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Tyler Bertuzzi, who scored twice in the 4-3 win over St. Louis by Detroit against St. Louis, is vital to the Red Wings rebuilding. Shot on November 28, 2018 in Detroit.
Detroit Free Press

Niklas Kronwall thought about it and laughed.

Tyler Bertuzzi has a chance to make the Detroit Red Wings smile. be it a patchy grin and his long hair or the way he is attracted to the net of the opponent. His willingness to go to the hard spots on the ice, his talent for the final, makes him an integral part of team success, the long-term and the short team.

The Wings won their latest game with two goals from Bertuzzi, both of whom were in the 4: 3 final on Wednesday at Little Caesars Arena near the blues. The goals gave Bertuzzi eight goals in 25 games.

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"He is a truly consistent player," said coach Jeff Blashill. "For me, he's a winning hockey player – it's easy to judge guys by stats, but some guys score and lose a lot. Some people produce enough and win tons. For me he is a winning hockey player – he does all the little things necessary to win: he plays on the right side of the puck, he plays good D, he blocks hits. He wins stick battles. The game is still about winning individual matches, and he's always doing that. I'm a big fan. I think he had a pretty good year. "

The 23-year-old Bertuzzi has already surpassed his 48 goals last season. He is persistent and can not be deterred by bigger opponents.

"I've been like this all my life," Bertuzzi said. "When you go up in leagues, it's harder to pull or swing, so I'm set on playing hard and getting in the net. Here are many goals.

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Bertuzzi made sure that the Wings had no reason to send him back to the minors in the second half of last season.

"I just wanted to come here and work hard every day," said Bertuzzi. "I think Blash is a big, hardworking guy, so I just came in every day doing my thing, working hard. I just wanted to do a job for myself and I did it. "

Bertuzzi's role was expanded after the Wings Tomas Tatar acted and opened a top-6 place. Bertuzzi has packed it within a few weeks.

"We knew when we drove facts that made us play a good player, and Tats proved that with Montreal," Blashill said. "But we also felt we had a guy in Bert who, if he had similar minutes, could produce at a similar level and bring certain elements into the team.

" I love him as a player. He enters. Mark Howe said to me, he's one of those guys, he's not just working, he's competing. He "finds ways to win pucks, stays on puck. We talk about how to hunt in the O-Zone and run on the foredeck, and that's what he does, and then he goes into the net and is really good on the net. "

With the Wings recovering from a 1-7-2 start, Blashill has pointed out that the team, thanks to guys like Bertuzzi, Michael Rasmussen, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader made better work of the opponents' netting and Bertuzzi saw the game on Wednesday 3-0 as he beat Glendening's rebound from the air and scored the winning goal by bouncing off the net.

"He just goes," said Thomas Vanek. "He has a lot of energy, he is not afraid to go into the corner and find the puck. Many of his goals, he quickly finds the puck around the net and puts it away. "

Kronwall noted that Bertuzzi is going into the hard areas and" he wins all the little stick battles. He does not lose much 50-50 battles on a given night. It is nice to see that he is rewarded.

Bertuzzi's two-goal performance came the same night as his bobblehead was awarded to selected fans. Bertuzzi joked that he would give one to his uncle, the former Wings striker Todd Bertuzzi. Three months after the Wings Tyler Bertuzzi had drawn in 58th place in 2013, the two were together in the training camp.

That was memorable for Kronwall.

"A young Bert," Kronwall said smiling, "with the big Bert here. They see Bert everywhere with his long hair and band. It was something else, that's for sure. But as soon as we saw him playing and practicing, he was so good with his stick. Very, very intelligent player.

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Contact Helene St James: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

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