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2014-15 Grand Rapids Griffins


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#1 Jesusberg

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 12:38 PM

While some people are less than thrilled about the Red Wings' off-season, I think there should definitely be some optimism about the Griffins right now. The team is stacked, IMO. Leaves me wondering just where players fit in, and who will be going down to Toledo. I'm curious about what some of you think regarding the line combinations, and who will split time between GR and Toledo.

These would be some of my preferred lines:

Jurco-Miele-Pulkkinen (assuming Alfie signs)
Nosek-Nestrasil-Mantha (could swap Nosek-Nestrasil at center)

Hoggan-Porter-Callahan (chippy line, but could use a shooter, perhaps?)

Athanasiou-Ferraro-Campbell (great speed, Campbell brings size/grit)

As far as forwards go, I'm just not sure guys like Tvrdon and Frk will crack the line-up, hence why I have Campbell on that 4th line. If Frk could somehow outplay a few guys, I wouldn't mind him on that 3rd line, but I think GR's pretty deep on the right wing. I also wouldn't mind swapping Mantha with Callahan, at least until Mantha gets the hang of the pace in the AHL, but I can see people thinking that being "stuck" on a line with Hoggan and Porter might hinder his offense.

On the back end:

Ouellet-Paetsch (stable pairing, can eat minutes)
Evans-Sproul (Evans will balance Sproul out nicely)
Backman-Marchenko (seems like a very solid pairing - could work ahead of Evans-Sproul)

I almost wish they had one less veteran here, to allow for Jensen to be paired with one of them on the bottom pairing. I would love an Ouellet-Sproul, Backman-Marchenko top 4, but Evans and Paetsch don't allow for it. This is what I think will pan out on defense.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?


Edited by Jesusberg, 01 August 2014 - 12:41 PM.


#2 PumpkinEscobar

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 02:39 PM

Porter will be centering 1 of the top 2 lines and Athanasiou is too good to be on the 4th line

Edited by PumpkinEscobar, 01 August 2014 - 02:41 PM.


#3 Jesusberg

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 02:20 PM

Porter will be centering 1 of the top 2 lines and Athanasiou is too good to be on the 4th line

 

With the TC tournament ongoing, it seems like Frk is making a case for himself. Wonder if he bounces Nestrasil out of the line-up. Obviously, nothing's a given, but he's showing some chemistry with his line mates right now. With the Mantha-Nosek-Frk line looking so good, I can't imagine Porter being in that top 6 unless someone is brought up to Detroit. Miele is a much better offensive player, and Jurco and Pulu are a given.

From reading some of the reports out of camp, it seems like Athanasiou has been up and down. Few issues here and there with timing. I still wouldn't be surprised to see him start on the 4th line, working his way up to the 3rd and knocking Hoggan down.



#4 krsmith17

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 05:21 PM

Jurco - Nosek - Pulkkinen

Athanasiou - Miele - Mantha

Tvrdon - Nestrasil - Frk

Hoggan - Porter - Campbell

Ferraro / Zengerle

 

Paetsch - Sproul

Ouellet - Jensen

Backman - Marchenko

Evans / Nedomlel

 

Callahan - Red Wings 14th forward

 

No way Frk doesn't make the roster, Tvrdon is still a bit of a question mark.



#5 jimmyemeryhunter

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 05:32 PM

Once athanasiou gets used to the pro game, hell be on the second line, but I think he starts on the 3rd, he's to fast and skilled to only get fourth line minutes.

#6 number9

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 08:53 PM

It seems like Nosek was the best thing to happen to Frks career with us. Almost like he was brought in to push Frk. I think the two should remain together.



#7 krsmith17

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 09:25 PM

That is definitely a strong possibility but I think Frk is just a lot more prepared, both mentally and physically than he was at any point last year. He found out the hard way that coasting from junior to pro just doesn't work without putting in the work. I don't really think he was put in a position to succeed last year so I hope that after a strong camp and preseason he can gain some confidence and get off to a good start in his second year pro. I've always liked Frk and I'd love for him to become relevant as a prospect once again.

#8 number9

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 09:30 PM

That is definitely a strong possibility but I think Frk is just a lot more prepared, both mentally and physically than he was at any point last year. He found out the hard way that coasting from junior to pro just doesn't work without putting in the work. I don't really think he was put in a position to succeed last year so I hope that after a strong camp and preseason he can gain some confidence and get off to a good start in his second year pro. I've always liked Frk and I'd love for him to become relevant as a prospect once again.

 

After we drafted Frk I made sure to watch him at juniors. He was BEASTLY. Very physical and dynamic. Was extremely underwhelmed and disappointed with him after his first season with us. If anyone can turn it around it's him.



#9 krsmith17

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 06:22 AM

Absolutely. I watched a lot of Mooseheads games after we drafted him too, and you're right, he was something to watch. To be honest, he was one of my favorite prospects 2 years ago, I even had him ranked ahead of guys like Tatar and Jarnkrok... I still believe he can and will turn it around and have a huge year down in Grand Rapids this season.

I don't expect both Frk and Pulkkinen to make the Wings roster in the next couple years, mainly due to the overloaded depth we have on the wings, but I hope at least one of them can make it. They play very similar games and have many of the same strengths (cannon shot, shoot first mentality, deceptively great passers) and weaknesses (skating speed, defensive awareness). Neither are very tall but both are fairly broad / stocky builds and both shoot right handed. I hope at least one of them can become an impact player for us in a few years and help out our stagnant power-play.



#10 number9

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 08:50 PM

Absolutely. I watched a lot of Mooseheads games after we drafted him too, and you're right, he was something to watch. To be honest, he was one of my favorite prospects 2 years ago, I even had him ranked ahead of guys like Tatar and Jarnkrok... I still believe he can and will turn it around and have a huge year down in Grand Rapids this season.

I don't expect both Frk and Pulkkinen to make the Wings roster in the next couple years, mainly due to the overloaded depth we have on the wings, but I hope at least one of them can make it. They play very similar games and have many of the same strengths (cannon shot, shoot first mentality, deceptively great passers) and weaknesses (skating speed, defensive awareness). Neither are very tall but both are fairly broad / stocky builds and both shoot right handed. I hope at least one of them can become an impact player for us in a few years and help out our stagnant power-play.

 

I also thought Kindl was beastly in juniors though, so take my opinion for what it's worth



#11 krsmith17

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 05:11 AM

Lol Kindl was awesome in junior, he also played admirably well in his last couple years down in Grand Rapids. That's exactly why you never know if / how most prospects will turn out... I still think he has the potential to turn things around, however I don't think he has much time left to do so on this team with all the talented d prospects coming up over the next two years. And I'd be surprised if he becomes anything more than a number 4 / 5 tweener on any team at this point.



#12 Jesusberg

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 12:55 PM

Have to admit, I think I underestimated Double A. I knew he had the speed, but he showed some real offense in the tournament. I can only speak from what I saw via the highlights, but it seems to me he's got some real good hand-eye, and an ability to protect the puck. With Alfredsson possibly out for the beginning of the season, I think we could see Jurco/Mantha take up a spot in Detroit. I'd tweak my original forwards line-up to something along the lines of...

Mantha/Jurco-Miele-Pulkkinen

(Pretty much the stand-out 1st line. Tons of offense.)

 

Tvrdon/Nestasil-Nosek-Frk

Athanasiou-Ferraro-Callahan

 

(This is a situation where I think you have a 2a, 2b situation. Either line could bring offense, and you could flip Tvrdon and AA. I just like the whole concept of the Czech line, and having someone responsible for being a net-front presence of each line. Question marks around Ferraro and Cally in terms of where they end up, though.)

 

Hoggan-Porter-Campbell

 

(Rugged, prototypical grind line. I doubt Porter was signed to play on the 4th line, but it seems like Miele, Nosek and Ferraro should all be ahead of him. Should Ferraro be moved or plucked off waivers, I think Porter bumps up a line.)

 

Obviously, things could get shifted around, but I like the look of this line-up a lot. Miele is going to be their top set-up guy, IMO. He's going to have two trigger men on his line, either way. Nosek-Frk showed some chemistry at the tourney, so I think they may stick with that pairing until it shows signs of not working out. Regardless, I think this team has a ton of potential. Should be fun to watch.



#13 number9

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 08:01 PM

Have to admit, I think I underestimated Double A. I knew he had the speed, but he showed some real offense in the tournament. I can only speak from what I saw via the highlights, but it seems to me he's got some real good hand-eye, and an ability to protect the puck. With Alfredsson possibly out for the beginning of the season, I think we could see Jurco/Mantha take up a spot in Detroit. I'd tweak my original forwards line-up to something along the lines of...

Mantha/Jurco-Miele-Pulkkinen

(Pretty much the stand-out 1st line. Tons of offense.)

 

Tvrdon/Nestasil-Nosek-Frk

Athanasiou-Ferraro-Callahan

 

(This is a situation where I think you have a 2a, 2b situation. Either line could bring offense, and you could flip Tvrdon and AA. I just like the whole concept of the Czech line, and having someone responsible for being a net-front presence of each line. Question marks around Ferraro and Cally in terms of where they end up, though.)

 

Hoggan-Porter-Campbell

 

(Rugged, prototypical grind line. I doubt Porter was signed to play on the 4th line, but it seems like Miele, Nosek and Ferraro should all be ahead of him. Should Ferraro be moved or plucked off waivers, I think Porter bumps up a line.)

 

Obviously, things could get shifted around, but I like the look of this line-up a lot. Miele is going to be their top set-up guy, IMO. He's going to have two trigger men on his line, either way. Nosek-Frk showed some chemistry at the tourney, so I think they may stick with that pairing until it shows signs of not working out. Regardless, I think this team has a ton of potential. Should be fun to watch.

 

Dbl A is fasttttttttttttttt man. His MO is break the D with speed along the boards and then move to the net and dangle. I'm just worried that he may be more suited for a rush system, not our possession system.







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