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Grand Rapids Griffins take Game 2 of Calder Cup Finals…I think…Unless they re-play it…Perhaps?

I think that the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Syracuse Crunch 6-4 over the course of...63 minutes of regulation time...In Game 2 of the AHL's Calder Cup Final against the Syracuse Crunch...For now?

I've been watching hockey since 1991, but I have never, ever witnessed a more ridiculous display of refereeing at its worst, at any level, than what I witnessed on the AHL Live's stream of the Syracuse Crunch's broadcast. A team that can't stop rubbing its hands over its opponent at every stoppage was awarded a 4-4 goal on a bizarre review, the Crunch were given a boatload of power plays, and yet, if you are to believe the Crunch and their fans, Tomas Jurco's 4-3 goal never went in (despite the fact that the goal cam looked blurry and steamed) Francis Pare's 5-4 goal was scored after the second period should have ended (the 2nd period was 23 minutes long), and the Crunch hav not YET been awarded the goal supposedly scored with Brett Connolly in the crease on Saturday...

Though it is entirely possible that the Grand Rapids Griffins will be pulled off the bus at Sarnia and told that they have to replay Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, this time against the Ak Bars Kazan, for all I know.

Utterly bizarre. The Griffins prevailed in a wild and woolly game because their goaltending was better than Syracuse's, their penalty-killing was better than the Crunch's penalty-killing, and the Griffins did not bitch, moan, whine or complain after every damn whistle, they did not lose their nerve when they kept getting called for penalties despite being grabbed and groped like strippers at Henry the VIII's on Middlebelt in Inkster after whistles, and they just kept pushing and kept going as bizarre calls, bizarre stat-keeping, a hard-charging, bigger, meaner and still extremely talented Crunch team gave the Griffins all they could handle...

And as you may be familiar with from Red Wings games, calmness and poise--and fantastic goaltending--tend to prevail.

As for the tenor of the game?

With 54.8 left in the 3rd, Tomas Jurco tried to put the puck into an empty net. Jurco was run into the end boards by Richard Panik, a charging minor was awarded, and the Crunch--and their announcers (their director of community relations and a scratched player whose name I forgot, just as the Crunch's announcers seem to have followed the minor-league rule that, "We don't need to know who the players on the other team are!)--were STUNNED that a "clean check" had been penalized, even though Panik was hauled back in from the locker room to serve a penalty, and then he misconduct-ed his way out of the game.

The reffing was bizarre. The announcing was worse. The Crunch are a big, mean, dirty, and plain old STUPID team. CHEAP, no less. And yet the Griffins lead the series 2-0.

Rightly or wrongly, depending on your point of view.

I will let the experts explain this one, because this was *#$%@& Twilight Zone on Ice stuff. Mrazek was great, Ferraro had 3 points, and Games 3, 4 and 5 take place in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Unless the officials decide to hold the game underwater. In Australia.

Update: Stats:

Mrazek stopped 30 of 34;

1 goal, 2 assists for Ferraro;

2 assists for Sheahan, Hoggan;

Grant, Tatar, Pare, Mursak, Jurco scored the other goals;

Assists for Nyquist and Evans;

8 PK's for Grand Rapids, 6 for Syracuse.

Update #2: Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples penned a recap:

The Griffins picked up a 6-4 win over the Crunch Sunday evening in Syracuse, which means a two-game lead in their best-of-seven AHL Finals series – with Games 3 through 5 to be played at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.

Tomas Tatar, Triston Grant, Landon Ferraro, Tomas Jurco, Francis Pare and Jan Mursak all scored for Grand Rapids, while Petr Mrazek stopped 15 shots for his 13th win of the postseason.

Yet it was the Crunch’s final goal of the contest – recorded late in the second period – which is the goal that will be talked about for the duration of the Calder Cup Finals.

With under four minutes to go in the middle frame (the scorekeepers were having some difficulty getting the exact time worked out), Syracuse’s J.T. Brown fired a shot past Mrazek that apparently ripped through the netting behind the Griffins’ goaltender. Play continued for multiple minutes before a stoppage of play to allow the referees a chance for video review. The trip to the replay screen left everyone confused, as they thought the referees were reviewing a breakaway chance for the Griffins that was clearly not a goal.

Video review proved that Brown had indeed scored, tying the game at four goals apiece, and sending the fans at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena into a frenzy.

They would be quieted in a hurry, however, as Pare scored in the midst of a scramble in front of the Crunch goal to regain the lead for the Griffins.

Mursak recorded the only goal in the third period, beating Syracuse netminder Cedrick Desjardins with a deke to the backhand at the 14:56 mark of the final frame.

Both teams scored two power-play goals in Game 2, yet the Crunch had eight man-advantage opportunities, compared to the Griffins’ five.

And until the final minutes, the PP's were 8-4 Syracuse.

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MsRedWingFan's avatar

and we think NHL officiating sucks haha

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 06/09/13 at 08:03 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I guess we will learn to appreciate NHL refs.  These guys seemed to lose control of the game on various levels.

Posted by RWBill on 06/09/13 at 08:03 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

and we think NHL officiating sucks haha

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 06/09/13 at 09:03 PM ET

lololol that was what I take out of it.

Posted by RWBill on 06/09/13 at 08:04 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

oh George it was just that the HOCKEY GODS were on the GRIFFS SIDE hehe   LOL  cheese

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 06/09/13 at 08:06 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

and we thought the NHL/ NBC’s announcers were bad .,... now we know what BAD really is. oooooooor maybe that was Bettmans plan.  to make us beleive that it could be worse.

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 06/09/13 at 08:08 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

“VOTE for Datsyuk for PLAY of the YEAR” @ TSN ....  http://poy.tsn.ca/

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 06/09/13 at 08:10 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Here’s what I’ve seen of Syracuse so far:

Cedrick Desjardins is really good (which matched up from when I watched him in the ECHL and he was really good in Cincy too).  The rest of the team isn’t so much, at least not compared to GR.  There is no line on Syracuse the caliber of GR’s top line, and I’m not so sure about their top def. pairing either.  They’re not a terrible team, but… the Crunch simply can’t skate with GR’s top players.

I hope the Griffins just destroy them at Van Andel so that there’s no point in Syracuse crying any more.  There’s nothing worse than a team being on the wrong end of an absolute butt-kicking and not having the sense to realize it.

As for AHL officiating… a lot of those AHL officials also work in other leagues at the same time.  I remember one weekend my family went to watch an ECHL game in Kalamazoo and an AHL game in Grand Rapids the next night, and the same terrible ref (Stephen Mayer) worked both games.  There’s a reason those guys are stuck at that level and not moving up…

At some point the AHL needs to answer as to why they’re forcing the SYR audio feed on viewers.  I can understand having trouble for a game, but for 2 games is just ridiculous.  Making all your viewers listen to that mess is not a good way to promote your league.

Posted by Primis on 06/09/13 at 08:17 PM ET


The griffs dont need to bitch moan whine and complain since the have george to do it for them. refs clearly had high def and we clearly didnt so i’m fine w/ good goal. also thought that game ending check on jurco was clean. whats that guy supposed to do?  sore winning is unbecoming. stop whining like a 3yr old.

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/09/13 at 08:19 PM ET

Dakkster's avatar

Wow. Thanks for the chuckles, George. You’ve had me laughing for real several times tonight smile

But wow wow wow that was a horrible experience. That announcer pair… no words. Well, one word. Unprofessional. And the refs. Get this, if you do a twitter search for the hashtag #SyrCrunch you will find Crunch fans whining about the bad refs when those bad refs gave their team about a billion undeserved PPs AND A GODDAMN GOAL! Utterly bizarre. Two road wins. Take this home and put it in the bag, Griffs.

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 06/09/13 at 08:22 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Uh, what’s a guy supposed to do? Let up, captain dipshit. Your whining about me is more tiresome than my own. Go troll somewhere else.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/09/13 at 08:23 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Seriously, if you want the bitching and moaning, here it is, JKMIOnlyReplyToBitchAboutGeorge, because you lit the long fuse: there are other blogs to act like a 12-year-old trying to get his digs in at. If I do not please you, other pundits provide far better material to harangue. I don’t feel like being *#$%@& with this evening, but if you want to *#$%@& around, go find another leg to hump.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/09/13 at 08:26 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I’ve enjoyed watching the kids play. I just wish I could turn on the Griffins audio instead. For a stretch of time there, I thought I was listening to NBC.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 06/09/13 at 08:30 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Funny stuff, Henry the VIII’s..  Have driven by it for many many years , but never had the balls to stop in.

Posted by Down River Dan on 06/09/13 at 08:48 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/09/13 at 09:23 PM ET
Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/09/13 at 09:26 PM ET


Posted by Primis on 06/09/13 at 09:11 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Funny stuff, Henry the VIII’s..  Have driven by it for many many years , but never had the balls to stop in.

Then it’s obviously not a place for you. LOL
George you can use the ignore button also.  I’ve become quite fond of it.  Constructive criticism is one thing, trying to insult or get someone’s goat is another.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 06/09/13 at 09:25 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Agree with Cal. The ignore button is a beautiful thing.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 06/09/13 at 10:37 PM ET

Temo's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/09/13 at 09:26 PM ET

You’re the man, George!

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 06/09/13 at 10:40 PM ET

tkfergy's avatar

Griffins 5-4 goal was scored 26 seconds after they awarded the goal, so if everything was done correctly it would have been scored with 33 seconds left in the second.

Posted by tkfergy on 06/10/13 at 12:35 AM ET

tkfergy's avatar

Written by Peter Wallner

To compound the controversy over an added 2:23 on the clock, Brown’s goal apparently went through the mesh of the net.

After the period, crews looked at the net and made no changes or repairs.

As for taking on the shot, Mrazek said: “I didn’t see it. (Brown) got his shot and the guy was screaming and I didn’t think it could be in. I was surprised when the ref reviewed the goal. I didn’t even know what he was doing ... I felt it hit my (right) shoulder a little bit and then the puck was in the corner.

My favorite part is that the ice crew looked at the net and there were no apparent holes…

Posted by tkfergy on 06/10/13 at 01:05 AM ET

pgoody's avatar


Posted by pgoody on 06/10/13 at 01:18 AM ET

Puppies and Hookers's avatar

Shouldn’t the original 4-3 goal have been erased by going back in time to a goal that occurred prior to it, making it 4-3 after the ‘hole in the net’ goal?  And I didn’t realize that they could award a goal after the puck has been dropped.  *#$%@& messed up.  Good thing the Griffs won this or else heads would roll.

Posted by Puppies and Hookers from La la land on 06/10/13 at 02:08 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

It didn’t help that the only replay of the phantom goal that the crunch crew could dig up 20 minutes later was at about 10 FPS and you couldn’t see anything but a blur after Brown took the shot.

And on a side note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger bitch of a player than DIck Panik.  He dives ever time he’s touched, he finds the smallest player on the ice to tussle with after every whistle, and he whines and cries to the refs on every call, even ones that go his team’s way.  If I was a Tampa fan, I would be embarrassed to have that jackass in my system, much less on my team.

But his name is Dick Panik, so I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t have drafted him.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 06/10/13 at 07:25 AM ET


It’s not the first (or last) time a timeclock has been screwed up.  They guessed and guessed wrong, big deal.  They should have had better technology in place, yes, but that’s not the officials’ fault.

And since when are you supposed to let up when a guy has the puck at the side of the empty net and you hit him face-to-face, not high, no elbow, no nothing but a clean body check to separate man from puck?  You’re supposed to hit him lightly so he can fight off the check and score the goal?  Jurco got blown up, cleanly.  He’ll learn from that and shoot it in directly next time instead of waiting to see if his teammate’s shot is going in.  That call went the Griffs way, but I’m sure you can’t see that.

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/10/13 at 07:59 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

I’m really grumpy that the NHL Network is not showing re-runs of this series.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/10/13 at 09:43 AM ET

calquake's avatar

But his name is Dick Panik, so I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t have drafted him.

Excellent porn name.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 06/10/13 at 10:20 AM 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.


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