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Grand Rapids Griffins win Game 6, capture Calder Cup

It was close and sometimes a harrowing experience to watch, but the Grand Rapids Griffins rallied from a 1-0 deficit and took a 2-1 lead, surrendered a tying goal in the 3rd, and received the game-winner from stay-at-home defenseman Brennan Evans (and some ridiculous saves from Petr Mrazek)...

And Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson's empty-net goals sealed the deal, giving the Griffins a 5-2 win, capturing Grand Rapids' first Calder Cup championship over the course of 6 games against the Crunch and a total of 24 playoff games played (out of a possible 26!).

The Jack Butterfield Trophy, the AHL's playoff MVP award was given to Tomas Tatar, who scored 16 goals over the course of 24 games played (and registered 21 points).

Mrazek stopped 17 shots in the Griffins' win.

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Comments

Dakkster's avatar

Damn I was so tense the last 10 minutes of the final period. Then the last penalty for the Crunch was called and I could relax a little. Every single game in this series was a real nailbiter. Damn tough opponents.

Congratulations to the Grand Rapids Griffins!

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 06/18/13 at 08:42 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

Going to be at the airport 1:30. Very cool

Posted by Rdwings28 on 06/18/13 at 08:46 PM ET

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Griffs earned that plane ride back to GR. 

Now if Tatar can get a Calder next season…

Posted by maltby18 on 06/18/13 at 08:57 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

Good game awesome outcome !!  Congrats to the Grand Rapids Griffins!!!

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 06/18/13 at 08:57 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

The empty-net goal to go up 4-2 was one of the dumbest and one of the classiest plays I think I’ve ever seen.

Tatar steals the puck and races up the right side, but he has no real shot on goal so he passes to Andersson. Andy has a wide-open net in front of him, but he passes the puck back to Tatar (who has a guy hanging all over him). And like the bad-ass MF he’s turned out to be, Tatar takes the puck in the air and puts it in the net.

I just hope Brunner was watching this game because he just watched his slot on the third line disappear. Now he has to convince Tick Tock that he’s a better option on the second line than someone like Bickell or Clarkson. Good luck with that, Damien. I think you may have over-played your hand and virtually guaranteed your ticket out of Hockeytown (unless you’re willing to take $3m/year for three years).

Sometime tomorrow, when I’m not so overwhelmed with emotion, I’ll join the rest of the 19 who watched the Calder Cups Finals in assessing the talent in the Wings organization. For now, though, I’ll just say that I’ve never been more excited about the future.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/18/13 at 09:05 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Now if Tatar can get a Calder next season…

The only way Tatar gets a Calder next season is if the Wings waive him and every GM in the league is drunk for those 48 hours. Tatar is a Red Wing next year. Period.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/18/13 at 09:07 PM ET

Dakkster's avatar

I don’t think you two are talking about the same Calder…

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 06/18/13 at 09:08 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

Definitely meaning a championship.. Like. Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 06/18/13 at 09:13 PM ET

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[I just hope Brunner was watching this game because he just watched his slot on the third line disappear. Now he has to convince Tick Tock that he’s a better option on the second line than someone like Bickell or Clarkson. Good luck with that, Damien. I think you may have over-played your hand and virtually guaranteed your ticket out of Hockeytown (unless you’re willing to take $3m/year for three years)./quote]

It truly amazes me how eager people are to paint Brunner as a villain simply because all he’s said is that he loved playing in Detroit and would like to re-sign with the Wings.

Posted by Garth on 06/18/13 at 09:18 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

It truly amazes me how eager people are to paint Brunner as a villain simply because all he’s said is that he loved playing in Detroit and would like to re-sign with the Wings.

Posted by Garth on 06/18/13 at 10:18 PM ET


Isn’t it amazing?

I absolutely shudder to think of how the waffling Lidstrom used to do each contract would be interpreted by people on this website. 

“I love playing for the Wings, but my heart tells me to raise my kids in Sweden”

“BURN THE WITCH!  BURN HIM!”

“But, the Schools are so much better, and my culture is important to me and my wife.  I love Detroit, it’s just that Sweden is a place I hold very dear…”

“CUT HIM WAIVE HIM TRADE HIM TO THE AEROS!”

etc.  (Note:  I do understand that it’s a semi-valid viewpoint that some portion of his tough decisions were a ploy for money but, man, it’d get ugly these days).

 

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/18/13 at 10:11 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

I don’t think you two are talking about the same Calder…

I got it!

I actually didn’t mind the Syracuse Play-by-Play guy.  He did a pretty decent job.  The clock operator, however, should have a performance review soon, and it should not go well.  (how many times did the penalty clock start before the face-off?)

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/18/13 at 10:18 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

It truly amazes me how eager people are to paint Brunner as a villain simply because all he’s said is that he loved playing in Detroit and would like to re-sign with the Wings.

Posted by Garth on 06/18/13 at 10:18 PM ET

No one that I’ve seen post here at KK has tried to paint Brunner as a “villain.” And certainly not because of his positive comments about the Wings organization.

What some of us have zeroed in on are statements like this: ““I like the Red Wings and the organization, it was first class,” said Brunner… “We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.”

To me, that doesn’t indicate a strong desire to “re-sign with the Wings.” I see it as just one more indication that he’s following his agent’s lead in trying to put pressure on Ken Holland. And that’s not a smart move.

Note that he says the Wings organization was first class. Someone who has a real desire to stay would say that it is first class. Maybe that’s just a cultural/language issue. Or maybe Damien was again trying to put pressure on Holland to resign him at the price he wants.

Whatever it is, I stand by my statement that Brunner may very well have over-played his cards. Tatar is not only a replacement for Brunner. I think he’s going to be a better player than Brunner ever will be (both offensively and defensively). If you watched the Calder Cup playoffs, you’d probably come to the same conclusion.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/18/13 at 10:41 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I don’t think you two are talking about the same Calder…

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden

Ah, the Calder Trophy as opposed to the Calder Cup. I think you might be right, Dakkster. If that’s what you meant maltby18, sorry about that. And I would agree that Tatar has a real shot at the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/18/13 at 10:49 PM ET

calquake's avatar

(unless you’re willing to take $3m/year for three years).

If he asks for more than that I hope the Wings have someone in mind to replace him (Calle Jarncock(sp)?, at least that’s how I hear it in my head.  Brunner had an overall good first year.  He deserves a raise and some stability, if that’s what he wants.  I believe the above offer accomplishes that.  His next contract will be his big contract if he produces.

Posted by calquake on 06/18/13 at 11:12 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

(Calle Jarncock(sp)?, at least that’s how I hear it in my head. 

It’s Calle Järnkrok.

Yehn (r mostly silent)-crou-(ou sound as in you, not as in crouch)-k.

I expect we’ll hear announcers mangle it as bad as they do Nyquist.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/18/13 at 11:26 PM ET

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Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/18/13 at 11:49 PM ET

HAHAHAHA, its all good, just picturing that scenario was worth the confusion.  That and thinking of the comments here if Holland announced Tatar was being waived and back to GR.

So yeah, meant the Calder Trophy, the one that should of been Howard’s a few years back.  Since it can never be given to a Wing.  Can’t make the media change the usual articles about the team being ‘old’  and ‘spending to get a Cup’

Posted by maltby18 on 06/18/13 at 11:34 PM ET

SYF's avatar

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  FUCH YEAH, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111!!!1!!!!1!!1

WHOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

[yes, I’m properly smashed, thank you very much.]

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 06/18/13 at 11:47 PM ET

calquake's avatar

  (Calle Jarncock(sp)?, at least that’s how I hear it in my head.

It’s Calle Järnkrok.

Yehn (r mostly silent)-crou-(ou sound as in you, not as in crouch)-k.

I expect we’ll hear announcers mangle it as bad as they do Nyquist.

Why do you think the 19 refer to him as Nike or Nyquil?  It ain’t because we’re great at nicknames.  However thanks for the correct pronunciation… Yehncrouk… maybe that should be his nickname?

Posted by calquake on 06/18/13 at 11:56 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Why do you think the 19 refer to him as Nike or Nyquil?  It ain’t because we’re great at nicknames.  However thanks for the correct pronunciation… Yehncrouk… maybe that should be his nickname?

It literally means Iron Hook.  Iron Hook is a good nickname.

And yeah.  Nee-qvist isn’t how the announcers say it at all.  It’s hard for us to learn these names, but there’s really no excuse for them getting it wrong all the time, and if they did do it right we would be able to, too.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/19/13 at 12:12 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

To me, that doesn’t indicate a strong desire to “re-sign with the Wings.” I see it as just one more indication that he’s following his agent’s lead in trying to put pressure on Ken Holland. And that’s not a smart move.

Note that he says the Wings organization was first class. Someone who has a real desire to stay would say that it is first class. Maybe that’s just a cultural/language issue. Or maybe Damien was again trying to put pressure on Holland to resign him at the price he wants.

I mean no offense, because I know it’s well intended, but I think you read too much context that isn’t there.  It’s an off the cuff comment to a question asked by a reporter, not necessarily a planned speak.  Someone who was more savvy might have answers like that planned but I don’t think Brunner is really that kind’ve guy.  He’s more happy go-lucky go with the flow, right?

And yes, the language thing is a big deal.  Switzerland has four official languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh) so English is certainly not his first language.  It’s probably third, forth or fifth.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/19/13 at 12:16 AM ET

Avatar

To me, that doesn’t indicate a strong desire to “re-sign with the Wings.”

It doesn’t ‘indicate’ anything except that he liked playing in Detroit.

Whatever it is, I stand by my statement that Brunner may very well have over-played his cards.

Good for you, just don’t pretend you aren’t painting him as the villain in a scenario in which he has said he’d like to stay in Detroit, Ken Holland has said nothing and we know absolutely nothing about his demands or any offers made by Holland.

Jesus…

Posted by Garth on 06/19/13 at 06:08 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...just don’t pretend you aren’t painting him as the villain in a scenario in which he has said he’d like to stay in Detroit…

I don’t have to “pretend” anything, Garth, because I know exactly what I meant with my statements. And no where in those statements did I bash Brunner or even come close to painting him as a “villain.”

I simply said I thought he didn’t seem very committed to coming back and that he may very well have over-played his hand with Holland. How you get from there to “villlain” is your interpretation. It was clearly not my intent.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/19/13 at 11:00 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.