HSJ in the morning: Wings would benefit from an early-season Bertuzzi resurgence

The Free Press’s Helene St. James makes a very difficult determination this morning, suggesting that the Red Wings need the early-season version of Tyler Bertuzzi to return from COVID protocols to turn their struggling team around:

Getting back a top-line forward and power-play stalwart is welcome news to a team trying to overturn a three-game losing skid, but what would really help is if Bertuzzi looks more like his early-season self than the one who was underperforming before a positive test on Dec. 1 landed him in quarantine for 10 days/five games.

When the season began, Bertuzzi hadn’t played since the end of January, when a back injury ended up derailing his 2021 season and requiring surgery in April.

Any concern how that would affect him dissipated when he scored four goals in the opener. He had a point in each of the next two games, and another multipoint performance (goal, two assists) in his fifth game.

Bertuzzi gave an especially impressive performance Nov. 6 at Buffalo, with the Wings on an 0-3-1 skid. With the Sabres leading 3-1 in the third period (Bertuzzi had set up Pius Suter’s goal in the first period), Bertuzzi scored twice 90 seconds apart with less than seven minutes to play — and capped off the evening by setting up Moritz Seider in overtime.

St. James continues (paywall); I’m going to have to suggest, with all due respect to HSJ, that her own assertion later in the article that Bertuzzi’s point-per-game production was probably unsustainable is probably more accurate…

And his presence as a catalyst for offense on the forecheck is more important than Bertuzzi himself somehow regenerating his early-season point-plus-per-game production.

The truth of the matter is that Tyler’s energy and enthusiasm are tremendous, and that the Red Wings miss his spark more than they do his ability to score at a high rate.

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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.

One thought on “HSJ in the morning: Wings would benefit from an early-season Bertuzzi resurgence”

  1. Before Tyler left because of a Covid was uninspiring on all fronts.

    He should be assigned to the 3rd line to shake his production that had been missing for a few games and he if he wants to an agitator , it should not be in the top 6. He was not earning a 1st line role when he left. Adding a player like Vrana should wake him when it happens. Playing with Larkin and Raymond should also have helped keep his production from being non existent. Being on the 1st PP unit hopefully should not decrease the PP production.

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