Last season saw the Detroit Red Wings deal with a host of injuries. Coming off of back-to-back seasons reaching the Stanley Cup Finals, it’s understandable that players could get tired and hurt as well and on a team that lost 40-goal scorer Marian Hossa, losing any kind of offense makes living a bit rough. Losing fellow scorer Johan Franzen for stretches of time didn’t help matters and the offensive flare that he showed in the playoffs proved that.
How are Franzen and his Red Wings teammates feeling going into this season? Pretty good it seems as Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press finds out.
“I’m feeling really excited to get going again,” Franzen said. “Last season was more of a rehabilitation for me to get my knee back in shape. I feel really hungry this year and in good shape and really strong. I’ve been working out from the day I got injured, pretty much, so I’m probably in the best physical shape I’ve been in. I needed this summer to get really healthy. Now I feel 100%.”
Though he had 18 points in 12 playoff games, Franzen scored only six goals because he couldn’t maneuver into position fast enough.
“I didn’t have that jump from the line to beat a guy to the puck and cut in front of him,” Franzen said, “so I ended up playing more on the outside and started passing a little bit more.”
The luxury of being on a team like the Red Wings means that there’s plenty of support all over the ice. While injuries can do in any team at any time, the resiliency the Wings showed last year was pretty amazing considering how down they were most of the season. With Jiri Hudler returning to the team and the addition of Mike Modano, the Wings are certainly primed to pack quite an offensive punch and having a healthy Johan Franzen all season long will only make things better.
While some folks will worry if Jimmy Howard will hit a sophomore slump or that the defense might run into issues or that the team could be too old to keep up, scoring goals is something that should not be an issue at all in Detroit this season.