Saturday, April 01, 2006

The New Todd Is The Old Todd

Ed Willes had a heart-to-heart with Todd Bertuzzi and he writes about it in the Vancouver Province (subscription req'd):

Forget for a minute, everything you think you know about Todd Bertuzzi and everything that's happened since March 8, 2004.

Are you there?

Now, try to put yourself in his position for a minute. Try to think of what it's like to pick up a paper and read that your friendship with Markus Naslund is a divisive force on the Canucks. Or that your relationship with the coach has driven a wedge through the team. Or that you're about to be traded because you're a cancer in the room. Or that you want to be traded because living in Vancouver has become intolerable.

Still with us? Ok, now think how you'd react if, every time things started to get better, Steve Moore's lawyer called a press conference to announce some form of new litigation against you. Or that you realized a lifelong dream by making the Olympic team and the announcement was denounced all over the country. Or that you get to go to the Olympics and even that blew up in your face.

Think about all that. Now think about what Bertuzzi has done over the last two weeks; how he's played his best hockey of the season at precisely the time he's needed most; how, despite everything he's been through, he's helped lead this team out of the darkness.

Again, think about all that.

Are you still thinking about Bertuzzi the same way?
I am and I'm sure a lot of Canucks fans still do.

The Todd Bertuzzi that Ed talks about, the one that is finally beginning to return to the form that once made him one of the league's top power forwards, is the Todd Bertuzzi that Canucks fans have always expected. We knew that the distractions would be there; we never expected them to be used as an excuse for a subpar season. It's why we defended his return to the NHL; it's why we welcomed his return to the Canucks with open arms; it's why we applauded his selection to the Canadian Olympic team.

None of that has changed.

I'm thrilled to see Todd bounce back these last couple of weeks. I've felt all along that this version of the Canucks will only go as far as their core group - Bertuzzi obviously included - will take them. While the likes of Alex Auld, the Sedins, Anson Carter and Nolan Baumgartner have admirably helped the Canucks to a .500 record for most of the season, it is easy to see how much better the team is when Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi are playing at the level they are capable of.

But again, this recent play hasn't changed the way I think about Bertuzzi. It's what's been expected of him all along.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 1:37 PM


At April 01, 2006 6:12 PM, Anonymous j&a said...

Nicely said.

And thanks for reprinting part of that Willes article for those of us who don't subscribe.

At April 02, 2006 11:40 AM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

No problem. :)

At April 07, 2006 12:34 PM, Anonymous denise said...

hey...nice :)

and thanks for the baumgartner mention...i know that was meant for me...hahah j/k

At April 11, 2006 2:27 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

You should start a Nolan Baumgartner blog ;)

At September 05, 2006 10:45 PM, Anonymous Isabella said...

Well said!

It's tiresome sometimes, defending Todd. Not because I don't think he deserves it, but because it's just the same thing over and over again.

I know he'll do something great, and I'm thankful for the time and loyalty he gave us Vancouver fans.


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