Hero Of The Days: Todd Bertuzzi Nets Back-to-Back OT Goals For Red Wings

Matt Hutter@mahutter12Analyst IDecember 13, 2009

CALGARY, CANADA - OCTOBER 31: Todd Bertuzzi #44 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates after a play against the Calgary Flames during their game on October 31, 2009 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Red Wings defeated the Flames 3-1. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

It's what the Red Wings hoped he would be when they signed him this summer.

A clutch scorer, a difference maker, a go-to guy.

After all, this is what Todd Bertuzzi has been for most of his career.

However, the post-2004 Todd Bertuzzi has been more underachiever than difference maker.  That is, when he's been able to play.

Injuries, surgeries and the ghosts of the Steve Moore Incident have reduced the former offensive juggernaut into a shell of himself.

If the past 48 hours are any indication, Bertuzzi may be ready to shake off his demons and once again become a regular scorer in the NHL.

On Friday night, Bertuzzi scored the Red Wings' tying goal against the visiting Anaheim Ducks, sending the game into overtime. 

Once in the extra frame, Bertuzzi decided he wasn't done scoring.  He found what had to be a sliver of daylight between goalie JS Gigure's pad and the crossbar, and promptly netted the game winner.

Game over, courtesy of Todd Bertuzzi.

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Saturday night, things were a bit reversed as the Wings saw the Nashville Predators climb back from a two goal deficit to eventually send the game into overtime.

However, the results were exactly the same as the night before.

Bertuzzi, busting down the ice on a partial breakaway, muscled his way to the front of the net and beat goalie Pekka Rinne on the glove side.

Another 3-2 OT win, courtesy of Todd Bertuzzi.

Bertuzzi was also the player to open the scoring against Nashville on Saturday, scoring on a beautiful spin-o-rama, backhand shot near the top of the left circle.

In his last two games, Todd Bertuzzi has scored the same number of goals he did in his first 30 games.

While no one can expect this scoring pace to be duplicated over his next 30 games, Bertuzzi scoring goals, let alone OT game winners, is a very good thing for the Red Wings.

A team who needs each and every player contributing on a nightly basis.

It is great to see Bertuzzi get rewarded so handsomely for his effort these past two games.

Though his point totals have been horribly low given the ice time and line-mates he's played with (typically Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk), Bertuzzi's effort has been consistently high all season long.

Bertuzzi has trailed only Henrik Zetterberg with shots on goal for the majority of the season and has (unofficially) hit more posts than any other player on the team.

Only time will tell if this sudden return to his previous form is a new normal for Bertuzzi.

Hell, given the Wings' luck this season, Todd will probably slip on ice on his driveway tomorrow morning and be sidelined for the next two months with a busted elbow.

However, one thing we do know is that this is the kind of production Bertuzzi delivered with regularity for most of his career.

If he has rediscovered his game, there may be a ray of hope for the Red Wings' offense heading into 2010.

In addition to Bertuzzi's inspired play, two other players who Detroit need more from also turned in some great performances.

Pavel Datsyuk had two assists on Saturday, one of them sending Bertuzzi on his way to the OT winner.  And, Chris Osgood turned away 33 of 35 shots and recorded an assist himself on Bertuzzi's first goal.

In a season where not much as gone well for the Red Wings, seeing play like this from a player like Bertuzzi is certainly a welcome development.

Who knows if it will last, but it certainly has given Red Wings fans something to smile about this weekend.


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