Bertuzzi aiming for big prize; desperately seeking Shanny
March 22, 2007
Vancouver forward Markus Naslund, a close friend and former teammate of Todd Bertuzzi, told me that Bertuzzi’s “whole purpose is to have a chance to win the Cup.”
That endeavor begins tonight, then. After three weeks of practices Bertuzzi, whom the Wings acquired Feb. 27 from Florida, will play when the Wings host Columbus this evening at Joe Louis Arena. Speaking to Bertuzzi this morning, it was obvious he can’t wait to get his legs going.
“You’ve got to get involved and start sweating with these guys and playing a few games with these guys in order to get a better feel of being around here and being more comfortable,” Bertuzzi said. “I’m going to go out and just have fun - just work hard and try to get my game to where it needs to be. I think everyone is well aware of what I can do and what I can bring to the table.”
Mike Babcock said he’d start Bertuzzi with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom but figures eventually Bertuzzi will end up playing with Robert Lang and Kyle Calder. The line combinations could be quite different tonight because Dan Cleary is also coming back; my guess is, Johan Franzen stays with Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby, because that’s a good, solid checking line. With Bertuzzi and Cleary available, Matt Ellis and Darryl Bootland were returned to Grand Rapids.
As for getting used to his new linemates, Bertuzzi has been around long enough that that won’t take long – what may take a while is Bertuzzi returning to form, since he has missed five months rehabilitating from back surgery.
“Obviously, I’m going to have to be very patient with myself and understand that it’s not going to be 100% there,” Bertuzzi said. “But I’ll work my way to it and try to get there as soon as I can.”
Bertuzzi said it was his call and the training staff’s call that he debut at last.
“You can only skate so many times until you need to go and play,” he said. “I knew waking up this morning, after a hard workout yesterday. I just came to the conclusion it’s best to get back in there now.
“I feel excited to be back playing hockey. I haven’t played for a while. It’s just nice to know that they’ve got such a great cast here that I’m not the guy coming in here that has to make or break games. I just have to try to fit in somewhere.”
Incommunicado in NYC
The New York Post’s Tuesday item about Brendan Shanahan being ball-gagged in front of trannies didn’t escape the attention of his former teammates – but no one, it seems can get through to Shanahan to get the salacious details.
Draper said he'd text-messaged and called,and gotten no replies, but vowed to get to the bottom of the story.
Did it surprise anyone?
Well, just remember Draper’s quote about Shanahan from when the Wings played in New York last month: “I guess we can call him metrosexual.”
For the original story, here is the link: http://www.nypost.com/seven/03202007/go ... gesix_.htm
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