DETROIT -- Fabian Brunnstrom
no longer is staying with the Zetterbergs, so at least he's moved out on his own in the Motor City.
Now, the task is to move up in the Red Wings' hierarchy of forward lines. The 26-year old Swedish forward has played just two games since making the team out of training camp on a tryout offer -- but his last time out was much better than his first.
After not playing at all in Detroit's first five games, Brunnstrom made his debut in a 7-1 loss in Washington Capitals
. Soon after, he was sent to the Red Wings' affiliate in the American Hockey League, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
After playing a game -- and notching a goal -- with the Griffins, Brunnstrom was recalled this past weekend to replace Todd Bertuzzi
(illness) in the lineup. He played on the fourth line, but chipped in an assist in a 5-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks
. He also buzzed around the net a lot.
Brunnstrom now will get another game at right wing on the fourth line tonight against the Colorado Avalanche
. If he continues to play well, you might see his name start to creep up higher in the forward lines – since Detroit coach Mike Babcock has said before that Brunnstrom has the talent to be a top-six forward.
For now, he's content with playing on the fourth line and providing energy.
"It's a great team with a lot of good players, so when I get a chance, I have to take that chance and try to do something good," Brunnstrom said. "You have to take every day one day at a time and just do the best you can. It's professional hockey. You can't take a break and just have to keep pushing every day."
That includes driving to the net and doing some of the dirty work that he wasn't always used to handling back in Sweden.
"Those are the things I've been trying to do a little bit more since I came over here," Brunnstrom said. "It's hard to score goals, but if you go to the net you give yourself a better chance."
Babcock, pleased to hear him say that, hopes that becomes as contagious in the Wings' locker room as whatever flu bug appears to be going around.
"Let's hope he spreads the word," Babcock said.