If Jonatan Berggren wants to impress the Detroit Red Wings even more, he can continue to step up and help the Grand Rapids Griffins qualify for the American Hockey League playoffs.
Detroit’s prize prospect forward did that Saturday by posting three assists to contribute significantly to the Griffins’ come-from-behind 7-5 win against the Toronto Marlies. Riley Barber also netted a hat trick and Taro Hirose had two assists for Grand Rapids.
Berggren boasts two goals and nine assists for 11 points in his past nine games. He also has 32 shots on goal in his past seven games. As long as the Griffins are in a playoff race, the Red Wings aren’t likely to promote him to Detroit.
The Red Wings want the Griffins in the playoffs as much as the Griffins do. Part of the development process is giving prospects a chance to play in pressure games.
This was an important win for the Griffins who have an uphill fight to make the AHL playoffs. The top five teams make the playoffs in the AHL’s Central Division. Because the AHL has an unbalanced schedule this season, standings are based on points percentage. The win gave seventh-place Grand Rapids a .493 percentage. The Iowa Wild are sixth at .508 and the Texas Stars are fifth at .516.
The Griffins erased a 4-1 deficit to win the game. Barber, Hirose and Berggren, who leads the Griffins with 49 points, were named the game’s three stars.
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