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Brunnstrom Aiming for Consistency

by Olivia Kiespert / Dallas Stars

With a few days of training camp under his belt, Stars left wing Fabian Brunnstrom is ready to hit the ice and show the league that the Stars' performance last season was a fluke. The biggest difference is new head coach Marc Crawford and his aggressive offensive style of play, which could provide stability with goal scoring.

Brunnstrom says switching from the old defense-first style to the new system will take time, but he's ready to go.

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"I think it's going to take a while to adjust to how we are going to play," Brunnstrom says. "It takes time to get used to it, but I think there are many good things [Crawford] wants us to do. I think this style will help the team a lot this season."

But offensive prowess is nothing new to the Stars winger. Brunnstrom recorded a hat trick in his first NHL game on Oct. 15, 2008 against Nashville, a feat only two other players in the history of the league have accomplished. Almost a year later, Brunnstrom is very modest when asked what that moment means to him.

"I was coming in to play my first NHL game, so simply playing the game was big for me," he says. "Then I scored one goal, and then came another one, and then I had a hat trick. It was just unbelievable. At the same time, you can't just focus on one game; you have to be ready for the next game - it's a long season. Of course, that first game is something I'm going to have with me my whole career."

Brunnstrom recorded 29 points (17-12-29) in 55 games during the 2008-09 season, finishing the year with a career-high five game point streak. Consistency is an aspect of his game that he admits needs improvement. After being part of the injury-riddle Stars team last season (he missed 17 games due to an injured ankle and shoulder), Brunnstrom says the biggest lesson he learned during his first season is the importance of consistency.

"I have to be consistent all season," he says. "It's a really long season, it's so many games. You have to be there every night and do your job. It's a tough league, you have to be ready every game."

Consistency for Brunnstrom doesn't necessarily mean scoring goals. As a team player, he is ready to step up in any role the Stars need.

"I want to help the team win as many games as possible," he says. "If that is scoring goals or killing penalties, I don't care as long as we're winning games. I really want to make it to the playoffs this year."

In the long term, Brunnstrom is hoping consistent play for the Stars will result in his selection to be a part of the Swedish Olympic team, that will be defending its 2006 gold medal in Vancouver.

"[Being able to represent Sweden] would be awesome," he says. "To play in the Olympics, especially in Vancouver, would be great. I know it's going to be very tough to make the roster of the Swedish team, but I am going to work my hardest to make the team."

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