The Mule, Johan Franzen, has not been skating with the team in practice and has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. The Wings’ GM Ken Holland has not disclosed the injury.
Wings GM Ken Holland says Johan Franzen out Wednesday. Hopes to return Friday. Luke Glendening being recalled from GR.
— Chuck Pleiness (@wingsfrontman) October 28, 2013
Franzen has two goals and 5 points this season for the Red Wings, but had zero points during the Wings four game losing streak. Regardless of his current cold streak, Franzen is a large part of the of the second line because he looks to shoot the puck a lot and led with Wings with shots on Saturday against New York with 7.
At the face-off dot, the Mule is the only center who has won more than 50% of his draws during the last three games and because he is a natural centerman before coming to Detroit, he has played well in the middle of the ice.
His injury will either mean that Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk will continue to be split up for Wednesday’s game or it will mean the return of Stephen Weiss to the second line. I would prefer to see Weiss back up with the second line because the demotion to the third line has not jump started his production as Babcock had hoped.
In order to fill the line-up, Detroit has recalled Luke Glendening. Glendening was with the team earlier in the season before Eaves returned to the team, he played very well on the fourth line and on the penalty kill. Without Franzen to center the second line, the Wings needed to bring in another center.
With Glendening centering the fourth line and Joakim Andersson centering the third line once again, then it gives Weiss the chance to play on the second line again and try his hand against tougher competition once again.
The Mule is expected to return during the Western road trip and hoping that return happens after a win or two.