Todd Bertuzzi so far this season:
I suppose it would depend on who you ask when you try and evaluate whether or not Bertuzzi has exceeded or fallen short of expectations. The big guy was brought in to add some size and grit, as well as contribute to some secondary scoring. Though Bertuzzi had the opportunity to shift from a secondary role to playing with the big boys on the top line, his contributions have been limited on the score sheet thus far. However, he has done surprisingly well at the defensive portion of his game, much to everyone's surprise. Despite claims of laziness by some fans, Bertuzzi looks quicker than he has been in years. As I stated in the Williams piece yesterday, not one player has played in all seven games and hasn't seemed lazy or unfocused at least once (Helm hasn't played in all 7 games). Bert finally got in the goal column in last Saturday's loss to the Avs and was surprisingly left out of the shootout line up.
Season Total Projections:
After a real shaky start in Sweden, Bertuzzi seems to be getting better about playing Detroit's system, and I beleive his teammates are starting to get the hang of playing with him as well. Losing Franzen long term made Bertuzzi into the only large power forward that we have, and the fact that his point totals are so low despite playing with Hank and Pav has me a little worried. I'm hoping that this is just an effect of growing pains and that the big guy will be able to turn the corner and start being a regular on the scoresheet (in the goals/assists department). For those who said that he was completely washed up, he's exceeding expectations. For those (myself included) that thought he'd hit the 20 goals, 60 point mark, he's got some work to do.
My grade after 7 games: C