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Friday Open Thread: Griffins Go for the Cup

Jason Kasiorek -

We've got an open thread tonight because we've got a good hockey game coming up. The Griffins welcome the Syracuse Crunch back to the Van Andel Arena for game 4 of their AHL Calder Cup Finals matchup. Grand Rapids has won each of the last three games and could close out the series in front of a huge home crowd in impressive fashion.

Despite being the favorites, the Crunch have struggled with consistency, with beating Petr Mrazek, and apparently with refereeing (although it's safe to say that neither side has been happy with the way things have been called.)

The Griffins have benefited from the services of Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, and Danny DeKeyser on their run. Tomas Tatar has also been lighting it up for them this postseason. Team captain Jeff Hoggan made a big difference on Wednesday, setting up the game winner and then scoring the insurance marker which made the Syracuse goalie try to punch him in his head.

Grand Rapids will be without the services of defenseman Adam Almquist tonight. He's suffering from a concussion suffered in the first period of Wednesday's game on what looked way more like a charge than the one that got Richard Panik a penalty at the end of game 2.

If you're heading to the game tonight, be loud. I'll be watching on, whose free streaming continues throughout the Finals.