Why the Grand Rapids Griffins are going to win the Calder Cup in 2017
It has been four seasons since the Grand Rapids Griffins have won the Calder Cup. They look well on their way to win another one here in 2017. They currently have a 2-1 series lead over the San Jose Barracuda in the AHL Western Conference Finals. Grand Rapids is back in action tonight at Van Andel Arena for game 4, looking to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
This organization isn't new to this type of success. The Griffins have reached 100 points for the third season in a row now. They have also been a part of the Calder Cup playoffs for the past five seasons. Everybody on the team really embraces their specific role and that's why they've been so successful.
With the talent that Grand Rapids can put on the ice from game to game, they should have no issue bringing the Calder Cup back home this season. Ben Street has been a large contributor for the Griffins this season. He finished the regular season with 25 goals and 30 assists. Goalie Jared Coreau has also been great for Grand Rapids. He's 9-2 in the playoffs, playing his best when it matters most.
Assuming Grand Rapids finishes this series against San Jose, they will have to play the winner of the series between the Providence Bruins and the Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch were the North Division regular season champions, finishing with 90 points. In 2013, the Griffins did defeat the Crunch in the Calder Cup Finals. The Bruins were the last team to get into the playoffs out of the Atlantic division, finishing with 96 points.
Either way, Grand Rapids will have a much easier task than previous opponents if they advance to the Calder Cup Finals. The Griffins finished with a better record than both of these teams from the Eastern Conference. They also took down the Chicago Wolves in the previous round, a team that finished ahead of them this season in the Central Division with 101 points.
If you haven't had a chance to see this team play yet, its highly suggested. The playoff atmosphere at Van Andel arena is unlike anything else. This team is playing its best hockey this season at the right time. They are loaded with young talent and second year head coach Todd Nelson seems to be plugging all of the right pieces into place. If they keep playing like they are, the Calder Cup will be back in Grand Rapids for the second time in franchise history.