.  Cocksuckers are beating up on Mrazek in his crease.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:47 PM ET

SYF's avatar

2-1 Griffs at teh end of one period of play.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 07:50 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I don’t know how the Griffins got a penalty for an entire team running their goalie and Andersson being cross-checked, but okay…

Scoresheet: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011098

Scorer’s sheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011098

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/14/13 at 07:51 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Second period.

Let’s go Griffs!

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 08:09 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Sheahan getting the heavy load on the draws.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 08:13 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Ha.  Desjardins tries to back hand the puck behind his own net on the Crunch PP and completely forgets that Ferraro’s on the PK forecheck.  Would’ve been a nice shorty.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 08:17 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Killed the penalty, but Mrazek had a few CMOI moments leaving the crease.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 08:20 PM ET

SYF's avatar

GR gets the interference call and goes right on the PP.

brb, 19.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 08:21 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Nyquist kicked out of the game for spearing Dick in the Panik.

Posted by SK77 on 06/14/13 at 08:44 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

No video of it, either. I know that Panik speared Hoggan in the balls and got away with it last game, but you just can’t retaliate to that kind of shit. You can’t let yourself be drawn in and respond by being just as big of an *#$%@&.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/14/13 at 08:51 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Nyquist is my f***ing hero.

Maybe if someone else had manned up a couple of games ago against Panik, Nyquist wouldn’t have had to do that himself.  Panik’s lucky someone didn’t already do that through his face.

Posted by Primis on 06/14/13 at 08:52 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Griffins were out-shot 11-5 in the 2nd, have given up 29 shots over 2 periods. http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011098

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/14/13 at 08:53 PM ET

Alan's avatar

So, I missed the first two periods. What the hell happened out there? Nyquist for spearing?

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 06/14/13 at 08:53 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Griffins pushed out to a 2-1 lead but Mrazek gave up a squeaker on the 2-2 goal, Panik scored the 3rd and chirped all the way back to his bench, and Nyquist got sucked in at the end of the period. That and the Griffins’ PP is awful.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/14/13 at 08:54 PM ET

Primis's avatar

So, I missed the first two periods. What the hell happened out there? Nyquist for spearing?

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 06/14/13 at 08:53 PM ET

Nyquist had to do the work someone else on the Griffins should have already done.

Posted by Primis on 06/14/13 at 08:55 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Yeah, Nyquist with a major. Griffins killed off the first 30 seconds so far, but if the momentum keeps up form the second period then they’re going to get murdered killing the last 4+ minutes of this major.

Hopefully the spear wasn’t suspension worthy ... Griffins don’t look like they’re going to be closing out the series tonight unless they push back strong and get some luck.

Posted by SK77 on 06/14/13 at 08:56 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

My Tweet: Dear God. Per @wingingitmotown’s RT, Panik DROPPED after getting f***ing checked on the RIGHT HAND: https://vine.co/v/bllvZ6b6vVl

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/14/13 at 08:56 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’m back and I see the Griff down 2-3.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/14/13 at 08:56 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.