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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Return Berggren to Grand Rapids

Berggren has sat out last five games



Jonatan Berggren, Red Wings
Red Wings forward Jonatan Berggren hasn't played since a March 14 loss to Arizona.

One more game with the Detroit Red Wings and it will mean that Jonatan Beggren will have played 80 in the NHL. That would also mean a requirement to return him the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins will be clearing the Swedish forward through NHL waivers.

You might think that’s why he was sent down Monday the Red Wings as they are making a drive for their first Stanley Cup playoff spot since 2016. Howver, that isn’t the case at all.

“I think it’s our team game,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde is listing as his reason for returning Berggren to Grand Rapids. “We just talked about (playing) eight quality periods, so a little rhythm of our lines.”

Lalonde has frequently been a questioner of Berggren’s defensive responsibility. Lately, he’s also expressing similar concerns regarding veteran forward Daniel Sprong. The 17-goal scorer has been a healthy scratch the past two games.

“I’d probably put Spronger in that same boat, too,” Lalonde admitted. “Both Spronger and Berggren can produce some offense but the rhythm of our lines right now, we’ve played some really good team hockey right now, so I think it’s more about what the group is doing that’s keeping them together.

“We love the offense but we talked about not being chaotic. I think our current group right now is playing the right way, winning type of hockey.”

Czarnik Getting Call For Red Wings

Journeyman veteran Austin Czarnik has usurped both players as a regular in the Detroit lineup. Since his March 14 recall from the AHL Griffins, Lalonde has consistently been slotting in Czarnik as his fourth-line center. While he doesn’t bring anywhere near the offensive upside of Sprong or Berggren, Czarnik does deliver trustworthiness without the puck.

“(Czarnik) gives us reliable minutes,” Lalonde said. “I think he’s helped that by giving us quality minutes down the middle.”

Sticking With Lyon

Following a 31-save performance in a 1-0 loss Saturday at Nashville, the Red Wings will be staying with goalie Alex Lyon between the pipes for Tuesday’s massive tilt at Washington against the Capitals. Lyon has lost his last eight decisions. Meanwhile, James Reimer has won three in a row and six of seven.

“We’ve had this a couple times where we actually had a hard decision, which is a positive,” Lalonde said. “There’s been some times this year where we’re not sure who to start at the other end. This is a good problem.

“James is winning. Alex had a really good performance on Saturday.”