TROY, Mich. -- Don't be surprised if the Red Wings rely on Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk even more than usual when the season gets underway.
That's not just because the Euro Twins, as they are sometimes known, are their best players. They are also among the players who are already in game shape from playing in Europe.
Zetterberg has been playing for EV Zug in the Swiss League, where he had 16 goals and 16 assists in 23 games.
Datsyuk has been playing for CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), where he had 11 goals and 25 assists in 31 games and was a team-best plus-14.
Valtteri Filppula was playing for Jokerit in his native Finland but has been out for several weeks after spraining his knee. He only recently started skating so he'll also be playing catch-up.
A lot of teams have a lot of players who went overseas to play so those teams might have a bit of an advantage at the beginning, especially since there won't be any preseason games.