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The Malik Report

Wakiji, Regner set up the Griffins-Barracuda series

Tomorrow, the Grand Rapids Griffins will battle the San Jose Barracuda in the AHL's Western Conference Final, and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji and Art Regner spoke with the team about the long travel, Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov's offensive performances, Dylan McIlrath's intimidation factor and more:

The Grand Rapids Griffins are traveling far to try to win a Calder Cup. The team flew to San Jose Thursday so they could have a couple of days to acclimate to the time change before beginning the AHL's Western Conference Finals Saturday against the San Jose Barracuda. The 1,947 miles traveled is 128 more than the Griffins have ever gone for a playoff series.

Instead of a 2-2-1-1-1 format, the Griffins will play two games in San Jose, then return to Grand Rapids for three games, if necessary. If the series is not decided then, they will return to San Jose for Games 6 and 7.

"I don't mind the 2-3-2 format," Griffins coach Todd Nelson said. "I think it's not as big an advantage for the higher seed versus going 2-2-1-1-1. The travel is going to be the same for both of us. The biggest thing is the time change for me."

Rookie defenseman Joe Hicketts pointed out the advantage in this series to the 2-3-2 schedule.

"I think it's good for travel, obviously," Hicketts said. "It would be tough to go back and forth four times or whatever. I think you go into the first two games hoping for a split and then you have an opportunity to come home and play three and get some momentum. Then if you have to go back out there, you're hoping that you carry that momentum from home and the home crowd to the road."

Wakiji and Regner continue...

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About The Malik Report

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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