Grand Rapids is 10 points behind Manitoba for the final playoff spot, with a two-game series against the Moose this weekend in Winnipeg. Two regulation wins would pull the Griffins to within six points with 10 games left in the regular season.
10 points to make up in twelve games? That's a pretty Herculean task for the Red Wings' AHL affiliate. They currently find themselves dead last in their division..
One bright spot on the team has been the play of Justin Abdelkader...
"A lot of kids could come down from Detroit and just kind of settle back and wait until the end of the season and go back to Detroit. But Justin has come down here and made a significant impact from the moment he arrived, and continues to get better and better and better every game. When players are playing like he is, it makes everyone around him better, and it gives other players a chance to get some good things done."--Curt Fraser, head coach Grand Rapids Griffins
Well, just looking at the standings, it looks like young Justin needs to make everyone around him even better if they're to have a snowball's chance in hell of making the post-season.
One can't help but feel a little worried about how poorly Grand Rapids has performed this year. I mean...we're hoping that a lot of these kids are going to end up mainstays in the Winged Wheel, eventually. Players like Abdelkader, Kindl, Larsson/McCollum, and Tatar.
Somehow, Washington has managed to storm through the regular season thus far AND have its AHL affiliate dominate.