The Afternoon Shift – May 13

Chris Kelly/Photo by Getty Images

With the unfortunate arrival of the Red Wings’ summer, local fans in search of a rooting interest are down to seven options, at least in terms of former Griffins. But act quickly, as that list will be down to five by Sunday evening.

Let’s start in the NHL, where Chris Kelly, Shane Hnidy and the Boston Bruins will clash with Mattias Ritola’s Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. Hnidy and Ritola have seen little ice during the postseason, combining for just 11:50 of playing time over four games, but Kelly is a major reason that the B’s stand four wins from their first Stanley Cup Final since 1990.

Kelly’s four goals (4th) and seven points (T5th) put him among Boston’s leaders, and he ranks among the NHL’s elite with a plus-7 rating (T8th) and a 28.6 shooting percentage (T4th). He is the last best hope to maintain a remarkable streak of good fortune for Griffins alumni, at least one of whom has had his name engraved on the Stanley Cup each of the last three years and in five of the last six seasons.

In the AHL, nobody has performed better in the Calder Cup Playoffs than our old friend Drew MacIntyre, who has started 34 straight games for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Through 13 playoff appearances, he leads the league with a 1.63 GAA and sits second with a 0.939 save percentage. After backstopping Hamilton’s 2-1 triple-overtime win against Manitoba on Monday – the longest Game 7 in AHL history – MacIntyre will appear in a conference final for the first time since helping the Griffins get there five years ago. The Bulldogs begin their series against Houston tonight.

The other surviving Griffins alum in the AHL has played just as significant a role for his team. Ryan Keller, whose Binghamton Senators grabbed a 1-0 lead over the Charlotte Checkers in the Eastern Conference Final last night, is tied for first in the AHL with 11 assists and second with 17 points.

Finally, two former Griffins are still alive in the World Championship as of this writing, although one’s semifinal game is nearing its conclusion and the other’s begins at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Karel Rachunek and the Czech Republic are currently battling Sweden for the right to face the winner of the late contest between Finland and Konstantin Gorovikov’s Russian squad in Sunday’s gold medal game.

UPDATE (12:40 p.m.): Sweden beat the Czech Republic 5-2, eliminating Rachunek.

Player Team GP G A PTS
Konstantin Gorovikov Russia/WC  7  0  1  1
Shane Hnidy Boston/NHL  3  0  0  0
Ryan Keller Binghamton/AHL  14  6  11  17
Chris Kelly Boston/NHL  11  4  3  7
Karel Rachunek Czech Republic/WC  7  1  2  3
Mattias Ritola Tampa Bay/NHL  1  0  0  0
Goalie Team GP Record SO GAA SPCT
Drew MacIntyre Hamilton/AHL  13  8-5  1  1.63  0.939

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL link:

Alumni news and notes:

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