Player of the Game(s): Chris Terry & Carter Camper
Chris Terry is consistently one of the biggest producers on the ice. He’s had 16pts so far this season and is 4th for goals (11). His veteran play is obvious and his ability to place the puck is indisputable. Coach Ben Simon has placed Terry on the top line with fellow veteran Carter Camper, along with Turner Elson. The trio has been a major driving force in the Grand Rapids Griffins offensive edge.
Carter Camper gets a nod as well for partnering with Terry as one of the biggest on-ice leaders. Credited with a very timely overtime goal on Saturday night, Camper owns 15 points in 15 games played record. He’s fast and effective.
Play(s) of the Game(s): 7 Seconds by Chris Terry & Camper OT Winner
Chris Terry stunned the crowd on Friday night by opening scoring just seven seconds into the opening period against the Ontario Reign. It seemed to surprise him as well. Despite the loss on Friday night, the shocking goal, Camper, and Hronek picked up some assists on it and opened the game on a good note.
Camper once again came through for Grand Rapids on Saturday night. Overcoming the Manitoba Moose in overtime, Camper beat Eric Comrie 35 seconds in. Assisted by Terry, the clean offensive zone entry enabled Camper to deke Comrie and have an easy opening on his blocker side.
Regrettable: Powerplay Conversion
The ongoing debacle with the Grand Rapids power play is something that needs to be addressed, and the team knows it. The Griffins are dead last in the league for conversion at 9.9% (7 in 71). According to head coach Ben Simon, they’ve tried everything, the team just isn’t following through. Given the man-advantage, Grand Rapids needs to learn to capitalize on the chances. They can connect when skating even strength, so the man-advantage shouldn’t be a problem. Goaltending Coach, Brian Mahoney-Wilson, described it as being “heavy.”
Quotable – Locker Room Talk:
“Its actually a play Fil (Filip Hronek) and I tried a couple games ago. It was actually Camper who drew it up. He snapped it back and Fil and unbelievable saucer pass through three of their (Ontario) guys and probably two of our guys… “ Chris Terry on the 7-second goal.
“It was a good first shift, the first phase, but then after that, it was downhill. Our power play was non-existent, our penalty kill was terrible and I thought we had way too many passengers tonight…” Ben Simon following Friday’s loss.
“Right now I’m just working on being simple…Just working on little things, being defensive…Just come to the rink every day with a smile on my face and playing hard.” Givani Smith on his adjustment to the AHL
Keys for the Future: Power Play
As I said above, and I have said several times in the last few weeks, the power play is weak and needs to convert. The Griffins have some of the most elite talents the AHL has to offer, so there are no excuses anymore. The penalty kill hasn’t been great either, but with Colin Campbell being back in the lineup, it’ll improve exponentially. However, the powerplay itself needs to see the scorers making net contact. Stop passing, start shooting.