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Griffins finally return to action, Detroit sports and 3 exciting prospects

May 15, 2024, 1:33 AM ET [15 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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It feels like a lot more than 9 days has passed since Grand Rapids clinched their series against Rockford. Now the team has to be ready to go as they face Milwaukee. I can’t imagine how you keep the focus or if there’s a cool down/warm up period with so many days off in the playoffs. Regardless, Grand Rapids showed they could work against a Rockford team that had (opinion) superior fire power. It seemed like the Ice Hogs had goal tending that kept the games tight even in stretches where the Griffins seemed to dominate possession. That same commitment has to carry over to this next series. It’s a great lesson to learn, where 1-2 minutes can end up with 2 pucks in your net if you lean back on your skates.

There has been some good back and forth lately about the mock draft picks and team needs. Regardless of what’s going on in the world the city of Detroit is committed to sports as the escape. The Detroit Lions announced that season tickets sold out, even with increased prices. The town is hungry for a team to grab the mantle and bring some wins.

I was only 7 when the Tigers won the World Series, and everyone was overwhelmed with joy. We lived in a small town (Rockwood) and it felt like the “Bless you Boys” version of the Tigers just picked everyone up. The Bad Boys era of the Pistons was a lot of fun, my parents worked for Bill Davidson and Isiah Thomas came through the offices. The Wings, though, felt different. My best friend growing up and I would wait for the school bus. He would tell me about Yzerman, and how the games used to have car giveaways just to get people in the building. By 1995 everyone was talking about the Wings. The sweep that almost sent Yzerman out of town felt like a ton of bricks. Then 1997 came. A celebration cut short by a horrible accident. 1998 was the year that careers cut short were the focus of the team and the city as we still see Vladdy come to the games to this day.

2002 was, well, a time when you could buy a cup. Those lines were ridiculous. 2008 saw the first European captain to lift the hardest earned trophy in North American Sports (opinion of course). There were players on that team that got their 4th ring, and you can look back and see the moment everything changed. 2009, game 7, short handed goals and Lidstrom’s shot stopped by a very young Marc Andre Fleury. As the Eagles said, “It’s a long road out of Eden”. A road the fans have been on and can easily look back now and say “the rebuild should have started there”.

As we watch new iterations morph in front of our eyes, there are three players who I really want to see up close and on the ice with the prose. Nate Danielson is the first. We’ve talked about him a bit and he’s getting a healthy dose of notice. Axel Sandin-Pellikka is another. His skating and ability to jump in have made for some good highlight reels. The third shocked me. Trey Augustine. Trey led MSU to a championship, and now may well be the “go to” after Lyon was sent home with injury from the IIHF tournament. At 19, he carries himself with a lot of confidence.

Reality check - it’s so easy to get excited about a prospect and when they get a ticket to the show, they crumble. The gap between the NHL and all other leagues is sizeable. Faster, stronger, and more fierce. Athletes train their bodies to work faster than their minds. Seems impossible but once you see someone “in the zone” it’s incredible to witness. There is no guarantee, just an opportunity. Looking at those three players, it feels like they want to “level up”. We’ll see if any of them jump ahead in the line once fall rolls around.

Let me know your thoughts. Is there anyone who has given you pause to think they may grab the mantle and force the club to open a spot? As always, thanks to all of you who stop by. This blog doesn’t happen without you.
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