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
6 of 7

Need s’more Carter Mazur-Marco Kasper-Jonatan Berggren line

I love Austin Czarnik. He’s a very competitive, determined player, but he’s no Marco Kasper

There were times when players ran Jonatan Berggren, but one in particular, Berggren, was sandwiched between an opponent and Czarnik. 

Berggren stood tall to take the hit and avoid hitting Czarnik. Meanwhile, Czarnik skated away after the puck. Coasting by Berggren, maybe he checked on his teammate; maybe he doesn’t. I’m not sure, but when any teammate is on the ground like that, I would rather see an overreaction than a didn’t underreaction. 

Also, I can tell that Kasper wouldn’t have skated after a puck while his teammate was lying on the ice from another cross-check. Heck, he might have made the opponent so mad beforehand that they might not have even tried going after Berggren.

The opponents know they can get away with whatever they want with Berggren. Referees and the AHL don’t seem to care about the rules of the game when it comes to Berggren. He can be cross-checked, tripped, head-locked, interfered with, hooked, and slashed without any repercussions. So, why wouldn’t opponents use this to their advantage?

At times, I think Carter Mazur attempts to alleviate these instances or provide another distraction for the opposition, but it’s not consistent in terms of results. 

The only thing the opponent loves more than targeting Berggren?

Going after Kasper after he pokes the hornets’ nest.

He knows how to get under their skin, drive them crazy, and minimize the bully effect in a lot of ways. 

The way this series is going, if Berggren doesn’t get some help protecting himself, things will go south for Berggren and the Grand Rapids Griffins. I’m not talking “Sweet Home Alabama” south, either.