While Tyler Bertuzzi was in Detroit being Dylan Larkin’s wingman, one thing stood out. This guy is going be great come playoff time.
Bertuzzi plays with a grit and an edge. He’s an old school type in a new and softer league. He’s not a true pest. But you’ll get sick of playing against him.
But he also backs it up by being highly skilled. Which is why he’s a great fit with the Boston Bruins. He’s a lighter version of Brad Marchand. A perfect middle of the lineup figure for a team trying to win a Stanley Cup.
Tyler Bertuzzi never saw postseason action in Detroit. But we all knew lack of experience wasn’t going to effect his play.
In two playoff games in Boston, he has three points, a team high. He’s also leveled up in playoff mind games.
Bert is What Wings Are Missing
The biggest issue with seeing him thrive like this in the playoffs is it comes on the heels of the Red Wings coach and general manager both saying their team lacks competitiveness.
“That’s an area that needs to improve,” coach Derek Lalonde said.
And, Yzerman agreed the team needs to get better in that area as well.
“Go out and win puck battles, block shots, win face-offs. All those little things make a team more competitive. We have to improve in all those areas,” he said.
Bertuzzi broke both his hands this past season blocking shots in two separate instances. What both men were talking about, the Red Wings had, and now they don’t.
This isn’t to say the trade shouldn’t have been made. Tough times call for tough decisions.
But the hard reality is the Wings aren’t that far away from the playoffs. And when they do get back there, they’re going to wish No. 59 was still in the line-up.
Replacing a guy who averaged around 25 goals a year and 50 points isn’t extremely difficult. But finding a guy who does that and brings that compete that Lalonde and his staff want, that’s tricky.
For more from the author Jeramy Stover, check him out on Twitter here: @jstover96
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