Todd Bertuzzi has been just what the Wings need, coach Mike Babcock said: a big body who plays physical. (David Guralnick/The Detroit News)
It seems a bit odd that in his 14 seasons, Todd Bertuzzi has been in just 22 fights. The number seems small for a player as big as he is (6-foot-3, 235 pounds), as imposing as he is and as hard and tough as he plays. Or, maybe it's because of his size and strength that the number is that low. Not many are jumping over the boards trying to challenge him.
"When it comes down to it, it's all on how the situation is," Bertuzzi said. "If someone is calling you out, you've got to do it. If not, you just play hard and see what happens."
Understand, Bertuzzi is still providing the Red Wings with a physical presence.
"We've been talking to Bert and Clears (Danny Cleary) about that," coach Mike Babcock said. "We feel them being physical on offense is very important and what I mean by physical is, when you have the puck, you can hang on to it in the offensive zone and take it to the net.
"Bert scored a great goal for us (Saturday) doing that and I hope he can build off that."
Bertuzzi's last fight was last March against Rostislav Klesla, it was one of two fights he had last season (the other was against Jordin Tootoo).
"I've never been known as a guy who comes in and fights 10 to 15 times a year," Bertuzzi said. "I will take care of myself and take care of the guys I am out there with if somebody is taking liberties with them. But I am not the kind of guy who is looking for it. If it's there, then it's there. It's part of the game."
He never has been known as a defensive forward, but he has made a conscious effort to be better at that end.
"That's the thing I would tell you about Bert; he's really tried to look after his defensive game since he's been here," Babcock said. "And once he gets more comfortable and won't have to think about that so much, I think he will be way better. ...
"I've been thrilled with how he's played. He looks after himself. We don't need him to (fight). We need him to be a big body and play physical."
Lilja gets treatment
Defenseman Andreas Lilja was in Toronto for a few days as he continues to work toward returning from a severe concussion he suffered last February.
"Just went over there to get some treatment -- acupuncture, straightening out my neck and my hips and my back, stuff like that," Lilja said. "It's supposed to help a little bit, get the blood flowing."
Lilja also will go with the team on its upcoming five-game trip, primarily so he can visit a doctor in Vancouver, Don Grant .
Getting changes in line
Babcock spent about 15 minutes working on line changes, not surprising after a bad change cost the Wings a tying goal Saturday.
"They had five scoring chances off line changes," Babcock said. "The goal was only one part of it. It was just a refresher. We've done it in the past and we will probably do it again."
With Pavel Datsyuk expected back, Babcock had Kris Draper centering Bertuzzi and Cleary at practice Monday. He put Datsyuk with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom , and kept Valtteri Filppula with Ville Leino and Jason Williams .
How the 2009-10 Wings were built
|Justin Abdelkader||2nd Round, 42nd overall in 2005|
|Todd Bertuzzi||Signed as a free agent Aug. 18, 2009|
|Danny Cleary||Signed as a free agent Oct. 4, 2005|
|Pavel Datsyuk||6th round, 171st overall in 1998|
|Kris Draper||Trade with Winnipeg June 30, 1993|
|Patrick Eaves||Signed as a free agent Aug. 4, 2009|
|Jonathan Ericsson||9th round, 291st overall in 2002|
|Valtteri Filppula||3rd round, 95th overall in 2002|
|Johan Franzen||3rd round, 97th overall in 2004|
|Darren Helm||5th round, 132nd overall in 2005|
|Tomas Holmstrom||10th round, 257th overall in 1994|
|Jimmy Howard||2nd round, 64th overall in 2003|
|Niklas Kronwall||1st round, 29th overall in 2000|
|Brett Lebda||Signed as a free agent July 21, 2004|
|Nicklas Lidstrom||3rd round, 53rd overall in 1989|
|Andreas Lilja||Signed as a free agent Aug. 24, 2005|
|Ville Leino||Signed as a free agent May 10, 2008|
|Kirk Maltby||Trade with Edmonton March 20, 1996|
|Brad May||Signed as a free agent Oct. 8, 2009|
|Derek Meech||7th round, 229th overall in 2002|
|Chris Osgood||3rd round, 54th overall in 1991 signed as a free agent Aug. 8, 2005|
|Brian Rafalski||Signed as free agent July 1, 2007|
|Brad Stuart||Trade with Los Angeles Feb. 26, 2008|
|Jason Williams||Signed as a free agent Aug. 6, 2009|
|Henrik Zetterberg||7th round, 210th overall in 1999|