Jan 11, 2013, 10:50 AM EDT
If fortune favors the bold, then Mike Babcock could be in for a big year.
On Thursday, the Detroit head coach announced he’d be starting the season with his two best players, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, playing together on the No. 1 line with Damien Brunner — an undrafted free agent signed out of the Swiss league.
It’s an interesting decision to say the least.
But Datsyuk and Zetterberg have played together in the past, something Babcock alluded to when announcing the line.
“They’ve been playing [in Europe] and they’re in shape,” Babcock told MLive.com. “They play good together. Last year they started out slow, never got going.”
As for Brunner — well, talk about your golden opportunities.
The 26-year-old played on a line with Zetterberg during the lockout with EV Zug and led the Swiss league in scoring (25G-32A).
The soon-to-be Wings captain raved about Brunner’s skill and ability.
“He’s obviously a goal-scorer, but he’s got more qualities than that,” Zetterberg said. “He’s a good skater, sees the ice very well and he wants to win. That’s a good quality to have.”
As for Detroit’s other lines, it’s expected the second unit will consist of Filppula, Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson.
- Tough times in Tampa: Garrison out 3-4 weeks after ‘pretty dirty’ Abdelkader hit 2
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 6
- NHL on NBCSN: Stakes high for Kings, ‘Hawks tonight 14
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 12
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 13
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 18
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks desperate for wins, Penguins seek definitive end to slump 7
- Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings 4
- Bruins ruin Lundqvist’s return 28