On Bertuzzi’s ‘opportunity’ and Tatar’s absence as it affects the Wings’ forwards

MLive’s Ansar Khan noted that the trade of Tomas Tatar will yield a significant opportunity for Tyler Bertuzzi to cement his status as a contributing player

“Tyler Bertuzzi will increase his minutes by a lot,” Blashill said. “When Tyler first came up and there were injuries I thought he played very well. I thought he slipped a little bit, opened the door for some guys to take his spot, and then didn’t get much of an opportunity. I think all Tyler needs is opportunity and he’s going to get tons of opportunity.”

Bertuzzi played well earlier this season after being promoted from Grand Rapids. He had two goals, seven assists and a plus-7 rating during an 11-game stretch from Dec. 27 to Jan. 22. In 15 games since, he’s produced only two assists, with a minus-11 rating and his ice time has been trimmed significantly.

Bertuzzi is at his best when he’s forechecking aggressively, forcing turnovers, getting physical and being hard to play against.

“Ultimately, to be where we want to be, we need some guys to become great players,” Blashill said. “We think there’s some guys with the potential, but potential doesn’t get it done. Great players are guys that create way more chances than they give up on a nightly basis. They win their shift way more than not. Great players aren’t flash in the pans, they’re not guys that produce once in a while, they’re every single night, so whether it’s Tyler, Larks (Larkin), AA (Athanasiou), (Anthony) Mantha, any young players, whether it’s Gus Nyquist, we need guys to be great.”

Khan continues, discussing Martin Frk, and The Athletic’s Max Bultman discussed Tatar’s absence and its effects upon the Wings’ remaining forwards:

For now, the Tatar trade also thrusts Martin Frk back into the lineup.

Blashill made clear Tuesday what he’s looking for out of the 24-year-old, who has 10 goals and 10 assists so far this year. He wants to see Frk skating on the forecheck and the track. Those, Blashill said, are the things that “ignite his game,” and the rest “comes along with it.”

But perhaps the more interesting place to watch Frk is the power play, where Tatar leaves a slot open for the taking. Blashill was noncommittal as to what would happen with that spot, mentioning both Frk and Frans Nielsen as potential options.

In Nielsen’s favor, Blashill cited “big-time poise under pressure, doesn’t have unforced errors, doesn’t give the puck away, helps you get in the zone and helps you keep it simple and push pucks to the net.”

In Frk’s: “The big shot.”

One of those sentences is longer than the other, but Frk can work on poise and not giving the puck away. It’s tough to learn a big-time shot.

Bultman also continues (paywall)…

And Khan posted a video of Blashill discussing Tyler Bertuzzi’s opportunities…

And the Wings’ young forwards:

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

5 thoughts on “On Bertuzzi’s ‘opportunity’ and Tatar’s absence as it affects the Wings’ forwards”

  1. Why is Blashill announcing that Bert is going to get this big opportunity now? I like Bert, but he hasn’t been too effective. Why not give Frk an “opportunity” ? He looked pretty solid early on with Larkin and Mantha. Try that again. Aside from the PP, Frk spends most of his time on random 4th lines, unless it’s a night when Blashill uses David Booth for 2 minutes. That’s effective too…

  2. “Blashill mentioned Martin Frk and Frans Nielsen as potential replacements for Tatar on the power play.”

    It sounds like Frk will get some additional PP time. I guess he’s not entirely in some black hole.

  3. Agree FS. Not sure why Frk has fallen out of favor with the coach. He seems skate well enough and battles on the boards. If course he’s not going to get many points playing under 6 minutes on the 4th line. Blah is like Babs in that way, trying to fit square pegs in round holes.
    I’d like to see that FML line back together. They were good at the beginning of the year.

    1. What are your thoughts on David Booth playing 2-3 minutes per night. What a waste in my opinion.

  4. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

    I think he brings energy when he plays. I wouldn’t mind if he was on the 3rd with Frans & Frk. Seems that Neilsen has some offense to offer. Let 43-41-8 be the shutdown 4th.

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