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The Malik Report

Prospect news: Ehn scores in CHL; Griffins post weekly release

Of prospect-related note:

In the Champions Hockey League, Christoffer Ehn scored the 5-1 goal in the Frolunda Indians' 6-1 win over Eisbaren Berlin. Frolunda can advance to the "round of 8" if they beat Berlin on November 8th.

And in the AHL, here's the Grand Rapids Griffins' weekly press release:

GRIFFINS SET TO HOST IOWA AND CHICAGO

This Week’s Games

Iowa Wild at GRIFFINS // Fri., Nov. 4 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
Listen:
WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 6:35 p.m.
Watch: AHLLive.com  
Season Series: 0-0-0-0 Home, 1-0-0-0 Overall. Second of eight meetings overall, first of four at Van Andel Arena
All-Time Series: 9-2-0-0 Home, 19-4-0-0 Overall
NHL Affiliation: Minnesota Wild
Noteworthy: During the first meeting of the season between the teams on Oct. 18 in Des Moines, Anthony Mantha became the fourth Griffin ever to score three power play goals in a game as he recorded his second career hat trick. Behind Mantha’s three goals and Kyle Criscuolo’s game-winner, the Griffins recovered from a two-goal third-period deficit to defeat Iowa by a 4-3 final.

Chicago Wolves at GRIFFINS // Sat., Nov. 5 // 7 p.m. // Van Andel Arena
Listen: WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM at 7 p.m.
Watch: AHLLive.com  
Season Series: 1-0-0-0 Home, 2-0-0-0 Overall. Third of 10 meetings overall, second of five at Van Andel Arena
All-Time Series: 36-21-2-4-2 Home, 73-49-2-6-2 Overall
NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues
Noteworthy: The Griffins own a 36-21-2-4-2 home record against the Wolves, the second-most home wins Grand Rapids has against any opponent.

Last Week’s Results
Fri., Oct. 28    GRIFFINS 2 at Charlotte Checkers 4    4-2-0-0 (8 points, T2nd Central Division)
Sat., Oct. 29     GRIFFINS 0 at Charlotte Checkers 3    4-3-0-0 (8 points, 2nd)

Opening Faceoff: The Grand Rapids Griffins will return to Van Andel Arena this weekend to face a pair of Central Division rivals – their eighth and ninth consecutive games against divisional foes to open the season. Grand Rapids welcomes the Iowa Wild to town on Friday night before taking on the Chicago Wolves for the third time already this season on Saturday. The Griffins will look to get back into the win column following two straight road defeats to the Charlotte Checkers last weekend.

Last Week’s Recap: Grand Rapids jumped out to a two-goal advantage just 4:31 into last Friday’s contest at Charlotte, but would not score again the rest of the weekend and were shutout over the final 115:29 of the two-game set. The Griffins fell 4-2 on Friday and 3-0 on Saturday, marking the first time Grand Rapids has lost consecutive games at Charlotte since falling in three straight, Jan. 15, 2012-Jan. 16, 2013.

Weekend Promotions: For Friday’s contest against Iowa, fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs and $2 domestic drafts from 6-8 p.m., while supplies last. In partnership with Mel Trotter Ministries, the Griffins will host a food drive on Friday. Fans are encouraged to drop off food items before the game inside the Van Andel Arena lobby. For a list of items needed, click here. Fans who donate will be entered to win tickets to a future Griffins game. On Saturday against Chicago, 2,500 team posters will be available after the game as fans exit the arena, courtesy of Eikenhout Inc.

The Return of Frk: The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday assigned forward Martin Frk to the Griffins after claiming him off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes. Frk became the 156th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL after he debuted with the Hurricanes on Oct. 18 in a 3-2 loss at Edmonton. Detroit's first choice, 49th overall, in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Frk has played in 149 games with the Griffins since 2013 and has accumulated 68 points (36-32--68). Frk turned in a career year in 2015-16 by establishing new career highs in goals (27), assists (17) and points (27-17--44) and ranking among the AHL's leaders with 27 goals (T6th) and 11 power play goals (T5th).

On the Horizon: Friday’s game against Iowa will commence a four-game home stand for the Griffins. In fact, eight of the 11 November games for Grand Rapids will come within the friendly confines of Van Andel Arena.

Super Mantha: Anthony Mantha continues his torrid start to the 2016-17 season as he registered one goal in the series against Charlotte to up his AHL-leading goal total to seven. His four power play tallies also pace the league.

Everything in Moderation: Even with Anthony Mantha leading the league with seven goals, the Griffins have still displayed a balanced scoring attack thus far. Consider that of the 21 skaters who have played in at least two games this season, 17 have contributed at least one point.

Follow the Leader(s): Anthony Mantha leads the team with seven points (7-0—7), followed by Mitch Callahan (2-4—6) and Matt Lorito (1-5—6)…Lorito also has a team-high five assists…Colin Campbell's 11 penalty minutes are the most on the team and Robbie Russo owns a team-best +4 rating…Russo led the league with a +40 mark last season. 

Falling Forward: Despite dropping a pair of games last weekend, the Griffins concluded the month of October 4-3-0-0 (0.571), marking their best October winning percentage since 2013-14 (5-2-1-1, 0.667). Looking ahead to November, the Griffins are a combined 31-11-1-1 (0.727) in the calendar’s 11th month since the 2012-13 season.

Reunion of Sorts: The Griffins will welcome back a number of familiar faces to Van Andel Arena this weekend as occupants of the adversarial bench. Former Griffins Scott Czarnowczan, Jeff Hoggan and Teemu Pulkkinen along with former Toledo Walleye head coach and current Wild bench boss Derek Lalonde are expected to be among Iowa’s contingent for Friday’s contest while former Griffin Landon Ferraro is expected to play with Chicago on Saturday.

Czarnowczan, who played collegiately at Ferris State, appeared in 31 regular season games with the Griffins from 2014-16 and totaled 10 points (2-8—10).

Hoggan, whose unprecedented four-year run as the team’s captain began with the 2012-13 Calder Cup championship season, signed a professional tryout with Iowa at the beginning of the year. Under Hoggan’s captaincy, the Griffins posted an 8-3 playoff series record, earning at least one series victory in each of the last four seasons, the AHL’s third-longest such streak since the current 16-team playoff format was adopted in 2005. Hoggan also became the first AHL player since at least 2005 to captain his team to at least one Calder Cup Playoff series win in four straight seasons.

Joining the Griffins late in the 2012-13 season, Pulkkinen helped the Griffins win the 2013 Calder Cup before going on to lead Grand Rapids in goals in each of the next two seasons. In 2014-15, despite appearing in only 46 games with the Griffins due to playing 31 games with the Detroit Red Wings, Pulkkinen won the Willie Marshall Award for the league’s top goal scorer and was named an AHL First Team All-Star. Pulkkinen was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 11 and assigned to Iowa by Minnesota on Oct. 29.

Head coach Derek Lalonde is in his first season at the helm of the Wild after spending the last two years with the Toledo Walleye, the ECHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings and Griffins. Under Lalonde’s direction, the Walleye won the North Division title twice and compiled a 97-35-7-5 regular season record (0.715), including a league-best 50-15-5-2 mark (0.743) in 2014-15.

Wolves newcomer Ferraro, who signed with the St. Louis Blues in the offseason, played five seasons in Grand Rapids (2009-10; 2011-15), totaled 140 points (75-65—14) in 270 regular season games and helped the Griffins claim the 2013 Calder Cup.

Getting Wild: Since incurring a 3-1 loss to the Iowa Wild on March 8, 2014 at Van Andel Arena, the Griffins have won seven consecutive home games against Iowa, including all four last season, to improve their all-time series record within friendly confines to 9-2. Including the two previous renditions of AHL franchises in Iowa – Stars (4-0-1-1 record from 2005-08) and Chops (1-0-0-0 record from 2008-09) – the Griffins post a 14-2-1-1 record (0.833) all-time at Van Andel Arena against foes from the Hawkeye State.

Consecutive Coreau: Goaltender Jared Coreau made six straight starts in between the pipes to start the season, the second-longest streak in Griffins history. Joey MacDonald was in net seven consecutive times to begin the 2004-05 campaign. Coreau’s streak came to an end last Saturday at Charlotte as Eddie Pasquale made his Griffins debut. Coreau’s four wins are tied for second in the league while his 2.18 goals against average places 12th among goalies with 120:00 or more minutes.

Fresh Blood: The Griffins have played eight rookies – Mike Borkowski, Matt Caito, Kyle Criscuolo, Joe Hicketts, Dan Renouf, Dylan Sadowy, Evgeny Svechnikov and Dominic Turgeon – already this season through seven games, surpassing the total from all of last season as seven rookies appeared for Grand Rapids in 2015-16. Grand Rapids’ eight rookies are tied for third among AHL teams for most first-year players used thus far, trailing San Jose (13) and Albany (10).

Walleye Report: Under first-year head coach Dan Watson, the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye are tied atop the Central Division with a 6-1 record following last Saturday’s 4-1 win at Norfolk. Former Griffin Kyle Bonis is tied for fifth in the league in scoring (5-5—10) while second-year pro Jake Paterson, Detroit’s second pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is 3-1 with a 2.50 goals against average and a 0.922 save percentage. Griffins-contracted Cal Heeter is a perfect 3-0 between the pipes and shows a 3.55 GAA and a 0.900 save percentage.

Upcoming Milestones: Jared Coreau needs one win to reach 50 victories as a Griffin…Nathan Paetsch needs seven games played to reach 300 as a Griffin. Paetsch can become the ninth player in club history to reach that milestone…Ben Street needs three games played to reach 300 in the AHL and needs one goal to reach 100 AHL markers.

Back-to-Backs: The Griffins will play back-to-back games a total of 27 times this season. Compare the statistics for when the Griffins have played on consecutive nights:

First Night  Second Night
W  1  2
L  2  1
GF  2.00  2.33
GA  2.33  2.33
PP %  14.29%  7.69%
PK %  70.00%  81.82%
SF  30.00  30.00
SA  30.67  31.67

Win Some, Lose Some: Compare the statistics for the Griffins during their four wins and three losses:

            GF  GA  PP %  PK %  SF  SA
W (4)  3.50  2.00  25.00%  85.71%  31.00  28.00
L (3)  1.00  3.00  0.00%  66.67%  28.67  31.67

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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.