Tag Archives: Bertuzzi

Don’t forget your Enforcers

Matt Cooke, Todd Bertuzzi and all of those tough guys with bad reputations are turning a new leaf; they have to or face public outcry and discipline. New NHL disciplinarian and ex-Red Wing Brendan Shanahan will make it so. If an illegal hit surmounts to a suspension, the league will release a video of the play, then break it down to formulate a proper decision.

Pittsburgh Penguins pesky winger has been the target of resentment from fans everywhere for his hit on Boston Bruins Marc Savard, who is still experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Bertuzzi has toned down his sock’em robot imitation after the Steve Moore incident, and touted his skills in Detroit significantly scoring last season.

Cooke has been a consistent 30 points scoring for the past few seasons with the Pens, but his reputation needed some TLC. Last season his penalty minutes climbed as his suspensions and poor public profile contributed to his need to reiterate that he was not a nasty guy rather a caring family man. As Sidney Crosby’s health has been disruptive to the Pens and its fans, Cooke still may drop the gloves or take a hit but his role as enforcer must tame for the success of the team. Giving up penalties won’t help Pittsburgh, particularly if Crosby sits out most of the upcoming season. Don’t shy away from Cooke, but give it time for his new face to form.

For Detroit Red Wings fans, the signing of Bertuzzi was a surprise and caused some grumbling. Bertuzzi put up a solid 40-plus point and often scored the game changer. As a fantasy league option, the winger was a hot pick mid-season. His numbers are expected to be fair for the 2011-12 season, yet the 36-year old may be running low.

Bertuzzi and Cooke will meet as the Red Wings travel to Pittsburgh Sept. 21 for a preseason game.

The unfortunate passing of Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien has brought a lot of attention to enforcer forefront. Though fighting and hits were not the cause of death for either player, it is a reminder to all hockey followers that these tough guys have a purpose and a place on the team. As the New York Rangers rebuild from the tragedy and acquire a tenacious team, both Sean Avery and Brandon Prust are ones to keep an eye on.

Avery has always been the Rangers bad boy
. From his “sloppy seconds” comment creating a surge of bad PR, Avery has rebounded to support same-sex marriage publicly and was recently redeemed from an interaction in Hollywood. Having a tough guy reputation attracts more trouble than these guys stir up. As a scorer, Avery had a great start to the 2010-11 season. His charisma boosts the Rangers to turn up the heat.

Brandon Prust excelled last year. Prust was Boogaard’s roommate on the road, so this season his play will be dedicated to the loss. Prust sat on my roster and produced with 29 pts., 160 PIMS, and 161 hits. If you play in a league that doesn’t reward for hits or penalty minutes, find a new league.

In Philly, your best bet is Scott Hartnell, who also snapped to it early in the season. New Flyers to take a look at include Max Talbot with 66 PIMS and 154 hits; Wayne Simmonds with 75 PIMS and 125 hits; and don’t forget your Chris Pronger who is capable of some enforcement.

In New Jersey, the Devil you may look at is David Clarkson. Though Clarkson tamed his temper last season, he still acquired 116 PIMS and 170 hits.

If you are still on the New York Islanders float, consider Travis Hamonic with 103 PIMs and 118 hits. Hamonic was a late addition to my team and he made the difference in those categories.

If you hold grudges and cannot get over Matt Cooke’s issues, then take Kris Letang as you Penguins pick. The defenseman posted 101 PIMS and 167 hits last season.

Defenders can supply your team with assists and goals, so don’t forget to support your local enforcers.

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Best of Both Worlds

It’s absolutely frigid in the Rocky Mountains on a day of hockey feuding. Bound for Joe Louis Arena, the Colorado Avalanche are flying to Hockeytown.  The Detroit Red Wings sit as state heroes this year and every year before that. Diana Ross and the Supremes blast from the speakers in the aged arena, and every Detroit band has their moment when the puck stops at the Joe. Even if “we” lose, Wings fans never die. Yes, we. But the best of both worlds is writing about two hockey teams that have been influential for many years. Detroit is a historical legend, the Avs manifest destiny.

Newly anointed Avs  LIffiton, Van Der Gulik,  Dupuis and Mauldin have all scored their first NHL goal as an Avalanche player. Signs of growth and curiosity in a young team without pretense came to play the Red Wings on home ice. Wings fans span the US, so it’s no surprise to see a sea of red in Denver.  A power-play goal by Todd Bertuzzi got the game rolling. Todd would have been served a round of boos at the Pepsi Center for his crippling hit on, then avalanche center, Steve Moore.  Back from the KHL, Jiri Hudler scored his first goal back as a Wing. Despite the Avs looking dazed, they were able to score on a 5 on 3 power- play with J-M Liles scoring on the advantage. The Colorado Avalanche rank number one on the road in the West for points scored.

The series sits even. The Avs beat Wings in OT on October 12 in Detroit. 5-4. Detroit, winner of game 2, 3-1, ties it up for the next game after Xmas. The Avalanche hustled, but they were also puffing as Detroit was sprinting down the ice. The geezers were leading the chase. Here’s a blast from the past:

The Red Wings are hot right now, and in Denver the tone is that this game was a test to see how good the Avs really are. What they really are choking down is that the Wings are rocking the ice and humbled in the rivalry for now. Not saying the Avs aren’t doing well, but the Colorado boys are humbled by their youth and growth spurts. The youngest team in the NHL certainly is not the dumbest team in the NHL. What the Avs have are realistic expectations, but a positive cohesion.

Wings open season with Hockeytown style

The Red Wings will not go away despite the hope of many teams, including the Anaehim Ducks. Brawls came often to the crowd’s content, because no one comes into Joe Louis Arena without a fight. Too bad dungeon master Abdelkader is out with injuries. He would have loved this game.

Wings wowed the crowd in the first few minute of the season opener against the Anaheim Ducks. Johan Franzen and Mike Modano led the Wings early. Johan Franzen’s goal came from a set up from Filppula and Bertuzzi. Modano’s goal seemed effortless and slid the game to a scruff between Ryan Getzlaf and Tomas Holmstrom. The Captain of the Anaheim Ducks continued talk after reaching the bench, and winger Holmstrom was happy to talk back.

With the lead, the Wings continued to play nabbing another goal in the second by Pavel Datsyuk with an assist from Henrik Zetterberg. Praise the Red Wings. Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller got shot down by the Wings momentum. Holmstrom received a 10-minute misconduct as did Corey Perry. Roughing dominating the middle of the game as it should be to gain advantage the Hockeytown way. Datsyuk even threw some punches but no punishment. In a late period goal review, Cleary was able to get a season-opener to start the year from an assist from Datsyuk.

Up 4-0, the Wings hit it hard with Datsyuk getting some good punches in with Corey Perry.  Overall, the game tallied 30 minuts of misconduct calls,15 for fighting and 10 for roughing. Teams, don’t come to the Joe without your boxing gloves. Wings win with a Jimmy Howard shutout.

Packing up and heading to the Windy City, The Wings were the guests for the Hawks opening night. The game had quite a quiet first, until The Red Wings got things going with a nice combo by Bertuzzi, Franzen and Filppula, rousing a few boos from the Hawks crowd as Detroit scored first. Hossa had to spoil the fun and stuck it to the Wings with one in net to tie.

After the break, Bertuzzi, Stuart and Rafalski told the Hawks they were not going away and scored another for the away team. Then Chicago retaliated with a goal from Bryan Bickell.

Going into the third, the battle was won by a hard-core goal by Filppula, who will be one of my fantasy picks for the week. But just wait….it’s Filppula with a power-play goal. Hudler knocked out an assist to get back into the Wings groove again. Looks to be a great season.

Wings add Brut

The Detroit Red Wings are known for their amazing textbook ballerina on ice plays and scoring, but not so much for fighting.  Last season, fans saw Pavel Datsyk take some punches, as well as Jonathan Ericsson during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  But the recent addition of Todd Bertuzzi signifies a fight.

Colorado Avalanche fans don’t like Todd Bertuzzi, at all.  His name was dragged through the media in a case of a hit that sent another player to a career ending injury.  Not the ephitopmy of good sportsmanship.

I’m shocked that the Red Wings feel the need for the brutish force on their side.  The Red Wings have been a model of good management and good player realtions.  I’m hoping for Bertuzzi’s sake that he doesn’t creat a soured scene for Hockeytown.  Since most of the toughness of the city of Detroit has left due to economic crises, this makes Todd Bertuzzi the tough guy in town.