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Bert and Earnest

Friday, 01.11.2008 / 7:49 PM / Features
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Bert and Earnest

By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

After a concussion derailed the early part of his season, Bertuzzi has found his comfort level.

Since the smiles haven't been coming a lot the past two seasons, it's a relief to hear Todd Bertuzzi say he's "having fun" playing the game lately. The usually stoic Bertuzzi has reason to be happy, since he's playing his best hockey in a long time. It's something he had hoped would happen much sooner after he was signed by the Ducks over the summer. 

After back surgery and a concussion limited Bertuzzi’s 2006-07 campaign to just 31 total games (15 in the regular season and 16 in the playoffs) between Florida and Detroit, Bertuzzi was glad to be healthy to start this season. But while just getting comfortable with the Ducks, the Sudbury, Ontario native suffered another concussion after a hit from Minnesota enforcer Derek Boogaard on Oct. 14. The injury would end up costing him another 14 games.

“I think at that point in time it just felt like one thing after another,” Bertuzzi said. “You just get frustrated and start wondering if it’s going to end. A lot of things cross your mind, retiring and so on. Luckily, I ended up healing up. It took a lot longer than I thought, but, I’m feeling really good right now and hope to continue it.”

Bertuzzi highlights 

After returning to the Ducks’ lineup Nov. 21, Bertuzzi has rebounded nicely, and is currently playing some of his best hockey. Along with tallying nine points (three points, six assists) in his last nine games, Bertuzzi had his best game in a Ducks uniform on Wednesday in the team’s 5-0 thrashing of Toronto. Including a nifty move he put on netminder Vesa Toskala to score the Ducks’ first goal in the game, Bertuzzi had a season-high three points against the Maple Leafs, which was his highest output since a four-point game on Oct. 6, 2006 while with Florida.

“I’m just having fun,” Bertuzzi said. “I haven’t had fun in awhile playing hockey. This is the most fun that I’ve had in a long time.”

A big reason for Bertuzzi’s enjoyment is the harmony that he’s recently found on a line with Ducks top scorers Ryan Getzlaf (48 points) and Corey Perry (38 points).

“Playing with those two, obviously it’s going to help,” Bertuzzi said. “I just hope to help chip in with those guys and try to be a dominate line each and every night.”

Bertuzzi’s current line situation contrasts the early season, when the big-bodied forward struggled to establish chemistry with former Duck Andy McDonald on the team’s second line.

“It’s tough to adjust to new linemates,” said Mathieu Schneider, who is now playing with Bertuzzi for the third stop in their careers. “Forwards, especially creative ones, really have to be think alike. Bert needs to have the puck. Right now he has the puck an awful lot and it makes a big difference in his game.”

Primarily a right wing most of his career, Bertuzzi asked Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle to put him on the left wing, which would allow him to play with Getzlaf and Perry. Carlyle has noticed the difference since making the change.

“He feels more comfortable playing the left side with us,” Carlyle said. “Playing with Getzlaf and Perry, it allows him to play with two other players who have similar skill sets. They are big-body people who can do things with the puck. Right now, it’s working for them.”

Glad to see injuries hopefully behind his friend and teammate, Schneider thinks Bertuzzi has just begun to hit his stride.

“You’re just starting to see him really get comfortable,” Schneider said. “He’s dominant. He can be such a huge impact player. It’s rare to see a guy with that much size and skill.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48


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