Focusing on the Red Wings' Swedish gem Jonatan Berggren in his return to the NHL

Detroit Red Wings' Jonatan Berggren returned to the lineup against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, so every shift was examined to see how he faired.

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Sometimes, when starting a fire, it’s an easy spark that ignites roaring flames. Other times, people visit Letchworth State Park’s cabins, which only have a wood stove to heat the rented cabin. Try as we might, the darn thing wouldn’t light. Not even an ember danced in the stove. No matter the number of logs used that we paid extra for, nothing worked. Thus, a trip to the grocery store was necessary to secure a starter log set. Although not ideal or practical, its adequate warmth gives way to pleasant dreams on an autumn night.

Much like one of my fondest memories growing up, Jonatan Berggren has gone through a lot this season, including his return to the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup. Certainly, Berggren is learning every shift, something he wasn’t doing much of in the American Hockey League (AHL). Freeing himself from shackles, I’m more than expecting Berggren’s stay to be permanent (the possible Michael Rasmussen injury solidifies this feeling of mine even more).

Considering the ask of Berggren, I believe he played well in Saturday’s matchup against the Las Vegas Golden Knights in Detroit's 5-3 loss; their fifth loss in a row. Former Detroit Red Wings legendary goaltender Chris Osgood mentioned in the postgame show that there wasn’t a team practice or morning skate following their game in Arizona the night before. Berggren was left to take shots on Ville Husso, who is still recovering from injury. Ever adding to the burden of Berggren’s most recent call-up (traveling halfway across the country, having a 10 p.m. ET start against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions on a four-game losing streak).

Even with the deck stacked against him, Berggren has shown he’s ready for a full-time gig with the Detroit Red Wings. His 46 points in 43 games are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of his proven success in his previous role with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Berggren brings an infectious attitude to the ice. His energy, commitment to fun, and goofiness all play an imperative role in his team’s success. The biggest opportunity I’ve seen from Berggren in his time spent in the National Hockey League (NHL) is the belief that he belongs with the Detroit Red Wings. 

To focus on the positives and satisfy my curiosities in the Detroit Red Wings game against the Vegas Golden Knights, I wanted to pay close attention to Jonatan Berggren and how he played.

It was an exercise inspired by Max Bultman of The Athletic, who watched Detroit Red Wings player Moritz Seider and provided insight into his shifts. How does Berggren look in his return to the Detroit Red Wings? Is his confidence growing? Are there any visible attitude problems? Can former Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill’s wife see that Berggren belongs in the NHL, just as she did with Lucas Raymond in years past?

Berggren played most of his shifts on a line with his former Uber driver, Joseph Veleno, and fellow Swede Raymond. On paper, the line looks fun, but I question the defensive side of things. Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde didn’t have too many options. However, I think it’s a huge vote of confidence in Veleno and Raymond’s growth/maturity.