August 18, 2009

More credible takes than mine

Kent of Matchsticks and Gasoline and Five Hole Fanatics fame was kind enough to share his observations of Mr. Tuzzi from this past season. His insight was appreciated and I have already sent him a dusty VHS copy of this game to show my gratitude. Because he: A) is not me, B) really knows his shit; and C) is above all not me, I blindly trust his words to be gospel and nothing less. Here are his brief thoughts on Bert:

"Sorry to tell you this, but I hated Bertuzzi. He was awful and probably the worst forward in the Flames top 9. Bad in his own end, prone to taking stupid penalties, admitted to taking it easy during the regular season so he would "have something in the tank" come play-offs (where he was, again, useless). Some of my thoughts on him during the year can be found:

In short: I couldn't wait for him to leave. The team will be better without him."


After clicking around for a minute I also came across this, from Earl Sleek in the comments of a FHF post last summer (recall that Bertuzzi was a Duck during the 07-08 year) ...

Three things irked the hell out of me about Bertuzzi last year.

a) He had to be carried around by decent linemates, but was a drag on nearly all of them. An easy way to improve anybody's results (especially defensively) was to take Bert off their line. A possible exception was Ryan Carter, a sort of Pahlsson clone, who was a crazy enough backchecker that it seemed he could carry Bert's defensive load. But that was only a passable solution, not an ideal one.

b) As much as we'd love to see Bertuzzi effectively use his size to crash the net, he hardly ever attempted it. As a matter of fact, whenever Bertuzzi did take the initiative to put a shot on goal, my joke was that his "one shot per game quota" was used up. From that point on, he was passing.

c) When Selanne returned, at first Carlyle tried a Bert-Weight-Selanne second line, which on paper wouldn't have been that bad. However, it was horrid, because as soon as either non-Finn got the puck his first instinct was to give the puck straight to Selanne to "let him do the work". It was to the point where I wondered why the opposition didn't just put three guys on Selanne, because Bert and Weight were obviously looking to him for any offense."

In putting this in the proper context, we have to acknowledge that Bertuzzi was given more ice time and relied upon more during the past two seasons than he will be in '09-'10. Still, those aren't exactly ringing endorsements. "Taking it easy" and "Not using his size effectively" doesn't sound like a guy who will add some grit and throw his weight around.

I've also heard the argument that it's not too big of a risk because it's one year at $1.5 (still a bit pricey in my mind but whatever). I agree that it's not a huge risk -- I just don't think it's a necessary risk, especially when we just took a slight gamble on Jason Williams, who possesses some similar tools and flaws. I'd rather they gamble with giving Leino, Eaves, Williams and Helm more of an opportunity than yank their minutes around.

(And, just throwing this out there, I could be more than wrong about this: Doesn't Babcock have enough responsibilities this year? He'll be trying to get the premier NHL team to the Stanley Cup Finals for the 3rd year in a row, and in between he'll only be coaching Team Canada in Vancouver, where it will be gold medal or bust. If he has to balance that with massaging egos in Detroit for a full season, I wouldn't be surprised if he snaps and stabs an assistant with a skate during an intermission at some point.)


Baroque said...

I remember Kent's take when Bertuzzi first signed with the Flames and how hard he tried to find positives - and it was nearly impossible then. After seeing him for a year, clearly all his concerns were borne out in spades.

This sucks so much. I hope if Babcock goes crazy he leaves his assistants alone and slays Bertuzzi with his whistle.

I can't see this ending well - I see a penalty-kill in overtime of the playoffs with Bertuzzi in the box for the fourth time that game, and all the penalty killers worn out, and Columbus winning their first playoff series in their history. On a goal by Rick Nash. :(

Triple Deke Staff said...

That situation was way too specific and horrifying not to come true. I'm kind of worried now.

- Tyler

Baroque said...

Rick Nash scoring against Detroit is a dang easy prediction,, though. And Hitchcock teams give Detroit a lot of trouble.

A first-round matchup of Columbus and Detroit next year could easily go in a very different direction.

Osrt said...

Don't you people sleep? Or drink too much to stop typing all to real possibilities?

That was freaky Ms. B, like Oracle freaky...

Good point about Babcock Tyler; I nearly forgot how much pressure he actually has going in to this season. But I think a tense Babbles will be good for this revenge minded team; everyone, including him, will be a bit more on edge and ready to kick ass if anyone is slacking.

Or so I hope...

AxeMaster9 said...

Baroque, I always took you as a glass half full kinda lady. Lets look at the positives. We have a deep roster and we have some depth in GR still which we will need. Like Bertuzzi or not, what happened to us in the playoffs this year with, Draper-Lidstrom-Pavel-Lila-Homer-Cokeandpepsi etc killed us, and if it werent for Helm and Abbadabbado and Ericsson coming up, we wouldnt have got past the second round. So as much as there are some guys in GR we want on our team, we need that depth. We HAVE to have that depth. So as much as Bertuzzi and even more to me, Williams signings were probably not that best moves ever I trust that Kenny knows what he is doing. And if none of that makes you feel any better check out this quote from Mlive. Because the contracts for the Red Wings' offseason additions -- Bertuzzi, Jason Williams and Patrick Eaves -- are for one season, Holland said the Red Wings could have between $10 million and $15 million in cap space for the 2010-11 season.

Anonymous said...

@ Axemaster9

You sir, are guilty of trying to put lipstick on a pig. No amount of Maybelline will alter the fact that this is a big, fat, stinking porker.


Axemaster9 said...

You sir are clearly correct. We totally do NOT need depth. And we did NOT have any injuries in the playoffs. And we did NOT lose any players to free agency. We also do NOT have the best management team in the NHL. And Kenny holland was clearly lying about cap space next year. I can see how I am putting lip stick on a pig. Silly facts.

Anonymous said...

@ Axemaster9

I am not questioning your statements regarding depth, playoff injuries, etc. But how this adds up to Bertuzzi being the answer is beyond me.

Facts aside (fact geeks - try to follow me on this).... this is bad mojo.


Chris said...


Why? The guy had two subpar seasons? Why the hate? Why not the hate towards Eaves? He freaking scored like 15 points last year? Talk about underachieving. Bert scored 44 in less games.

He's not a locker room cancer. Prospel is. Max Afiniganiov is. He can score, better than Williams. Even now.

If he is a defensive liability, then yeah, I get it, but let him at least play a game first. Right now, you all seem very irrational for such a cheap signing for someone that will be a 3rd liner.

Anonymous said...


Well, okay how about he's past his prime. He's lame. He takes bad penalties and he should be in prison for a felony. Yep, that's about it.

I guess I'm in the minority on that opinion, but I stand by it. I see no assets here - only debits.


Triple Deke Staff said...

The reasons I don't like it are entirely on-ice reasons, for everything I've said so far. He puts up points, yeah, but we replenished some of that with J-Will already. You're obviously not going to replace 88 goals in free agency this day in age, it's just not realistic. But now they have two guys who are a bit of a gamble, especially in Bert who is an injury risk, takes bad penalties, admits to taking it easy, etc. He's a third liner, second liner at best who at 1.5$ doesn't have much committed to him, but he just flat out hasn't been that great the last few years (points aren't everything).

My preference, above all, was too see Helm, Leino, and Fil step in and produce. It would be easier to see them develop without the added hitch of sharing minutes with Bertuzzi.

- Tyler

Chris said...

[i]Well, okay how about he's past his prime. [/i]

Ok...his past his prime still outscored Samuellson, Flippula, and our boy Cleary last year.

[i]He's lame. [/i]

Ok, I got you don't like him.

[i]He takes bad penalties and he should be in prison for a felony.[/i]

First part, yeah, he might take bad penalties, but hopefully the coaching staff can fix that. If it doesn't, it is up to Babcock to use him the right way. And with the Wings in both the playoffs and regular season during his last stint, he had less than 1 PIM per game.

Second part, well that is your prerogative to feel like that.

Overall, I just see a guy who the Wings have played with before, obviously liked, and has a huge upside, even if he is a extremely streaky scorer (remind you of any midget that used to play for us? Or, for that matter, William Tell?).

The downside is very minimal, if it isn't working out, the Wings can simply bench or cut him. The team itself stays the same as it was two days ago! This isn't a multi year deal at 4 million a year, this is a 1 year deal at 1.5. There simply is NO risk!

You can hate the guy, but you gotta at least say it makes a little sense.

Chris said...

Tyler, you do make some good points, but it is up to Val, Leino and Helm to still produce. We can't coddle the kids forever, especally Val.

If he is lazy out there, then it is up to Babcock to sit him. Simply that.

Triple Deke Staff said...

I think the bottom line here, for most of us anyway, is that it's the middle of August and we're talking about a third liner who's making 1.5 over 1 year as if it's the seventh game of the Finals. We're a little batty right now. I sure as shit am .... how many Bertuzzi posts in a row was this? 3? 4? Admittedly, we'll probably look back at this week a few months from now and wonder how high we all were. Everything is in "extreme mode" during this stretch. We O-faced over the Eaves deal like we all found 100 bucks on the sidewalk for fuck's sake. Patrick Eaves, people -- three weeks ago I didn't even know he existed.

Let's take a breather. I'm starting with me because I haven't shut the fuck up about this since it started. I'll be done with finals this week and will be able to focus on more than one topic over a four-day stretch. I'll to a Top Ten Bob Rouse moments or something, I swear.

- Tyler

Kent W. said...

Thanks for all the love. I'd like to comment on the general claim that Bertuzzi "can score".

The truth is...he cant. Not really. His ES efficiency was one of the worst on the team last year... 1.64 points/60 minutes of ice. That was worse than David Moss, worse than Curtis Glencross, worse than Jamie Lundmark and worse than Craig Conroy. In some cases, much worse.

Bertuzzi is useful in a very narrow band of circumstances: break-aways, shoot-outs and - if he's on a good day - the power play (kinda). He's pretty much a liability otherwise.

Triple Deke Staff said...

All the more reason to question what the front office was looking at with this signing. Luckily, Holland has only been wrong like three times in his entire life, hockey-related or otherwise. Thanks for the input Kent.

hockeychic said...

I'm still not very happy about this signing. I dunno, having your favorite team sign your least favorite player is so hard to deal with but deal I must.