Red Wings top line has potential to be league's best
5:20 PM, Jan 18, 2013
7:24 PM, Jan 18, 2013
DETROIT (WXYZ) - Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are used to working alongside one another, but this year, they're getting some added elite-level skill to their line.
26-year old Swiss sensation Damien Brunner joins the Red Wings this season, and has immediately jumped into the first line, turning the "Euro Twins" into the "Euro Triplets."
"It's definitely fun. You can learn a lot from just watching those guys on the ice everyday," Brunner said.
He'll start the season on the top line -- and on the point for the team's first powerplay unit. He says he's played the point for years in Switzerland, and overseas, he's used to four forwards on the powerplay.
Giving Zetterberg and Datsyuk a boost won't be easy, but if Brunner clicks with his linemates, the unit could instantly be regarded as the most talented in hockey.
"I've played against (Zetterberg and Datsyuk) six times a year for the last four seasons, and I know what they're capable of," former Blues and current Red Wings defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo said.
"Adding a guy like Brunner; he's dynamic."
Colaiacovo said if Brunner can develop the same style of play his two MVP-caliber teammates, the potential is scary.
"It would be pretty lethal," he said.
Brunner said he's been most impressed with the way Zetterberg and Datsyuk protect the puck, a skill he said he's working on improving.
"It's exciting," Datsyuk said. "But it's going to take time to be like what you say, the 'best' line."
Brunner agreed. When asked about the trio potentially being the best in the league, he laughed and sat back in his chair.
"Oh. Well, let's see. I haven't played a game so far, so let me get the first game over. Let me see how I play."
Time will tell, but Mike Babcock said he'll know a lot about the line, and his team, after three games in the next four days.
Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter for WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter