As the Red Wings find themselves in the middle of the race for the playoffs in the NHL, things are much the same for their American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Through 58 games, the Griffins find themselves in third place in the North Division of the Eastern Conference, with 74 points. The 74 points that they have are more than any other team in the division, but the AHL’s seeding structure goes off of percentage of possible points instead of overall points. The Rockford IceHogs (73 points in 56 games) and Milwaukee Admirals (73 points in 57 games) are both ahead of the Griffins in the division, based on percentage.
Much like the Red Wings this season, special teams have been a struggle for Grand Rapids. Their power play has converted at a 15.2% clip, good for 25th out of 30 teams in the league. The penalty kill has been better, converting on 84.1% of their kills, good for 12th in the league.
The Griffins have scored a total of 182 goals to this point, the fourth-best offensive unit in the league. Defensively, goaltenders Jared Coreau, Tom McCollum, and Jake Paterson have combined to allow only 142 goals, the third-fewest in the league.
With their struggles on the power play, the team has relied heavily on even strength dominance. They have been one of the best teams in the league during even strength play, with 141 even-strength goals. That mark is good for fourth in the AHL.
Currently, the team is riding an eight-game winning streak. This is the second time they have had a winning streak of at least eight games, the first coming when they won 15 straight during a stretch from November into December.
Individually, the team has been lead by Andy Miele (12 goals, 30 assists), Eric Tangradi (19 goals, 20 assists), Anthony Mantha (18 goals, 21 assists), and Martin Frk (22 goals, 15 assists). Rookie defenseman Robbie Russo has also made quite a splash, as he leads the league in plus/minus at +42.
With 18 games left on their schedule, there are still a large number of ways the season could finish. But at this point at least, the Griffins appear poised to make a solid run in the playoffs yet again.