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Wallner: Grand Rapids Griffins’ super line of Jurco, Sheahan and Callahan deliver

The Grand Rapids Griffins weren't able to sweep the Abbotsford Heat last night, but the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Wednesday marked the debut of a new tline consisting of Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Mitchell Callahan--and the trio played like three players battling for NHL employment should play:

The trio accounted for 10 of the Griffins’ 35 shots.

Coach Jeff Blashill was pleased with the quick transition of Sheahan and Jurco.

“I thought both of them played really well,” he said. “I thought they stopped on the puck, played hard, created chances. The puck went in on the power play and I thought a couple of other times it was just one side or the other (when it didn’t).”

With 2:33 left in the first period, all three were on the power play when Sheahan corralled the puck in traffic in front of the net and quckly flipped a pass to Jurco on the right side. He snapped a quick shot past goalie Joni Ortio.

Wallner continues, and Tomas Jurco sounds a little happier about being "stuck" in Grand Rapids than he did when he spoke with the Slovak media (Jurco would've preferred to be allowed to play in the World Championships):

“I was pretty confident out there,” said Jurco, who had 13 goals in 32 regular-season games with the Griffins. “Playing with Sheahan and Calle helped me a lot. We had a great first couple shifts and that helped a lot.”

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Vladimir16's avatar

They played a heck of a game. I wouldn’t mind seeing this line in the D next season. Also, Callahan has changed his game (for the better) so much this year. I really hope he can play into a roster spot next fall. The Wings could really use a player like him.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/01/14 at 11:49 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Absolutely, Jurco did an interview which sounded like it was live in front of the entire Arena, nothing but positives to say for the Wings, GR the city, GR the fans, GR the hockey team and both sets of his teammates.

There is too much media sometimes and frantic searching under rocks for imaginary stories, and sensitive fans looking for a perceived ungrateful athlete to skewer.

Posted by RWBill on 05/01/14 at 01:17 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

... Same applies to ginned up “coaching controversy.”

Posted by RWBill on 05/01/14 at 01:19 PM ET


I would love to see Callahan given a chance, as the Wings need a couple of guys who are not reticent to get involved when the goons from other teams try to wreck havoc with guys who don’t fight back.

I don’t necessarily see Callahan as an enforcer, as he does have some talent, but I also feel he will go after goons who try to maul our players. The only thing is that Babcock seems to steer the team away from such players. I simply don’t get it…it’s not like our PP can punish teams who try to take liberties anymore.

Posted by NewfieWing on 05/01/14 at 01:19 PM ET


Great post Newfie,  the only thing I can think of regarding Babs reticence is that he doesn’t want to waken a sleeping giant, as in have opposing teams take the same liberties against our star players which is why he doesn’t really like the “shift” disturber types because all that does is rile up the other team and make your stars targets.  I strongly disagree with that, very strongly disagree, but that is all I can think of for reasons why

Posted by bababooey on 05/01/14 at 01:55 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Can Callahan replace Abby, and thus be a grit guy with (apparently) some offensive ability?

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/01/14 at 03:02 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Would anyone expect Jurco to say to the Slovakian press, “I would rather stay in the U.S. and play for GP, than play for my national team.”  I get so disgusted with media. They want to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
Posted by guy on 05/01/14 at 02:51 PM ET

Not to mention, how could you blame the kid for wanting to play for his country instead the minor leagues?  He expressed his desires, it didnt work out the way he wanted it to, and he took it like a man and played his butt of for the Griffs.  Good on him.

And Newfie, its wreak havoc, not wreck havoc.  Sorry, its just a pet peave of mine.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 05/01/14 at 04:16 PM ET


Posted by MoreShoot on 05/01/14 at 03:02 PM ET

Did McCarty get reborn?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 05/01/14 at 04:43 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.