With Daniel Alfredsson‘s return to the line-up, the Detroit Red Wings were forced to make two forwards a healthy scratch for the first time in a long time.
The Red Wings could have sent Tomas Jurco to the AHL instead of scratching another player, but he has played well and is making good things happen for the Wings.
In the end, it was Todd Bertuzzi who was a healthy scratch against the Montreal Canadiens. Todd Bertuzzi is going through a rough patch this season; has not scored and only has one assist while being a minus nine in his past 18 games.
With all this in mind should Todd Bertuzzi been on the ice for Detroit regardless and should Daniel Cleary been scratched instead?
Daniel Cleary plays on the power play and the penatly kill for Detroit and despite being ripped off the penalty kill during the Blackhawks game he was back on the penalty kill for Detroit against the Canadiens. Cleary was fourth among forwards with 1:19 PK TOI, but the fact that he was out there at all is a testament to how much Babcock trusts him, worthy or not.
Todd Bertuzzi, however, does not play on the penalty kill, but is a big part of the power play for Detroit. Sadly for Bert, the power play struggled with him in Holmstrom’s office. While Bertuzzi ha been struggling in the office, he is still one of, if not the best puck retrievers Detroit has on the roster.
Daniel Cleary has played on Detroit’s fourth line for most of the season until the last few games where he has been promoted to the third line. The problem with Cleary is that he cannot seem to get in position or to the puck quick enough to create or shut down opportunities.
Todd Bertuzzi on the other hand has seen himself on each line for Detroit and when Pavel Datsyuk is in the line-up, no one plays better with him than Bertuzzi. But Datsyuk is not in the line-up and his struggles offensively are hurting the Red Wings because he is not a great defensive player.
Wile Todd Bertuzzi would have been the better option in my mind, Daniel Cleary made a huge impact for the Red Wings on the power play against the Canadiens.
Until the Red Wings are fully healthy and someone makes an egregious error, I believe that Todd Bertuzzi will continue to be a healthy scratch for the Detroit Red Wings.
The Red Wings will miss Todd Bertuzzi’s intimidation factor and strength, but as long as the Wings are scoring goals and not backing down they should be fine without him for now.