The list of players who are not expected to play for the Red Wings tonight against the Canucks grew a little bit more on Tuesday afternoon, as the announcement came down that Todd Bertuzzi will be joining Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Frazen and Chris Osgood (among others) in the press box for the game. Bertuzzi has been dealing with a sore back and has already been listed as out day-to-day with the injury, with no real time table of when he'll be ready to return to the line-up.
As noted in Franzen's post yesterday, the Red Wings are still in very good shape for the Central Division title, which would give them home-ice advantage, at least through the first round, depending on the outcomes throughout, so rest with only a few weeks to go is a good idea from a roster standpoint.
On a more positive note, the Red Wings are likely expecting Jiri Hudler back into their line-up tonight, as he has been missing time with an illness.
The 2011 season has been good to Bertuzzi, picking up 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points in 73 games this season, ranking him 173rd in pool scoring though Tuesday night's action. Bertuzzi does have a much more limited role with the Red Wings than he did in other stops in his NHL career, which makes his 39 points far more reasonable than some of his more prolific seasons.
In the draft, he certainly isn't the prominent player he once was, saved for the 1st round of this year's waiver draft. If we were to count all the picks in the initial draft, Bertuzzi would be the 288th overall pick this season, which makes him an okay support selection, but his numbers again this year will likely warrant another waiver draft selection, since he really hasn't been good enough to be picked any earlier.
When the playoffs roll around, however, I do expect to see some better things from Bertuzzi, so he was placed in Box 4 on that selection sheet. In previous years, there has been a good spread of scenarios through the playoff pool, which leads me to believe that Bertuzzi will be a part of someone's team when it is all said and done.
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