Red Wings' Tyler Bertuzzi makes first NHL All-Star Game
Detroit — Yes, there was one Red Wing good enough to make the NHL All-Star team.
And, actually, it’s just plain right that Tyler Bertuzzi was selected Monday to represent the Red Wings in the Jan. 25 game in St. Louis.
The NHL chose the rosters, after fan voting picked the four captains.
On a Red Wings roster that hasn’t had many players consistently performing well, Bertuzzi stood above the others. Bertuzzi leads the Wings with 14 goals and 16 assists and will play in his first All-Star Game.
Playing on a line with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha for much of this season, before Mantha got hurt, Bertuzzi has complemented the offensive abilities of Larkin and Mantha with his own grit and willingness to consistently get to the tough areas on the ice to score.
“Opportunity is a big deal in production, there’s no doubt about it,” said coach Jeff Blashill of Bertuzzi recently. “Opportunity, now he’s earned it. He’s playing on that top line, he’s playing with real good players, playing on the power play.
“So certainly opportunity is part of it, and then part of it’s just the growth of him as a player. He’s grown over the years he’s been here, and he’s continued to get better and better.”
Larkin has often praised Bertuzzi’s willingness to do all the “dirty work.”
“I’ve said it before, he’s just a hockey player,” Larkin said. “He battles, he plays hard, blocks shots, scores goals. He’s always in every battle. He gets himself there and when he’s there, he’s over the puck, getting his stick on it, a skate, or a glove, and getting something on it.
“He’s always in battles.”
This year’s All-Star Game will be the fourth year of the three-on-three format, pitting an 11-man roster from each of the four divisions.
One player will be added in each division through fan voting that’ll start Wednesday. The Red Wings’ vote-in representative is Dylan Larkin. To vote, go to NHL.com/vote.
Coming off an outstanding effort Sunday in Tampa, making 37 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Lightning, it’s likely Blashill will go back to goaltender Jonathan Bernier Tuesday against San Jose.
Bernier was making his first start in a week, after tweaking his groin in a game in Toronto.
But Bernier looked sharp against the Lightning, frustrating the offensive-minded team
“I felt pretty good right off the bat,” Bernier said. “I know you have to be extra patient with those guys. It was a tough game physically. They’re a team that likes to hold on to the puck, and it seems like every play they make, it needs to be a highlight. They just cycle the puck and try to find a good scoring chance.”
Bernier was tested early with Tampa’s power play, and seemed to get stronger as the game went along.
“He was great, especially early on those power plays,” forward Frans Nielsen said. “He had some big saves, some huge saves, and kept us in it.”
In the two losses in Florida over the weekend, against two of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, the Wings kept it a one-goal game until the end and weren’t demoralized at any point.
In this terrible season, that’s a positive step with one half of the season remaining and nothing to play for in the standings.
“We came out of the (holiday) break and we were refreshed and played good hockey,” Blashill said. “But what we can’t do is let these losses wear us down. That has happened too many times this year.
“It’s a mental test for sure.”
Said Nielsen, of the Wings' renewed competitiveness: “We’re fighting for it, we are giving ourselves a chance. We have to make sure to keep this mentality and we’ll get some wins.”
Sharks at Red Wings
Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Little Caesars Arena
TV/radio: FSD/97.1 FM
Outlook: The Sharks (17-20-3) don’t have much margin for error if they intend to make the playoffs. … They’ve struggled to gain traction and have a road-heavy schedule coming up. … C Logan Couture (12 goals, 33 points) and D Erik Karlsson (24 assists) lead offensively.
All-Star Game teams
(All-Star appearances in parentheses)
F David Pastrnak, BOS (2nd)
G Tuukka Rask, BOS (2nd)
F Jack Eichel, BUF (3rd)
F Tyler Bertuzzi, DET (1st)
F Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA (1st)
D Shea Weber, MTL (7th)
F Anthony Duclair, OTT (1st)
D Victor Hedman, TBL (2nd)
G Frederik Andersen, TOR (1st)
F Auston Matthews, TOR (4th)
F Patrick Kane, CHI (9th)
F Nathan MacKinnon, COL (3rd)
F Tyler Seguin, DAL (6th)
F Eric Staal, MIN (6th)
D Roman Josi, NSH (3rd)
F Ryan O’Reilly, STL (3rd)
G Jordan Binnington, STL (1st)
D Alex Pietrangelo, STL (2nd)
G Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (2nd)
F Mark Scheifele, WPG (2nd)
D Dougie Hamilton, CAR (1st)
D Seth Jones, CBJ (3rd)
G Joonas Korpisalo, CBJ (1st)
F Kyle Palmieri, NJD (2nd)
F Mathew Barzal, NYI (2nd)
F Artemi Panarin, NYR (1st)
F Travis Konecny, PHI (1st)
F Jake Guentzel, PIT (1st)
D John Carlson, WSH (2nd)
G Braden Holtby, WSH (5th)
F Jakob Silfverberg, ANA (1st)
G Darcy Kuemper, ARI (1st)
F Matthew Tkachuk, CGY (1st)
D Mark Giordano, CGY (3rd)
F Connor McDavid, EDM (4th)
F Leon Draisaitl, EDM (2nd)
F Anze Kopitar, LAK (5th)
F Logan Couture, SJS (2nd)
F Elias Pettersson, VAN (2nd)
G Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK (5th)
Last Men In voting
Voting begins Wednesday at NHL.com/vote.
Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron, F
Buffalo Sabres: Rasmus Dahlin, D
Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Larkin, F
Florida Panthers: Aleksander Barkov, F
Montreal Canadiens: Max Domi, F
Ottawa Senators: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, F
Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos, F
Toronto Maple Leafs: Mitch Marner, F
Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews, F
Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar, D
Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn, F
Minnesota Wild: Ryan Suter, D
Nashville Predators: Matt Duchene, F
St. Louis Blues: David Perron, F
Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine, F
Carolina Hurricanes: Teuvo Teravainen, F
Columbus Blue Jackets: Nick Foligno, F
New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier, F
New York Islanders: Brock Nelson, F
New York Rangers: Mika Zibanejad, F
Philadelphia Flyers: Claude Giroux, F
Pittsburgh Penguins: Kris Letang, D
Washington Capitals: T.J. Oshie, F
Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf, F
Arizona Coyotes: Clayton Keller, F
Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau, F
Edmonton Oilers: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, F
Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty, D
San Jose Sharks: Tomas Hertl, F
Vancouver Canucks: Quinn Hughes, D
Vegas Golden Knights: Max Pacioretty, F