Tyler Bertuzzi stole the show on his own bobblehead night Wednesday at Little Caesars Arena.
The forward scored two goals, including the game winner, as the Red Wings held off the St. Louis Blues for a 4-3 win. After the game, coach Jeff Blashill told reporters in the dressing room that he "loves" Bertuzzi.
Well, I think a lot of Red Wings fans feel the same way. Bertuzzi is that guy you can easily pinpoint as not only a fan favorite but a coach's favorite. He brings intensity and hard work every shift, wearing his emotions on his sleeve at times. The missing tooth and long hair just add to his charm.
What a guy, am I right? The coach "loves" him, for crying out loud. How many times do you get to hear a hockey coach say he loves a player unless they just won the Stanley Cup? The answer is never.
Bertuzzi now has 8 goals and 7 assists in 25 games played.
Trip to Boston
Anyway, now it's time for another meeting with the Boston Bruins, a team the Red Wings beat, 3-2, on Nov. 21. That's after the Bruins handed them an 8-2 loss back on Oct. 13.
GAME TIME: 7 p.m. Saturday in Boston
Boston remains without their top center Patrice Bergeron and three of their top defensemen: Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller.
Rookie Colby Cave is centering that top line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Despite the injuries, Boston is still holding onto a playoff spot with a 6-2-2 record in their past 10 games. They beat the New York Islanders, 2-1, on Thursday.
Avalanche in town
The Colorado Avalanche, meanwhile, now have hockey's best line: Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan Mackinnon and Mikko Rantanen have a combined 110 points through 25 games. That's disgusting. All I can say is good luck keeping that trio off the scoresheet on Sunday.
GAME TIME: 7 p.m. Sunday in Detroit
The Avalanche also have the top power play in the league at 31.7 percent conversion rate. By the way, the Bruins are right behind them with a 29.9 percent PP conversion rate. Note to Red Wings: Avoid penalties this weekend.
But back to the Avs: Colorado is in second place in the Central Division, just a point behind the Nashville Predators. They are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games, making them the hottest team in the NHL not called the Buffalo Sabres.
If ever there were a test for Detroit, it's this weekend with back-to-backs against a division rival and a top Western Conference team.
Trevor Daley out, Jonathan Ericsson in
Trevor Daley left Wednesday night's game with an apparent lower body injury. He's not expected to play this weekend, but fellow veteran defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is back. So the Red Wings defensive pairings should look something like this:
- Niklas Kronwall -- Mike Green
- Dan DeKeyser -- Nick Jensen
- Jonathan Ericsson -- Dennis Cholowski