Goal drought sore spot for Bert

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Mired in a goal-scoring slump at nine games, Todd Bertuzzi vented some frustration after yesterday's optional practice.

Pressed for any solutions to the cause of his drought, Bertuzzi couldn't give any -- and certainly wasn't going to listen to any theories.

"I'm getting chances," he said to the gathered media before turning the conversation in a new direction. "Maybe put my equipment on and see if you can do a better job. I'm not going to tell you how to write and I'm not going to be told how to score goals. I've scored 46 in this league, I know how to put the puck in the net.

"Ask Mike Modano, ask Peter Forsberg, guys who put pucks in the net, when you go through a stretch (like this) you don't have answers. You guys are trying to get answers out of me and I don't have answers for you.

"It's hard work and a little bit of horseshoe up the (butt)."

Bertuzzi, whose club faces the Flames tonight (7 p.m., 'Dome), has only two goals this season, one of which was an empty-netter.

He spent most of yesterday's session at the 'Dome shooting on recovering netminder Dan Cloutier under the watch of Canucks goalie consultant Ian Clark.

"You're reading way too much into it," Bertuzzi said. "Just work for both of us."

Bertuzzi's closely watched comeback from the 17-month suspension he was handed for the hit on Steve Moore has been a struggle.

Physically, he dealt with back problems during training camp, while the mental impact of all he went through is only known to him.

He does have 11 points in 15 games this season but hasn't been the dominating force the 6-ft. 3-in., 245-lb. right-winger can be.

A 46-goal scorer in 2002-03, Bertuzzi had 17 goals in 69 games the following season. At his current pace, he's headed for an 11-goal campaign.


Photos