Derek Lalonde made a few changes to his lines as the Detroit Red Wings try to start another winning streak.
One of the new looks at Tuesday’s practice, as the Wings prepared to host the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday, had David Perron on a line with Tyler Bertuzzi (and Michael Rasmussen at center). Perron was enthusiastic about the possiblities.
“I love his game,” Perron said. “I know he’s a hard worker, he always finds a way to be around the net, around the puck. He finds open areas of the ice.
“I haven’t played with him yet, so it’s going to be interesting for sure. I’m excited. He’s a guy that can make a lot more plays than he gets credit for, so I also have to be ready in those situations. I think he is a guy who will make those little plays and create that cycle game that I like to play as well.”
In other changes, Lucas Raymond was moved back to Dylan Larkin’s right wing (where Perron had been playing), with Dominik Kubalik on the left wing. Andrew Copp centered Oskar Sundqvist and Adam Erne, while the fourth line remained Joe Veleno with Jonatan Berggren and Pius Suter.
The Wings generated 44 shots on net in Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, which ended a four-game winning streak.
Perron is a smart player who makes excellent decisions with the puck and hustles on retrievals. He may be able to help ignite Bertuzzi, who has one goal and two assists in six games since returning from a month-long layoff dealing with a broken hand he suffered two games into the season. In his first game back, Bertuzzi made a turnover that led to the Anaheim Ducks scoring in overtime.
“I think he’s trying to find his game,” Lalonde said. “I hate the fact he missed those games to injury, one, because he’s a really good player, and two, we were working on some things within our game, the turnovers, we are starting to limit turnovers. He missed a lot of that teaching and structure and now he’s coming in late and he still has some issues at times managing the puck.
“I think there’s just some rust there. He could have four or five goals already. A little of that rust is his finishing touch. I think it’s just a matter of time. I’d be more concerned if he wasn’t getting those types of looks.”
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.