Begging for Jonatan Berggren’s villain era for the Grand Rapids Griffins

The American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate to the Detroit Red Wings took game 1 in overtime Saturday night. A few changes to the lineup may be necessary for the second game of the series to ensure victory. 
Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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The Grand Rapids Griffins played an okay period and a half of hockey, then dominated the second half of the game (plus most of overtime) Saturday night in Rockford, Illinois. 

There were many bright spots. The expected budding stars Jonatan Berggren, Sebastian Cossa, Albert Johansson, and Simon Edvinsson all played vital roles in the outcome. It was veteran forward Dominik Shine who got the gang back in it, though. Of course, it was a result of a tremendous play from Edvinsson, where Shine tucked the puck in the five-hole of the opposing goalie and cut the Grand Rapids Griffins' deficit in half.

These adjustments are necessary for the Grand Rapids Griffins to win game 2 of the series, as the opponent will only get nastier. 

While I hear the people asking for Lord Elmer Söderblom to join the mix, he’s still recovering from a long flu bug. The VP/Broadcaster of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Bob Kaser (@bkaser1), stated during Saturday’s game that Söderblom is focusing on conditioning and getting back into game shape after his illness. It’s a bummer for sure, but I’m just glad he’s okay. He will be good to go soon, but Wednesday’s game would be premature. 

Here are some adjustments and players who would help improve the Grand Rapids Griffins Wednesday night. 

Amadeus Lombardi to remain at the wing.

Last night, it seemed like Joel L’Esperance and Amadeus Lombardi might have shared center duties. When Lombardi was wheeling and dealing, looking the best I’ve seen him play, it was at wing. Maybe it’s fortuitous, as it might be the best way forward for Lombardi. His skill is allowed to dazzle at the wing as opposed to the center position. Whether it’s trying to do too much or something else, Lombardi seems miles ahead in development on the wing.

He played confidently, effectively, and thoughtfully at times.  Even finishing this beautiful play as Hockeytown West Podcast (@HockeytownWpod) posted on Twitter.com (X):

A topic for a longer discussion might be that Lombardi may be better suited to the wing full-time, as it works better for his game and possibly for the Detroit Red Wings organization. Although uncertainty is the only certainty in life, Marco Kasper and Nate Danielson, along with Dylan Larkin and JT Compher, seem to have strangleholds on the center positions now and in the near future. Our winger depth, however, is shallow and begging for help. Lombardi might be a missing piece for the wing position. It might expedite his development path, as well.