Originally written on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/19/14
PLYMOUTH, Mich. It's quite the luxury to begin your NHL career playing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. But that's what new Red Wing Damien Brunner will experience this week. "That's the easiest thing in the world," Zetterberg said about playing with Datsyuk. Zetterberg is used to playing with Datsyuk but for Brunner it's going to be completely new. "I still wont believe it until I step out on the ice with him," Brunner said after his first practice with the Wings at Compuware Arena Sunday. "He's the only guy I haven't seen on the team. I'm looking forward to meeting him. "When you have two guys like that on the same line the puck is going to be in the offensive zone a lot. I'll try to catch up with those guys and stay in the right place." Datsyuk, who remained in Russia to play in the KHL All-Star Game, is expected back in Detroit Monday but won't practice right away. Brunner, 26, is embarking on a new challenge in the NHL after leading the Swiss League in scoring the last few years. He had 25 goals and 32 assists in just 33 games with EV Zug. In all but 10 of those games, he was playing with Zetterberg, who went to Switzerland during the lockout. "He likes to shoot," Zetterberg said. "If you have a shot like that, if I would have that I would love to shoot, too. That's one of his strengths and he will do it. He will have that role here. "He will be the guy who's going to shoot a lot. He's a righty, so on power plays and stuff, it's going to be fun to see him here over this year. He is good enough to be a good player here." Brunner has good memories of his first game playing alongside Zetterberg. "We scored on opening shift," Brunner said. "It was fun. Its so easy with him hes such a great guy and a professional. It was great for the whole team." Zetterberg said Brunner had nothing left to prove in the Swiss League. Now Brunner has a lot to prove, especially adjusting to the smaller ice surface. "Everything happens so much quicker. I think it's more physical, you don't have as much time as you do over there," Zetterberg said. "It's more straight lines, more starts and stops. That's going to be a challenge for him. It is tough for everyone who comes over from Europe. That's the toughest thing to learn, but he's not 19 or 20. He's 26, he's been around for a while, he's got a lot of hockey sense, so I think he'll figure it out." Although no one wanted the lockout to occur, coach Mike Babcock was at least pleased that Brunner had Zetterberg join him with EV Zug. "We think he's obviously a real talented guy," Babcock said. "Time's going to tell how he adapts. It worked out as good for him as it could have possibly worked because obviously leading the league in scoring again for the third year in a row, Z comes over, he develops a friendship, a confidence to play with real good players. Now he's just got to keep doing the same thing so we're excited about having him." Brunner said Zetterberg had already befriended him when Brunner first came to Detroit a few months ago after signing with the Wings. "I was supposed to stay at hotel and he had me come join him at his house and I lived with him," Brunner said. "It was a great gesture of a player of his caliber and took away so much nervousness. When a guy like him takes care of you its really nice. Easier to have someone look after you than be on your own." Zetterberg also made sure to help Brunner in his first day practicing with the team. "It was fun," Brunner said. "More intense than Switzerland, like drills rolling and rolling, no break. Not much explanation, but it was good. Hank was helping me out quite a bit. I knew the drills pretty quick." Niklas Kronwall said Brunner having that connection with Zetterberg will definitely ease his transition to the NHL. "It's going to help him big time," Kronwall said. "They've developed some good chemistry already. They know where each other is, they can kind of read off each other. It also helps him get into a routine, getting to know the other guys, too." Although Brunner was a star in the Swiss League and there are high expectations for such a talented scorer, he said he's just looking to fit in. "I was playing in Switzerland and now Im here and Im battling for a spot," Brunner said. "Its nice that they have some nice words, but by the end of the day I have to prove it on the ice. This was one day of practice and I cant say I did anything special. I try to skate hard and put pucks in the net."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peyton Manning sets NFL touchdown passing record

Report: CJ Spiller suffers broken collarbone

DeMarco Murray sets record with another 100-yard game

Report: Things got 'ugly' in Bears' locker room after loss

Redskins bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy

Rams beat Seahawks thanks to gutsy fake punt call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brian Kelly unloads on officials for pass interference call

Brett Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Joseph Randle partners with underwear company after arrest

Report: Seahawks asked about Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron

Florida fans chant for Will Muschamp to be fired

Gennady Golovkin scores second-round knockout win

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Video: Alec Burks breaks Kobe Bryant's ankles

WATCH: Sean Payton has tense exchange with reporter

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans with whiteboard

WATCH: Tony Romo nearly runs over Alex Rodriguez

WATCH: Prince Amukamara pulls Dwayne Harris' hair

What was the meaning behind Doug Baldwin's TD celebration?

Luke Kuechly ejected after questionable call

WATCH: Giovanni Bernard gets leveled by Vontae Davis

WATCH: Rams run awesome trick play for punt return TD

Kyle Orton shaves his epic mustache

Florida State beats Notre Dame 31-27 in thriller

Red Wings News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Report: Marshall calls out Jay Cutler

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans

Brian Kelly unloads on officials

WATCH: Rams run punt return trick play for TD

Joseph Randle now an underwear spokesman?

Ex-Trojans RB escorted out after USC game

FSU tops Notre Dame in thriller

Fans chant for Muschamp's head

Popovich zings Suns owner

Golden Tate reacts to Percy Harvin trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.