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Aussie_Wing

10/8 GDT: Abbotsford Heat @ Grand Rapids Griffins

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Abbotsford Heat (0-0-0-0) @ Grand Rapids Griffins (0-0-0-0)

7:00 pm EDT

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Preivew:

The Griffins kick off their, and the 2010/11 AHL season, when they host the Abbotsford Heat at Van Andel Arena. The Heat placed third in the North Division last season, the Griffins finished last but will be looking for a much stronger season. They will be boosted by the return of veteran goaltender Joey MacDonald who will get the opening night start.

The Griffins have a virtually new-look outfit this season, proven AHL point producers Chris Minard and Chris Minard will be asked to shoulder a lot of the offensive duties. Rookie forwards Joakim Andersson and Willie Coetzee will be hoping for successful starts to their AHL careers. The wildcard could be Ilari Filppula, brother of Flip, who could is a slick playmaker who should assist the Griffin youngsters. There are also exciting new arrivals on the blueline, led by rookie sensation Brendan Smith. Brian Lashoff is also a permanent member after having a few brief impressive stints in past seasons. Greg Amadio is also a newcomer, and Derek Meech will bolster the blueline.

Just take a glance at the possible line-up below, is that line-up stacked or what?! Go Griffins!

Possible line-up:

Johnson - Filppula - Minard

Owens - Emmerton - Mursak

Tatar - Andersson - Tardif

Coetzee - Raedeke - Pare

(Maltby likely to be recalled by DRW)

Janik - Smith

Meech - Lashoff

Pyett - Amadio

(Kolosov/Ehrhardt/Piche)

MacDonald

McCollum

Game Centre:

Game Centre

Radio Link

Edited by Aussie_Wing

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You think Smith will pair for Janik? I could see it doing really well for the Griffins, but is he ready for top pairing?

I'll be there. Who else will?

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You think Smith will pair for Janik? I could see it doing really well for the Griffins, but is he ready for top pairing?

I'll be there. Who else will?

I'm really not sure. I was thinking about it, and I think putting Smith with the steady Janik might be the best way to go, at least initially. Pyett is probably responsible enough in his own zone to be paired with Smith.

Perhaps something like...

Janik - Meech

Pyett - Smith

Lashoff - Amadio

And also, if Maltby is recalled by Detroit, and Minard still isn't right to go after his PS injury, perhaps Meech could fill in on forward? He gives us that versatility, and it's not like we don't have enough defensive options.

Edited by Aussie_Wing

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I'm really not sure. I was thinking about it, and I think putting Smith with the steady Janik might be the best way to go, at least initially. Pyett is probably responsible enough in his own zone to be paired with Smith.

Perhaps something like...

Janik - Meech

Pyett - Smith

Lashoff - Amadio

And also, if Maltby is recalled by Detroit, and Minard still isn't right to go after his PS injury, perhaps Meech could fill in on forward? He gives us that versatility, and it's not like we don't have enough defensive options.

Yeah, I could see Meech in the forward slot. I follow your thinking with the Janik/Smith pairing and agree that Janik is the best choice as far as a mentor so-to-speak. I didn't see Smith in action during the pre-season, so I just don't know if he'll be a liability on the 1st pairing. Guess I'll find out tonight!

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Is Tatar really starting the season on the third line? Shouldn't he be at least second line, or even first?

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Is Tatar really starting the season on the third line? Shouldn't he be at least second line, or even first?

I think these are just potential lines and pairings.

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From what I can see, the forward lines are:

Johnson - Filppula - Minard

Pare - Emmerton - Mursak

Tatar - Andersson - Coetzee

Owens - Raedeke - Tardif

Griffins clinging to a 2-1 lead with about 8 minutes left. Good first period, lackluster after. Very impressed with Coetzee, he's quick, he's aggressive, good signs in his pro debut.

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And the Griffs blow the 2-1 lead to lose the game 3-2 in a shootout. Meech takes a crosschecking penalty with 2 minutes left in the 3rd, and the Heat score on the PP to tie it up 2-2.

Filppula with 2 A.

Smith 1G.

Edited by under_par_00

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And the Griffs blow the 2-1 lead to lose the game 3-2 in a shootout. Meech takes a crosschecking penalty with 2 minutes left in the 3rd, and the Heat score on the PP to tie it up 2-2.

Filppula with 2 A.

Smith 1G.

For what it's worth, Meech laid down in front of a shot in OT and started a huge break the other way. Obviously, it wasn't enough. It doesn't help that MacDonald didn't stop a single puck in the shootout.

Aussie_Wing was right, Janik and Smith were the top pairing.

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