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Five Questions With...

Five Questions with Tyler Bertuzzi

Red Wings all-star forward discusses playing with Larkin, staying positive during tough season

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi.

CHICAGO -- Tyler Bertuzzi is looking forward to the opportunity coming for him later this month.

The 24-year-old forward leads the Detroit Red Wings with 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 43 games, which led to his being selected to the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Jan. 25 (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

"Of course it's a huge honor to represent the Red Wings," Bertuzzi said after practice in Chicago on Saturday. "Just obviously getting to experience it, to be around all those good players. It's three short days and you're just trying to take it all in."

Bertuzzi is putting together another solid season after he had 47 points (21 goals, 26 assists) in 73 games last season. He's been a bright spot for the Red Wings (10-30-3), who are last in the Eastern Conference entering their game against the Montreal Canadiens at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-D, RDS, TSN2, NHL.TV). For Bertuzzi, participating in his first NHL All-Star Game is a chance to show his skills, as well as pick the brains of other NHL players.

"There's going to be a lot of the best players in the NHL there," he said. "So it's going to be cool to be on the ice with them all, just kind of get to meet everyone, get to know how they think and just create new friendships."

Here are Five Questions with … Tyler Bertuzzi.

 

What's worked with your game this season?

"I think I have to give a lot of credit to my linemates. We're just playing simple, just trying to play smart and simple and do the right things and try to get rewarded. And [for me], maybe it's just having more experience, playing another year. I'm confident. I'm just trying to play with the puck and make smart plays."

Video: SJS@DET: Bertuzzi redirects Bowey's shot by Jones

 

There have been a few different forwards on the top line since Anthony Mantha was injured in December, including Robby Fabbri and Darren Helm. But you and Dylan Larkin have been together throughout. Why do you two have such good chemistry?

"I love playing with Larks (Larkin). He's one of the best skaters in the League. He gets us out of trouble easy, he's a smart player and he works hard, and I love playing with him."

 

You've been pretty consistent this season, but you went nine games without a goal from Nov. 23-Dec. 12. You had three assists during that span, but how do you keep from getting frustrated when the goals aren't coming?

"You can't really think about it too much, where it's going to eat you alive. You just go into every game, work hard and eventually it's going to come. After that I started scoring again and contributing more."

Video: WSH@DET: Glendening rips shot home from the slot

 

I know this has been a frustrating season for the Red Wings, but how optimistic are you for the future potential in Detroit?

"Yeah, it's not what we expected. I was looking forward to coming in this season and trying to be a contender for a [Stanley Cup Playoff] spot, trying to be better than last year. We still have about half the season to try and get ourselves back up and get ready.

"Right now we're kind of in a rebuild and those things take time. We have a lot of young guys, a lot of good prospects coming up. We're looking forward to the near future of us being a really good hockey team."

Video: DET@TOR: Bertuzzi scores PPG in 3rd period

 

Your uncle, Todd Bertuzzi, had a long NHL career. How often do you talk to him about your progression in the League?

"Yeah, that was more when I was younger and in the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) when he would kind of give me tips and stuff like that. Now we just talk about life and whatever in general. We talk every now and then. He's at the rink sometimes doing the radio, so we always see each other a little bit."

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