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Grand Rapids Griffins still give Michigan hockey fans plenty of hope

The Detroit Red Wings' season might be over without another Stanley Cup chance. But the Grand Rapids Griffins sure seem primed and ready to go to win another Calder Cup series.
The Griffins seemed poised to win another Cup after their first two games of the first-round series against Abbotsford. Because it's a 3-out-of 5 for the first round and the AHL prefers going with a 2-3 setup rather than 2-2-1, the Griffins, to get the most games in the series, had to play on the road for the first two games. That would seem to be unfair for a team that should have home ice advantage. Actually, it's very unfair.
The lower-seeded team can see home ice advantage to gain control early in the series. It's tough to come back in the best of five series from a 2-0 deficit, even if the next three games are on your home series.
But to the Griffins' credit, they played two very good games on the road and have a commanding 2-0 lead. If they make the next round, which it appears they will, they have shown they can do well on the road.
In Saturday's 7-2 win, the Griffins had a whopping 48-17 shots advantage. They easily had everything going their way at the right time.
The next rounds, and any round after that, is obviously going to be tougher. The Griffins realize that. But it would appear that they're playing their best hockey of the season right now. Obviously, it's an ideal time for any team to be playing its best hockey. That's what the Griffins did last season on their way to their first Calder Cup.
So while hockey season is over in Detroit, it's alive and kicking in Grand Rapids.

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