The kids are all right.
This was the first time since I can remember...there was not ONE mention of the Red Wings' age being a hindrance to their play-off performance. I take that back...they were actually talking about the YOUTH of the organ-i-zation...when was the last time THAT happened?
There's a lot of reasons to optimistic about this team's future. The Free Agent market may be weak but we have a glutton of talented youth who will be looking to fill (and make) some spots in next season's roster. Case in point - the Grand Rapids Griffins are just one game away from the Calder Cup Finals...top prize of the AHL.
Read on, my friends...
Game 6 is tonight at Van Andel Arena as the Griffs look to close the door on Jonathon Cheechoo and the Oklahoma City Barons. The Griffs lead the series 3-2.
Petr Mrazek has stopped the last 70 shots he's faced...backstopping the Griffs to back-to-back shutouts. Leaning on the Special Teams, the Griffs have outscored OKC 7-0 in the past two games. Of course...it doesn't hurt that the likes of Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Jan Mursak, and Brian Lashoff have been bolstered by the likes of Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist since the Wings got bounced.
Andersson provided two assists in Game 5's 3-0 victory. Game 7 (if necessary) will be on Wednesday...again, at Van Andel. The Griffs have two chances (at home) to close this series out and have a shot at the Calder Cup for the first time ever.
Oh and if they make it to the Finals...they'll be getting rookie sensation Danny DeKeyser on the blue line as well. He's not going to be ready for Game 6 or Game 7 (if they even have to play it)...but reports are he'll be inserted into the lineup during the Finals.
Exciting? You bet your sweet bippy.