The Afternoon Shift – March 14

Griffins' HockeyFest...seriously important

Two local organizations will host a series of high-profile events this week, albeit with notably different tones. Gilda’s LaughFest promises comedy, smiles and laughter every day. But the Griffins will be all business, as they host their first-ever stretch of four home games in five nights (Wednesday through Sunday) in their continuing battle for the playoffs.

In just the last week, the Griffins have sliced the point gap separating them from a guaranteed playoff spot in half, from six points to three. Coming off a spectacular 3-0-1-0 road trip, they’ve lost only one of their last 13 games in regulation (9-1-1-2), marking their best run since going 11-1-2-1 from Jan. 3-Feb. 6, 2009.

That 2008-09 season, of course, marked the Griffins’ most recent playoff appearance, as they finished third in the North Division before staging their first-ever postseason upset (of Hamilton) in the first round.

It is hard to overstate the importance of this week’s games: Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City, Friday vs. Lake Erie, Saturday vs. Rochester, and Sunday vs. Rockford. Following the conclusion of this homestand next Wednesday vs. Toronto, the Griffins will play seven of their final eight games on the road. And that’s nothing to laugh at. Despite owning a 4-0-1-0 record in their last five road games, the Griffins will need to utilize every second of their home-ice advantage over the next week and a half if they want to join in the postseason hunt for the Calder Cup.

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL/opponent links:

Alumni news and notes:

Video – NHL alumni goals:

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