Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi enters his sophomore season with the Red Wings filled with confidence and a pair of superb linemates in Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin. The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan discussed the plucky forward’s presence on what will be the Wings’ top line:
“You have three real good players, you have good pieces in the sense that Bert is an F-1 (first forward) on the forecheck, and he’s a net-front guy,” [coach Jeff] Blashill said. “That allows the other two- not that they’re not hard on the forecheck — but it allows them to use their skill. Bert is a special player. He thinks the game at a high, high level. He’s got real good talent, and Bert’s got a chance to be a real good player. Putting them together can make a real good line.”
While Mantha can also go to the net and be a factor, Bertuzzi’s net presence allows Mantha to roam and use his shot.
“Mantha has learned the net is a spot where if you get to a lot, you’re going to score some easy goals,” Blashill said. “Having Bert there allows some flexibility for Mantha to use part of his skill set, which is a real good shot, too.”
Bertuzzi signed a 2-year contract worth $2.8 million ($1.4 million salary cap hit) in June. But don’t think for a second that Bertuzzi is content.
“I’m going to take it the same way I was did out of juniors, just go work hard and earn your spot (in the lineup),” Bertuzzi said. “I’m just going to take it day by day and kind of take what I learned from last year and put it into this year.”