The Chicago Blackhawks were able to put the Detroit Red Wings away in the West quarters of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Although I’d normally be ecstatic about the outcome of that series, I find my stomach turning just a bit knowing that a few key pieces might be returning to the Grand Rapids Griffins now that Detroit is done for the season.
Those few pieces account for ten points in the postseason for one of the most notoriously potent postseason teams in the last twenty years. Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist (along with goaltender Jordan Pearce; via ECHL Toledo) have arrived in Oklahoma City to play alongside their Grand Rapids cohorts, and it will instantly make that team much better.
Oklahoma City has had great success against the most successful of the Griffins in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs. Tomas Tatar, Luke Glendening, Jane Mursak, and Francis Pare are just a few players who traditionally have had high success in scoring points. They’ve all struggled in three games against Oklahoma City, and credit that team for really putting the screws to an otherwise stellar cast of scoring players.
Yet Andersson and Nyquist are different animals. Nyquist, for one, has a bit of a Datsyukian tendency in the way that he plays. Those hands, they are just so refined. Those skates, they are so silky. Those brains, just so prepared. He’s a player that you don’t stop, you just slow down (if you can). This poses a serious threat to the Barons defense and mainly Yann Danis. But is it enough to help?
Game four is Friday evening, and we’ll get our first glimpse of Andersson and Nyquist in the AHL postseason. Their playoff run continues, and maybe they can extend it just a bit more. Watch. And. See.