Well, let’s do this in two parts.
Fabian Brunnstrom showed that he wants Jan Mursak‘s spot in the Detroit lineup. Two goals by being in the right place at the right time, keeping his stick on the ice, and having soft hands. Overall, a really strong effort.
Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar want it, too. They were all over the ice. I think either of them could take Mursak’s spot, but it’s Brunnstrom’s to lose because he’ll be harder to send down to Grand Rapids right now, having to clear waivers.
As I tweeted after the game, a youth-heavy Detroit lineup played a pretty solid 60 minutes. I’d go as far as to say that was the best pure effort the Wings have put forth this preseason. Not the results they’ve gotten in some of the games, but better effort.
There needs to be a suspension. It was a clear hit to the head, which is a Very Bad Thing in the NHL right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the rest of the preseason and three games. I could see it being more if Ben Smith has a lingering injury.
That said, I could also see it being less. Ben Smith is breaking in on goal and Brendan Smith lines up his hit. Ben Smith lets up, causing Brendan Smith to miss his intended hit and go straight into Ben Smith’s head. That’s one way of looking at it.
Either way, Brendan Smith screwed that hit up. Was it that he aimed high for a dirty play or that he failed to adjust and missed an intended clean hit? I’d like to think the latter but I don’t like either option. If he was so close to making the NHL, he shouldn’t be missing hit like that. If he’s so dirty, he should be playing a more effective physical game in general.
For curiousity’s sake, I’m looking forward to what punishment will be handed out and can only hope it won’t hurt the Wings too much.