February 5, 2013
Brunner carrying Swiss flag among NHL forwards

Detroit Red Wings forward Damien Brunner is settling in just fine in his first taste of NHL action. Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images-AFP

DETROIT -- Damien Brunner was looking forward to the Swiss showdown.

The first-year Detroit Red Wings forward was pumped to face Calgary Flames rookie Sven Baertschi, a meeting of the lone two NHL forwards from Switzerland.

Only it wasn't to be for Tuesday's clash between the Wings and Flames, because Baertschi is out of the lineup due to a hip flexor injury.

"I texted him yesterday and wanted to go for dinner," Brunner said after Tuesday's morning skate. "It's too bad he's still injured and couldn't make the trip. It's big for Switzerland we had young guys drafted that high -- not only him, there's also (Nino) Niederreiter (in the New York Islanders system).

"I hope he gets his chance this year and plays some good hockey."

For now, though, Brunner will be the lone forward carrying the Swiss flag.

And he's doing a good job, with four goals and six points heading into Tuesday's game at the Joe Louis Arena.