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The Malik Report

Zetterberg Talks Brunner

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

For those who haven't seen Damien Brunner play yet, Henrik Zetterberg gives a positive scouting report.

Zetterberg was on the ice Thursday, after arriving from Switzerland where he spent the lockout playing in the Swiss League with Brunner as a linemate.

Brunner, an undrafted free agent, signed with the Red Wings last summer.

"He's obviously a goal scorer, but he has more qualities than that," Zetterberg said. "He's a good skater and he sees the ice very well and he wants to win. He hates losing, and that's a good quality to have.

"We had a good team and the line we played with had good chemistry. It was a chance to play a lot of minutes, it was fun."

continued

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Comments

henrymalredo's avatar

Brunner will definatly be the most intriguing story of the Wings this year.  We’ve seen most older, undrafted European free agents bust in the NHL the past few years, but I’ve also never heard Holland and Babcock hype a young player (usually they do the opposite) as much as they’ve done for Brunner.  With the fact that he has established chemistry with Z, I’m cautiously excited with how dominant the Wings’ top line could be this year.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 01/10/13 at 02:57 PM ET

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Not to be a wet blanket, but Brunner was essentially a no-show for HC Davos during the recent Spengler Cup.  I hate to say it, but the Wings may have Fabian Brunnstrom version 2.0 on their hands.

Posted by dash_pinched on 01/10/13 at 03:16 PM ET

Avatar

I hate to say it, but the Wings may have Fabian Brunnstrom version 2.0 on their hands.

Wow, dismissing him based on a three-game sample?

Posted by Garth on 01/10/13 at 03:23 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by
     
    dash_pinched
     
      on 01/10/13 at 03:16 PM ET

Couple things, Davos isn’t his club he was a pick-up for the tournament, playing 3rd line and he’s setting records in his league in which records aren’t usually set by natives, and he’s one of those as well.  You don’t think for that tournament the other team had his name highlighted on the dry board?

I love the highly competative guys, they keep everyone else honest.  My biggest beef with Leino wasn’t his lack of production it was his lack of heart.  Let’s see what this guy can bring to the table first, but I’m optimistic he’ll be a catalyst for guys like Mule to be honest.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/10/13 at 03:23 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

It’ll also be hard to judge how well he does in North America since Babcock says he’ll put him on a line with Zetterberg and Datsyuk. He should get lots of space he wouldn’t normally.

Posted by bleep bloop on 01/10/13 at 03:46 PM ET

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Wow, dismissing him based on a three-game sample?

Not dismissing him Garth, rather I’m just saying to temper the expectations.  I agree it is a small sample size, but it is also our first look at Brunner against opposing NHL players.

Posted by dash_pinched on 01/10/13 at 03:55 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’ve only caught goal highlights from the Swiss league, so I can’t confidently speak to the level of competition, but a high percentage of the goals I saw go in for Brunner did leave me thinking that those were the kind of goals that get NHL netminders excused from the rest of the game for allowing.

Ok, maybe not THAT severe, but there were a lot of shots that I didn’t think would even make it through NHL defensemen before getting on net, let alone the goalies.

I’m curious to see how he’ll do and I’m basically happy that he’ll get the chance to do so along two of the best setup guys in the entire league, but I’ve got a fair amount of concern about how quickly he’ll take to the differing game.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 03:55 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

On a positive addendum, Brunner shoots from absolutely EVERYWHERE, and the Wings desperately need that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 03:58 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

On a positive addendum, Brunner shoots from absolutely EVERYWHERE, and the Wings desperately need that.
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 03:58 PM ET

Mikael Samuelsson style?

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 01/10/13 at 04:04 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

On a positive addendum, Brunner shoots from absolutely EVERYWHERE, and the Wings desperately need that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 03:58 PM ET

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 01/10/13 at 04:06 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Crap. Should’ve refreshed.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 01/10/13 at 04:07 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Maybe Brunner actually looks up before he let’s it fly?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 01/10/13 at 04:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’ll remind you funny jerks that when Samuelsson was last a wing, he scored 19 goals from a position on the Wings where there were 7 forwards who got more ice time than he did.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 04:13 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Have to disagree J.J.  I think his release it extremely quick and his shots are pretty accurate, but he’s also good at cleaning up garbage.  The one thing I do notice though is he doesn’t have to pay for the sweet spot in front of the net like he will over here but he doesn’t seem soft either and man he can skate, that’s really going to help him.

Babs brilliance is showing through by giving people at the Joe the opportunity to see what we all really want to see, Pav and Hank play together.  Putting Brunner on that line takes away a little of that time and space thing and leaves him to just find the open spot, like Hull and Huds later on.  All they had to do was get open.  With Z and Pav that will not be a problem, he’ll be noticed by opposition least on that line as well with the way Pav and Z hold onto the puck and how dangerous they are if you spread out their coverage. 

Also gives Gus and Tatar time to keep developing their chemistry and not risk GR falling in the standings.  They really need practice for the playoffs down there as well and if you look at the scoring, you have Gus, Tatar and Ferraro.  Shaehan has stepped up now too but only doing so well because he’s on the top line with Gus and Tatar.  Take away either or both and that team all of a sudden has issues.  Then you can graduate them together and hopefully they stay productive but you can put them against maybe 3rd line talent and let them decide if they want to grind their shift or try to score.  They know they’re a lock for this team for more of a role than Emmerton, so what if they play another couple months in the AHL before they never see it again.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/10/13 at 04:14 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

I kid. I know I may be in the minority, but I love Samuelsson. Glad he’s back. His Prick Factor™ is off the charts, which the Wings also desperately need.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 01/10/13 at 04:15 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Only problem with Sammy was where did he fit that a younger guy isn’t getting an opportunity now.  Why bring him back instead of give another guy a chance.  But with Gus slotted for GR now and Eaves still on IR, it’s not a bad gig and with a shortened season and injuries you KNOW will happen, he’s a decent guy to get in against weaker opp and make them pay.  Can go either way.  I’m excited to see he’ll be on a line with Franzen.  Between having Sammy on hisi line and Brunner getting the nod with the Euro twins, Mule should be in fine form.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/10/13 at 04:22 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Crap. Should’ve refreshed.
Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 01/10/13 at 04:07 PM ET

Haha

I’ll remind you funny jerks that when Samuelsson was last a wing, he scored 19 goals from a position on the Wings where there were 7 forwards who got more ice time than he did.
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 04:13 PM ET

Hey, I’m not disputing that, I love the guy too; talk about someone who was clutch for is in the 2008 playoffs!

That said, he has many times finished in the top 20 in number of shots, while posting an extremely low goal scoring percentage… between 4 and 9 percent from what I remember (sorry, KK is the only hockey site that’s not blocked at work so I can’t do any other research).

Therefore, I think saying that “Brunner shoots from everywhere” and the first thought being of Samuelsson is very fitting, actually.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 01/10/13 at 04:23 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

I have been looking up things on das interwebz.. like The Brunner and Z line.. And Z got some pretty mean feeds from Brun. So.. Perhaps we have EuroTriplets in the making? Only time will tell.

I do like Sammy.

And I’m thrilled we have TooToo. Think about it.. Take a run at one of our stars.. and TooToo has no problem going back. wink

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/10/13 at 05:29 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Take a run at one of our stars.. and TooToo has no problem going back.
   
    Posted by
     
    RorSchach
     
      on 01/10/13 at 05:29 PM ET

Add that to the fact he scored more points than any of our bottom 6 guys last year and I’m gladd we have him too.  Really excited for him to be on the team actually.  Hate him on other teams.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/10/13 at 05:44 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

That’s correct.. He’s a Love Hate Dude. Loved the way he played.. just not against the Wings. Now.. All is good.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/10/13 at 06:16 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Can’t wait until Tootoo plays against the Prednecks.  Also can we please just call him Train and dispense with the f*ching whistles.

Posted by calquake on 01/10/13 at 06:31 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

As long as he plays like a train I think that’s fair Cal.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/10/13 at 06:42 PM ET

calquake's avatar

As long as he plays like a train I think that’s fair Cal.

If he doesn’t I don’t see him being around for very long.  And I agree with whomever suggested Helm between Tootoo and Abby.  What a wrecking crew that would be.

Posted by calquake on 01/10/13 at 06:50 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by
     
    calquake
     
      on 01/10/13 at 06:50 PM ET

I think that’s a double minor

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/10/13 at 07:21 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

No doubt. Abby and Train could wrack up some minutes in the sin bin.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/10/13 at 07:29 PM ET

Avatar

looking forward to brunner!

lets call them the “triple threat”

that boy has a nasty wrister.

Posted by luvmnger on 01/11/13 at 12:12 AM ET

Norskirama's avatar

Anyone care to speculate how Tootoo might do against Shea Weber.  5’9” vs 6’4” and a 30 lb weight difference I’d bet.  Of course they can both be ornery sobs.

Posted by Norskirama from Lincoln, Nebraska on 01/11/13 at 04:48 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.