Tyler Bertuzzi has been told to get a place. Sticking with Red Wings.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 2, 2018
He was told to “get a place in Detroit,” which means that he’ll be up for a long spell with the club.
Tyler Bertuzzi Rolling Since Recall
Bertuzzi has tallied three assists in his last four games since being recalled from Grand Rapids on Dec. 21. Those three assists are the first points of his NHL career. Bertuzzi racked up two of those assists in Sunday’s victory over the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill put Bertuzzi on the same line as veterans Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist. This is allowing the young forward to showcase his abilities. He has been averaging 14 minutes a game since being recalled. He’s also gotten some time on a checking line with Frans Nielsen and Justin Abdelkader.
His physical play and forechecking have given the Wings a new dimension on the line with Zetterberg and Nyquist. He’s been going to the net and has earned praise from both of his new linemates.
Detroit’s power-play has gone 0-for-13 in its last four games and Bertuzzi has been given time in extra-man situations. He’s been filling in on that unit because Anthony Mantha is dealing with a groin injury and offensive struggles. Bertuzzi will occupy the net-front spot that Mantha had.
Blashill praised the young winger in the media for his effort since the call-up. “Bert goes to the net hard, gets pucks out on the wall, and he’s smart enough to play with real good players,” Blashill said. “He’s a good piece.”
He’s played in seven games last season, but was slowed by a high ankle sprain. He did recover in time to help Grand Rapids win the Calder Cup. Bertuzzi tallied nine goals and 10 assists en route to winning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy for the AHL playoffs most valuable player.
A Finally Healthy Bertuzzi
The Sudbury, Ontario native then dealt with wrist inflammation during training camp that cost him a shot at making the team. He returned to his playoff form the Griffins as he netted seven goals and seven assists in 16 games.
Bertuzzi has been going between the Red Wings and Griffins this season. He was called up for a game after injuries hit in December, but was returned to minors. He didn’t know when he’d get another opportunity, but will be here after forward Luke Glendening injured his hand. Glendening will miss up to a month, and this will be a good opportunity for Bertuzzi.
Wings’ management wanted to make sure that Bertuzzi’s return to the big club would be a long term one. They didn’t want the young forward to be bouncing between the AHL and the NHL.
What This Means
Detroit will begin its five-day bye on Monday, but the Red Wings will wrap up a key homestand against Atlantic Division foes Ottawa, Florida and Tampa Bay before that. The Wings will need victories if they want to stay in the playoff race.
Increased production from Bertuzzi will help Detroit get back into the mix. His grit and intensity is the spark that the Red Wings need.