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. 
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Hunter Johannes should draw back into the fold

Former University of North Dakota forward Hunter Johannes signed with the Grand Rapids Griffins in early April 2023. I’m not sure if he drew Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Dan Watson’s attention early on, but it seemed like Johannes logged quite a bit of ice time in his six-game stint to close out the regular season.  No points were recorded, but I thought he played well. 

He came in with confidence, hard-nosed, no-nonsense play that I think would be a welcomed addition to the forward group. The Grand Rapids Griffins opponent dished cross-checks and ran at players to their hearts’ content. 

The Grand Rapids Griffins should aim to match that physicality with a guy like Johannes, as he’s more than capable. He doesn’t back down, which is always helpful. 

It might be necessary to swap a guy like Tyler Spezia with Johannes, which wouldn’t be a huge change. Spezia has been the backbone of the Grand Rapids Griffins, so it’s hard to sit him. For a game or two, though, it might be interesting to see what Johannes can do in a higher-stakes game in this type of matchup.

Given the sting of an overtime loss on a play the opponent determined was a penalty against the Grand Rapids Griffins, they’ll likely be rabid.