The Detroit Red Wings Tyler Bertuzzi has dominated the conversation often this season. Often its been about the former’s contract status and the latter’s potential spot on the trade block.
Saturday night both showed why there’s been some pause as to whether he will stay or be sent elsewhere.
Bertuzzi played in his 300th game and notched his 200th career point with an assist to Dylan Larkin, who potted his 22nd goal of the season. Since the Red Wings came off of their break, the Bertuzzi of old has reappeared. Going to the tough spots on the ice, making plays, whether it’s setting up goals, or scoring them.
It wasn’t Detroit’s strongest game in its last six, but Bertuzzi along with Larkin, stood out.
“I didn’t think we had our best the first two periods,” Bertuzzi told Trevor Thompson via Bally Sports Detroit. “We kinda made a push late in the third and their goalie stood on his head. Take the positives from this game and move on.”
That silver lining Bertuzzi speaks of could be that the soon to be 28-year-old is playing the game his way again.
Bertuzzi Finding his Legs Again
He hadn’t been the same spark since returning, and everything from his stock falling to his 30-goal season potentially being a fluke were floated as each passing game resulted in a less than Bertuzzi of old performance.
In the last half dozen games, it’s been the exact opposite.
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) February 19, 2023
On Larkin’s goal late in the game, Bertuzzi outmuscled his opponent on the boards, kept the puck close, and then fished it to Larkin who potted his 22nd of the season. For two of the core players, it was precisely what one would want to see, no matter that it was with the outcome already determined.
But the assist gave Bertuzzi his sixth point (2-4) in five games. But it was the effort that led to the assist and goal which cements Bertuzzi’s reputation as the hard nosed forward doing whatever it takes to give his team a scoring chance.
The snarl and sneer was evident near the end of the game during a dustup with Seattle’s Brandon Tanev. An incensed Tanev didn’t take lightly to the words or stick tap that Bertuzzi provided after the former just missed an empty net.
Yes, Bertuzzi has returned. Whether it keeps him in Detroit purportedly depends on where the Red Wings stand at the trade deadline. Regardless, Bertuzzi’s appreciative of his place in Detroit. When asked by Thompson about what the 200th point meant to him, his response came with a smile.
“Very grateful I’m able to play in the NHL and hopefully many more (games to play).”