The Detroit Red Wings meet up with their popular former teammate Tyler Bertuzzi tonight when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road. He may not be in the best of moods.
Bertuzzi only logged one shift in the third period of the Maple Leafs 5-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The Maple Leafs squandered a 3-0 first period lead in an embarrassing loss.
3rd period ice time tonight:
Mitch Marner: 9:49
William Nylander: 8:56
Auston Matthews: 7:49
Calle Järnkrok: 6:55
Max Domi: 4:41
David Kämpf: 4:18
Pontus Holmberg: 3:55
John Tavares: 3:18
Noah Gregor: 3:15
Bobby McMann: 2:23
Matthew Knies: 2:14
Tyler Bertuzzi: 1:21
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) January 14, 2024
Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe didn’t address Bertuzzi’s ice-time reduction after the game. But he did say he wasn’t pleased with the performances of his top players. John Tavares and Matthew Knies also had their ice time reduced.
“If you’re going to win this game and compete against that team, especially when they’re shorthanded like they are with the injuries they have, you have to be even or better on special teams, and you’ve got to be even or better against their best players,” Keefe said. “If you let their power play give them an advantage, and if their best players outplay ours, you’re in tough.”
It’s fair to say this season hasn’t gone as well as Bertuzzi and the Maple Leafs hoped. Bertuzzi adds grit to the team to be sure, but he hasn’t produced offensively like he did in Detroit or even Boston. He has six goals and 18 points. That’s a pace for 12 goals and 36 points. As fans in Detroit know, Bertuzzi scored 30 goals one season. Last season, he had four goals and 16 points in 21 games for the Bruins. He generated five goals and 10 points in seven Boston playoff games.
Bertuzzi is on a one-year deal for $5.5 million. The expectation is he will get a longer term deal after the season. But what’s that salary number going to be?
Red Wings In Case You Missed It
- Defenseman Jake Walman is out of the lineup with an illness. He didn’t play Saturday and won’t play Sunday against Toronto.
- Improved Red Wings defensive coverage, plus Alex Lyon’s goaltending, has led to Detroit’s recent success. Bob Duff has the story.
- At the midway point of the season, coach Derek Lalonde says his team has to up their game to make the postseason.
- Sebastian Cossa has looked sharp in his last two outing for Grand Rapids in the American Hockey League.
Red Wings Next Game
Quick turnaround for the Red Wings who play the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight on the road. James Reimer, who started his career with the Maple Leafs, will play for Detroit. This is his first start since Dec. 27. The Red Wings and Maple Leafs are tied for fourth in the NHL with a 3.55 goals-per-game scoring average. Detroit has given up three or fewer goals in five consecutive games, evidence the team is defending better than it did last month.
Hockey Now Network
Chicago: Nate Brown writes that the Chicago Blackhawks can keep games tight, but can’t seem to finish when they need a goal.
Pittsburgh: Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman reports that Jake Guentzel’s future with the Pittsburgh Penguins is tied to the management decision about where the team is headed over the next few seasons.
Vegas: Coach Bruce Cassidy says center Jack Eichel will miss a “little bit of time” with his undisclosed injury. Vegas Golden Knights.