Tyler Bertuzzi, the Red Wings’ leading scorer, rejoined his teammates at practice Wednesday in Boston after missing the team’s last two games in Canada due to his vaccination status.
But still missing from the ice was top-line center Dylan Larkin, the team captain who was out of the lineup for Tuesday night’s 3-0 loss at Montreal while dealing with what the team is calling “personal reasons.” Head coach Jeff Blashill said Wednesday afternoon he had no update to provide on Larkin’s status.
Asked if Larkin will miss Thursday night’s game against the Bruins, Blashill said, “I don’t have that answer. I don’t know.”
Bertuzzi, who leads the team with nine points (six goals) in seven games, stayed home in Detroit skating on his own the last four days because he has opted not to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and isn’t allowed to travel to Canada. Per NHL rules, Bertuzzi wasn’t paid while away from the team and he was responsible for arranging his own travel to Boston ahead of Thursday night’s contest.
But Bertuzzi was back in his usual spot at practice Wednesday, skating on a line with rookie Lucas Raymond and Robby Fabbri, who was filling in for Larkin as the No. 1 center.
“He’s up to speed,” Blashill said of Bertuzzi. “He skated at home, he has put himself in position to step in and have success. I have no worries about him stepping into the lineup.”
The Wings’ losses at Toronto and Montreal dropped them to 0-3 this season in games Bertuzzi – the NHL’s lone remaining unvaccinated player — has missed this season. Detroit isn’t scheduled to play on the road in Canada again until Feb. 26 at Toronto.