Tyler Bertuzzi and the Guelph Storm won all three of their games in the round robin portion of the MasterCard Memorial Cup and will face the Edmonton Oil Kings in the finals.
Tyler Bertuzzi plays a rough, grind-it-out game, but I saw a different player in the Memorial Cup than I did at the Detroit Red Wings Development Camp.
At the Red Wings Development Camp, Bertuzzi was actively looking to hit players and even fought two players while at the camp. When the Red Wings drafted Bertuzzi in the second round of the 2013 draft, they label him as a pest, but instead of a pest, I saw a goon.
Instead of seeing the goon from the Red Wings Development Camp at the Memorial Cup, I saw a complete player willing to do anything his team needed and looked to hurt the other team with his skill rather than his body.
Bertuzzi still laid a few big hits on the opposing players, but instead of seeking out a big hit, he lets the hits come to him and when the opportunity arises he does not let up.
While hitting is a big part of his game, the vastly superior part of his game is he ability to shed hits and get to the gritty areas on the ice.
The goal Bertuzzi scored against Val-d’Or, in Guelph’s second game of the round robin, came after he took two cross-checks to his back, but he got back up each time and made his way to the front of the net.
That is an aspect that cannot be taught, but rather is a part of the person and Bertuzzi has it.
Tyler Burtuzzi talking about how he plays, “It’s my game I am gonna work hard, grind it out, just try to play my own way. Just not back down from anything really and keep playing.”
To say Bertuzzi is the best player night in and night out for Guelph would not be an understatement for the Memorial Cup. When he is on the ice, he does not stop skating and is everywhere on the ice, whether he is fore-checking or back-checking. When an opposing play has the puck, Tyler Bertuzzi is on him and when a teammate is racing down the ice with the puck, Bertuzzi is skating with him to give him an option.
Another player will probably win the Memorial Cup MVP, but Bertuzzi has been an integral part of this Guelph Storm team and they almost lost him for the season due to an injury.
Tyler Bertuzzi returned from his injury, which kept him out of the line-up for 39 regular season games, in the OHL Playoffs and the Guelph Storm head coach, Scott Walker, was glad to have him back on the ice for Guelph.
Scott Walker said, “It’s been real important, he’s a great part, he’s a great playoff guy, but we knew that last year. Last year in the playoff run we had, we didn’t go long, but we went against Kitchener, our best two players were Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bertuzzi.”
Stay tuned for part two, where we will break down Tyler Bertuzzi’s play in the “meaningless game” against the London Knights.