Saturday night’s 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild showcased all the positive things about the Detroit Red Wings’ offense. The team finally converted not one, but two power play chances after an 0-for-17 start for the season and got scoring from their star players. Perhaps the best news for the Wings was getting some of their secondary scoring back. Todd Bertuzzi showed how much of an impact he can have this season, scoring two goals in his first game of the season. Bertuzzi had originally been diagnosed with mononucleosis, but a second set of tests showed he just had a severe case of the flu.
Coach Mike Babcock shook up his lines for Friday night’s game, and it paid off in a big way. Pavel Datsyuk was dropped to the second line alongside Bertuzzi and Valtteri Filppula, and the line combined for eight points on the night. Datsyuk also had a goal, giving him two on the season. Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner were joined by Johan Franzen on the top line, and Brunner added his second goal of the season in the first period.
Darren Helm and Jakub Kindl also returned to the lineup for the Red Wings, a positive sign that the worst of their injury troubles may be behind them. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson may return for Sunday’s Central Division matchup against the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks, which will help strengthen things on the back end.
Bertuzzi scored 14 goals and added 24 assists for the Wings last season. When he plays like he did last night, it’s hard to believe he’s 37 years old.