Calder Cup Playoff Preview: Heat vs. Griffins

The Abbotsford Heat will face off against the Grand Rapids Griffins in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs

Thursday, 24.04.2014 / 12:00 PM
Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)

CALGARY, AB -- The Abbotsford Heat begin their quest for the Calder Cup on Friday night with their quarter-final match-up against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Heat finished fifth in the AHL's Western Conference with a 43-25-8 record and 94 points. The Griffins edged them in the standings, ending up in fourth in the West, with a 46-23-7 record and 99 points.

Abbotsford wrapped up the regular season on a sizzling note, going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and outscored their opponents 46-21 in that span. The Griffins stumbled a bit in the last leg of the regular season, going 5-4-1 in their last 10 outings.

TOP STORYLINES

- Chad Billins, who leads all Heat defencemen in scoring with 41 points in 65 games, will square off against his former team in the first round. Billins spent the first year of his pro career with the Griffins, capturing the Calder Cup with them in 2013.

- The Heat got their Rookie of the Year back just in time for the postseason. Markus Granlund skated in the last two games of the regular season after missing a large chunk of time with an upper body injury he sustained during his stint with the Flames. Granlund finished up the year with 25 goals and 46 points through 52 games.

- Joni Ortio will go head-to-head with Petr Mrazek in goal. Both netminders have been absolutely tremendous for their respective teams this season and in what could be a tightly contested match-up, they could very well be the difference makers in the series.

HEAT REGULAR SEASON LEADERS

Leading Scorer: Max Reinhart (63)

Leading Goal Scorer: Ben Street (28)

Assists Leader: Max Reinhart (42)

Power Play Goals Leader: Ben Street (10)

Short-Handed Goals Leader: Markus Granlund (2)

Shots Leader: Ben Street (172)

PIM Leader: Josh Jooris (67)

Plus-Minus Leader: Tyler Wotherspoon (+13)

Goaltender Wins Leader: Joni Ortio (27)

Goals-Against-Average Leader: Doug Carr (1.92)

Save Percentage Leader: Joni Ortio (.926)

GRIFFINS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS

Leading Scorer: Teemu Pulkkinen (59)

Leading Goal Scorer: Teemu Pulkkinen (31)

Assists Leader: Adam Almquist (49)

Power Play Goals Leader: Teemu Pulkkinen (9)

Short-Handed Goals Leader: Cory Emmerton (3)

Shots Leader: Teemu Pulkkinen (201)

PIM Leader: Brennan Evans (111)

Plus-Minus Leader: Mitch Callahan (+23)

Goaltender Wins Leader: Tom McCollum (24)

Goals-Against-Average Leader: Petr Mrazek (2.10)

Save Percentage Leader: Petr Mrazek (.924)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Heat's Record Vs. Griffins: 1-2-1

Heat's Leading Scorers Vs. Griffins: Max Reinhart (5 goals, 2 assists), Sven Baertschi (1 goal, 4 assists)

Heat Goalies Vs. Griffins: Olivier Roy (34 saves on 37 shots), Joey MacDonald (66 saves on 73 shots), Joni Ortio (31 saves on 33 shots

SPECIAL TEAMS

Heat's Power Play: 21.9 % (4th in the AHL)

Griffins' Power Play: 20.2% (7th in the AHL)

Heat's Penalty Kill: 79.4% (27th in the AHL)

Griffins' Penalty Kill: 85.7% (5th in the AHL)

GAME SCHEDULE

Game 1 – Friday, April 25th – 8:00 PM MST (Abbotsford Centre)

Game 2 – Saturday, April 26th – 8:00 PM MST (Abbotsford Centre)

Game 3 – Wednesday, April 30th – 5:00 PM MST (Van Andel Arena)

Game 4** - Friday, May 2nd – 5:00 PM MST (Van Andel Arena)

Game 5** - Saturday, May 3rd – 5:00 PM MST (Van Andel Arena)

** If necessary

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