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Storylines for the Final Four Red Wings Preseason Games



Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings

Four games in, four games left for the Detroit Red wings preseason slate. A more pronounced effort to focus on the play away from the puck has dominated the first four games, especially the last two. Head coach Derek Lalonde praised the efforts of his team, especially as they acclimate to a new system and staff.

“It’s just a start but we gave up one goal in the last two games 5-on-5 but we’ve done a lot of the right things,” Lalonde said after Detroit’s 3-0 victory over Chicago. “Our guys are starting to limit some risk in their game and still playing the right way.

“It’s a good sign going forward. It’s gonna be a roller coaster, there’s gonna be bumps in it. But for now at least there’s something we can build off.”

With the final four games of the preseason, here are some storylines to follow as the Red Wings near opening night.

#1: The Continuing Ascent of Elmer Soderblom

Soderblom has seen major minutes, playing in the first three games and notching a couple points in the process. With each passing game, Soderblom has looked better. Over the next four games, will the forward known for his 6’8 frame tower over the others and find his way on the opening night roster.

#2: What about Simon Edvinsson?

Edvinsson has been solid, but he hasn’t made the stellar case that Moritz Seider had last season. Whether it’s fair or not, Edvinsson will be held up against Seider until his spot on the roster is assured. His teammates, including new Red Wings netminder Ville Husso, have liked the early returns.

“He’s been great. Big guy, good skater, moves the puck well,” Husso said. “I think he’s a really good player and has a good future ahead of him.”

#3: How does Jonatan Berggren fit into it all?

Lost in all the talk of the rookies is Berggren, who had his stellar season in Grand Rapids last year and in any other year, would be a prime candidate for a spot on the roster. But the offseason brought an infusion of talent, creating less available spots. Berggren had a good game against Chicago, being absolutely robbed on a Grade-A chance that would have given Detroit a 1-0 lead.

Berggren will likely get a long look over the next four games to make his case to stay up. To avoid the Grand Rapids shuffle that Joe Veleno, and Michael Rasmussen went through, he’ll need to convert those Grade-A chances. After camp, Lalonde mentioned he didn’t know much about him.

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“I’ve liked him throughout. He was foreign to me coming in,” Lalonde said. “I did not see Grand Rapids at all last year, didn’t really watch Grand Rapids on tape. So it was a fresh start. He had a really good camp.”

Berggren’s got his attention. Can he grab a spot?

#4: Anticipation for Tyler Bertuzzi’s Return

Injury has clouded Bertuzzi’s start but he’s expected to be back as soon as tonight. Regardless, Bertuzzi heads into a season after a 30-goal campaign and one year remaining on his contract. So any sort of injury news is one that will be watched closely because of how it affects both the team and Bertuzzi.

Regardless, Bertuzzi is a favorite in the locker room and a fan favorite as well. With the COVID restrictions lifted in Canada, Bertuzzi is now with the team for every game. Likely since it is the preseason and Bertuzzi’s spot on the team is set, why risk it?

But when he gets his chance, there won’t be an exhale until that nagging injury is simply a footnote of the preseason.