It's like the 2005-2006 Grand Rapids Griffins team all over again that finished on top of the AHL with 55 wins, 115 points and a 96-point player in Jiri Hudler.
Okay, maybe it's not spectacularly a glimpse of déjà vu, but the 2012-2013 Grand Rapids Griffins sure know how to deliver so far this season. An 8-2-0 record in the past 10 games with a 10-5-1-1 standing in the AHL, the Griffins are leading their division with 22 points. They have the incredible uprising individuals of Petr Mrazek, Tomas Jurco and Adam Almquist along with the usual point-producing suspects, such as Tomas Tatar, Brendan Smith and Gustav Nyquist.
What's bound to bring a smile on the faces of many Red Wings' fans is the sight of young prospect goaltender, Petr Mrazek. Coming off three excellent years with the Ottawa 67's, and honours for best goaltender and First Team All-Star at the World Junior Hockey Ice Championships in 2012, Mrazek is proving in the AHL that his potential is not to be reckoned with in any sense. He's capped off his pro hockey career with a 6-1 record along with a .910 save percentage and 2.53 GAA. Not bad for a player who just broke into the league who was originally set to be the backup of a shaky goalie in Thomas McCollum.
It's not to say that the success of this team will consistently continue or plummet, but so far, this Griffins team is showing off their abilities and potential of their assests; most notably, the Red Wings assests.
In saying all of this, while we wait for the NHL and NHLPA to get some sort of aspect for a sport called "hockey" going, a Detroit fan can enjoy the inevitable future that's in store for their franchise. If certain players, such as Smith, Nyquist or Mrazek are expected to live up to their enormous expectations of evolving into quality core players for the Red Wings, let's hope they can perform to what they're capable of, or even beyond what's determined for them.
You know why? Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall don't last forever. Jimmy Howard does a bit though, longer than those three guys, anyways.
Gosh, that's depressing. Go Griffins.