Henrik Zetterberg

Zetterberg and Brunner showing Detroit what they’re missing out on in Swiss league


When the Red Wings signed Swiss star Damien Brunner this summer, they were hoping he’d turn into another international surprise find. As it turns out, they may have been right… Just not the way they intended it to work out.

Brunner and current Wings star Henrik Zetterberg are teammates in the Swiss National League playing for EV Zug and, according to The Canadian Press, they’re tearing things up.

“Detroit said they were going to put (Brunner) on a line with Zetterberg, so I got to do it first,” EV Zug coach Doug Shedden said Wednesday in an interview. “I texted (Red Wings GM) Kenny Holland and said: ‘It works.'”

In just five games, Zetterberg has seven goals and 11 points. Meanwhile, Brunner leads the National League with 10 goals and 26 points in 15 games. With fellow NHL talents Rafael Diaz (Montreal) and Linus Omark (Edmonton), EV Zug has a pretty loaded team.

What Brunner and Zetterberg are doing, however, is enough to likely make Detroit feel confident they’ll have a good thing waiting for them whenever the lockout ends.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.