Dirty Bert’s Defense

From Khan(!) today…

“In my opinion, Bertuzzi is one of these guys everyone said isn’t good defensively.  He played head-to-head against Nash in two games and I thought did an unbelievable job. I got lot of respect for Nasher, but I thought Bert was fantastic. There’s lots of guys playing, but that’s just one example. If you commit your play away from the puck you have the puck a whole lot.” –Mike Babcock

Rick Nash is a monster.  No one has scored more against Detroit than he has since he’s been in the league.  He nudges out Ryan “It’s a Jersey Thing” Getzlaf for #1 Wing-Killer in my book.  You may remember that Babcock challenged Franzen to be the Anti-Nash in season’s past…but it was Bert’s charge in these past two games…and Dirty Bert delivered.  Nash was held pointless with a -1 rating overall between the two games and didn’t even register a shot on goal in Sunday’s contest.

Know who was shooting the puck?  Valtteri Filppula…to the delight of all (but females and Mike Babcock mostly).  I think that Filppula has taken over Jiri Hudler’s man-crush status with Uncle Mike…

“I thought Fil was great, but I think Fil’s great, period.  You got to convince him he’s as good as I think he is. I think he’s a brilliant player.  The more he wins battles, the more he gets on the inside, the more he’s going to score. To me, he can be a dominant No. 2 center in this league.” –Mike Babcock

Val’s three point performance in the past two games (2 goals, one assist) was equal to that of his total performance over the past 12 games.  So the hairstylist isn’t quite the dominate second line center just yet…but so long as his hair color doesn’t match his eyebrows, we’ll continue to be patient with the little Finn.

Meanwhile, Detroit has played the least amount of games of anyone in the NHL and is only 2 wins out of first place in the LEAGUE.  Their 15-4-2 (32 points) record in 21 games is by far the toast of the NHL, and only Columbus (22 games) and Chicago (25 games) are within arms reach – with 28 points apiece.  Of course, we know that Chicago scheduled all of their games up front to keep the bandwagon masses interested early on in the season by artificially inflating their point total.

Life is good right now.