A little over a week ago, Tyler Bertuzzi was going into battle with the Detroit Red Wings. Sunday, upon his return to Little Caesars Arena with his new club the Boston Bruins, Bertuzzi was being expected to go battle those same Red Wings.
Late in the third period of Detroit’s 5-3 victory, a scuffle broke out between Detroit’s Dominik Kubalik and Boston’s Charlie Coyle. As is the hockey custom, everyone else in the ice paired off, seeking out a dance partner.
Bertuzzi found himself standing next to Detroit defenseman Jordan Oesterle. However, there was no animosity exchanged between the two. They were more spectators to the show than combatants in the fray.
“He’s lucky,” Bertuzzi joked afterwards.
Just another bizarre twist in a weekend of oddities for the ex-Wing as he participated in a home-and-home sat against the club he’d called his team for seven years until the March 2 deal that sent Bertuzzi from Detroit to Boston.
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) March 11, 2023
Sunday was his first time back at Little Caesars Arena since he said a tearful goodbye while packing his gear and heading to Beantown.
“It was definitely weird walking in from the other side,” Bertuzzi admitted. “It’s definitely different, emotional.
“It was good to be back.”
Tribute Offered By Red Wings
During an early stoppage in the game, the LCA scoreboard featuring a lengthy tribute to Bertuzzi’s time with the Red Wings. An ovation followed, causing Bertuzzi to come off the Boston bench, and take a twirl around the ice, acknowledging the embrace of noise with a wave of his hand.
Thank you, Bert! pic.twitter.com/FxS56wEdYX
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 12, 2023
“It was very nice of them to do that for me, Bertuzzi said. “I knew they were going to do something. It was a nice tribute.”
Bertuzzi Embracing Chance To Win Stanley Cup
Boston may not be his first NHL home, but 50-10-5 Bruins offer the chance that Detroit never could during Bertuzzi’s tenure – a sip of champagne from Lord Stanley’s mug.
“That’s clearly the best team in the league by far,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said of the Bruins. “This is going to go down as potentially one of the best teams in the history of the league with its record and rightfully so. It’s amazing what they’ve done and what they continue to do all year long.
“They have a really good chance to do something special this year.”
That’s an opportunity Bertuzzi isn’t taking lightly. At the same time, the enjoyment of the special experiences he’s been given in Detroit – his first NHL game, first goal, a 30-goal campaign – will never diminish in his eyes.
“It was just good to see everyone, all the support and everything,” Bertuzzi said. “Through the years I’m grateful for my time here.”