It's difficult to say whether the pressure of the playoffs is affecting forward Damien Brunner. Brunner goes about his business every day the same way, win or lose, with an impish smile and happy-go-lucky attitude. "I don't think he has a clue as to what is going on," goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "I don't think he understands what can possibly happen as the playoffs unfold. "He's just in a good mood every day and comes to the rink with a smile every day." With four goals in the playoffs, and goals in both of the games in this series against Chicago, Brunner has been a key figure for the Red Wings offensively. Actually, the line of Brunner, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist has been a revelation and given coach Mike Babcock three solid lines, something that wasn't the case early in the season. "The Andersson line has been a key for us because we got worked in the three line the first two or three months (of the regular season)," Babcock said. "We couldn't handle it." But Babcock put together the trio late in the season, after Andersson and Nyquist had been promoted from Grand Rapids and Brunner was dropped from the top two lines, and the line has thrived. "We have pretty good chemistry," Brunner said. "We're enjoying playing with each other, we're trying to put shifts together and keep the puck away from our own net." Babcock feels Brunner is better slotted as a third-line player, and the comfort level is coming through. "He scores, he wants the puck, and anybody who wants the puck and plays with the kind of speed he has is valuable," Babcock said. "He's going to get better because he's going to get bigger and stronger and understand the league better. He's better defensively already.
Wings Swiss import Damien Brunner finds a home on third line
Detroit News | May 20