The Detroit Red Wings don’t expect the Tyler Bertuzzi lower body injury to keep him out of the lineup for an extended period.
He played two periods in Detroit’s 3-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights and didn’t play in the third period.
“He could feel it was kind of creeping into his game in the second period,” Coach Derek Lalonde said in the post-game interview to Bally Sports. “Trainers pulled him from the third. I thought our guys did a pretty good job with 11 forwards. I thought we managed our third period much better than we did the other night. Big save from Ville (Husso) in that period. All in all it was a really good win on the road.”
— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) January 20, 2023
Bertuzzi has had bad luck with his injuries this season. He was injured blocking a shot against the New Jersey Devils, in Detroit’s second game this season, on Oct. 15. He missed a month of the season with a broken bone in his hand. Bertuzzi returned to the lineup on Nov. 15 and then played only seven games before he was felled by a teammate’s shot. Different hand, different broken bone.
He has only played 15 of the Red Wings’ 44 games this season, which means he has missed 65.9% of the team’s games.
“I don’t expect it to be (long-term),” Lalonde said. “But it was one of those tweaks, lower body. We thought it was in everyone’s best interest (to sit him).”
Bertuzzi was just starting to shake the rust from his game over the past couple of games. Since returning to the Detroit lineup on Jan. 10, he has one point in six games. He’s also -4.
Bertuzzi Shaking Off Rust
A few days ago, Lalonde said it would take a while longer for Bertuzzi to get his game in order.
“He’s (had to) start twice. He’s struggling getting rhythm, which is fine. It’s going to take some time. We’re going to ask of him like we have with everyone else, manage your game, manage your shift lengths, don’t turn pucks over,” Lalonde said. “It takes some time and I think he’s in the middle of that process.”
The timing of Bertuzzi’s injury-plagued season couldn’t be much worse for Bertuzzi and the Red Wings. His contract expires this summer. He’s coming off a 30-goal season, but he’s also missed considerable time in two of the last three seasons.
There’s been no indication that Bertuzzi and the Red Wings are close to a new deal. GM Steve Yzerman is also trying to re-sign Dylan Larkin and they also don’t seem close to a new deal. If the Red Wings expect him to leave this season, they undoubtedly will consider moving him before the March 3 NHL trade deadline.
How will this impact his trade value? Any team trying to acquire Bertuzzi for a playoff push will want to be comfortable that he is healthy.