It's partly by choice and partly because they have had no choice, but as many as 10 players who were part of the Grand Rapids Griffins' Calder Cup championship team last season have been playing key roles in helping the Detroit Red Wings stay in the hunt for a record 23rd consecutive berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.
"I looked the other day we had eight guys from that team in our lineup," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told NHL.com. "Any way you look at it that's a chunk, and with that lineup we were able to win in Los Angeles (3-1) and lose 1-0 in Anaheim in a game I thought we could have easily won. They're ready to play."
They have had no choice but to be ready with all the injuries the Red Wings have endured this season to players such as Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Stephen Weiss and Brendan Smith.