( Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer )

By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26

After being traded to the Boston Bruins at the trade deadline on March 3rd, the former Detroit Red Wing forward has fit like a glove in the Bruins lineup. The 28-year-old winger spent the first seven years of his career with the Red Wings and, so far, has impressed the Bruins organization. 

Bertuzzi has collected four goals and twelve assists through 21 games, which has already eclipsed his point totals this season with the Detroit Red Wings. When Bertuzzi first arrived in Boston, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery slotted him on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. The Sudbury, Ontario, native and former 30-goal-scorer meshed well on the Bruins’ bottom six lines with his excellent puck possession and passing in tight quarters. 

With David Krejci out of the lineup with a nagging lower-body injury, Bertuzzi, as of late, has shifted between the second and third lines. When Bertuzzi has been paired with David Pastrnak on the second line, the two have shown strong chemistry. With Zacha centering the second line, the trio has collected seven goals in their time played together. Based on the early chemistry between Bertuzzi and Pastrnak, it wouldn’t be surprising if Bertuzzi and Pastrnak occasionally play on the same line in the playoffs.

For Bertuzzi, it will be his first trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While he doesn’t have playoff experience in the NHL, in the 2016-17 season, Bertuzzi showcased his ability to perform in the AHL playoffs when he won the Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Bertuzzi tallied nine goals and ten assists through the Grand Rapids’ 19 playoff games and won the Jack A. Butterfield trophy as the playoff MVP. Based on his track record, Bertuzzi seems to pick up the pace when the stakes are higher. Even though Bertuzzi has yet to experience the intensity of the NHL playoffs, his play style is undoubtedly built for it. 

Once the playoffs start on April 17th, Bertuzzi will likely begin game one alongside Charlie Coyle and Taylor Hall on the third line. Assuming Krejci will be ready to go by the start of the first round, Montgomery will likely reunite the Czech line with Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha flanking Krejci. Montgomery, in his first year behind the Bruins bench, has shown he isn’t afraid to change lines mid-game. Depending upon the performance of Boston’s forward lineup, Montgomery has a lot of flexibility to interchange line combinations to get the most out of his players.

With the Bruins set to play the high-octane offensive Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs, Montgomery will also adjust the lines based on the coaching staff’s desired matchups. Regardless of where the Bruins’ coaching staff decides to place the rugged forward in the lineup, Boston’s’ forward group will be a nightmare for opposing teams to match up against in the playoffs. Based on how well Bertuzzi played for the Bruins this year, he could become a game-breaker for Boston in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.