Grand Rapids Griffins’ 200 club getting bigger by the game
Grand Rapids defender Dylan McIlrath made his 200th game for the Griffins in their 2-1 loss to Rockford on March 13.
A game later last Tuesday, left winger Turner Elson played in his 200th game, which also meant extra time against Rockford.
Right Dominik Shine is next. The Griffins will be visiting Cleveland on Saturday at 7:00 pm, and that’s Shines 200th game with the Organization. There are three games in a row in which a Griffin has played for the Ogranization in his 200th game.
“It’s impressive, especially the boys,” said Griffins coach Ben Simon. “When you talk to these people and how much it means to them to be part of this organization, the Detroit Red Wings family, the Griffins family, that’s not just the hockey side of things. They really care about the people in the organization and in the community. They take the time to get involved.
“They obviously care about their hockey careers, but these guys take extra pride in doing things right. That is a credit to her. I will go on to say that the longevity of a career does not happen by chance. If you do the right things and do them consistently and if you have that pride, professionalism and approach to the game every day, these are the kind of people that we want in our group. “
The Griffins were scheduled to host Chicago at the Van Andel Arena tonight, but the Wolves had to procrastinate due to coronavirus logs. Five of the next six Grand Rapids games will be on the way, with the 7pm Tuesday game against Chicago being the exception.
Grand Rapids is just over a third of the 2021 season after playing 11 of its 30 games. All 30 games are scheduled against four opponents, and Simon said the Griffins are taking steps to ensure the season doesn’t get stale by playing the same opponents week after week. The Griffins’ loss to Rockford on Tuesday marked their fourth straight game against the IceHogs.
“We knew we’d play the same four teams all year round,” said Simon. “Is it getting stale? Maybe sometimes. It’s a little harder when you play four times in a row against teams like Rockford. You can either have a boring mindset or an approach where it’s almost like a playoff series where you play against the same team for so long. The intensity in these games, when your focus is like that, has such an angle it makes it a little more interesting.
“With practice, you try to break things up a little so the group can keep them fresh. Maybe there are different exercises in which the skate trainers and the skills and development team join in for a day, maybe the meetings change, the content of the meetings. We just have to try to improve and teach ourselves continuously, but maybe with different methods. “
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