The Detroit Red Wings have certainly needed this holiday break. The time off from the ice was likely too big for them to re-group. They're in the middle of quite the skid and starting to pick up the pieces again. But Detroit has to come out in 2024 and start off with a stretch of bounce-back games.
Right now, one of the issues has been injury trouble and finding ways to re-coup scoring and consistent play from the forward core. The injury trouble has left them scrambling to find replacements. One of the reinforcements is a familiar face who has been vying for playing time with the Detroit Red Wings: Jonatan Berggren.
His recent stint with Detroit nearly ended before it began after he was returned to Grand Rapids quite quickly. The Red Wings forward is back in Hockeytown as he was recalled to join the Red Wings once again. He may not be with Detroit for a long haul, but he will certainly try to prove that he belongs.
The former second-round pick has continued to try to prove he belongs with the Red Wings but has had to settle with his role in the AHL. Berggren has logged seven NHL games in 2023-24, with two goals and two assists for four total points. He's also a plus-four, helping get it done when he is on the ice.
Detroit Red Wings forward Jonatan Berggren deserves a bigger role.
He has not gotten much ice time either, with Lalonde keeping him down around the 10-minute mark, which is not the best, in my armchair coach's opinion. With any luck, this next stint in Detroit will allow him to earn more ice time and prove he can be an asset.
While the addition of Patrick Kane added another forward into a depthy core, Berggren has shown he can hang in the NHL as a winger. He played in 67 games for Detroit in 2022-23, scoring 15 goals and adding 13 assists for 28 total points. Berggren deserves a shot, and if he plays well, maybe he can earn some more playing time with the Red Wings.
If Berggren finishes out the 2023-24 season with no playing time, it may be time to be concerned. Moreover concerned that Berggren becomes a casualty of war and is a potential trade candidate. He could very well end up being moved to a new home where he gets to play if something does not give.
But, for now, he will keep grinding it out and hope to make a difference with this stint in Detroit.