The Detroit Red Wings keep losing key players to injuries, as Johan Franzen suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return during Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Fox Sports Detroit’s Trevor Thompson reports.
The Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson believes that the 33-year-old forward suffered an injury thanks to a hit by Radko Gudas.
Seriously, though, the Red Wings are really hurting right now. Justin Abdelkader was knocked out of Saturday’s game while Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, Stephen Weiss, Darren Helm and Danny DeKeyser are all out for substantial amounts of time with their respective issues.
Franzen has 22 points in 29 games this season. Detroit was hoping he could make up much of the difference, but now they’ll need to hope someone else steps up.
Gustav Nyquist will get a great opportunity to show he belongs in the NHL when he skates on Detroit’s second line tonight versus Carolina at Joe Louis Arena.
Nyquist, 24, was recalled from AHL Grand Rapids in the wake of defenseman Danny DeKeyser’s placement on long-term injured reserve.
Against the Hurricanes, Nyquist — who had 21 points in 15 games for the Griffins but couldn’t be called up due to salary-cap and roster constraints — will play right wing on a line with center Henrik Zetterberg and left wing Johan Franzen. (Daniel Cleary, Pavel Datsyuk, and Todd Bertuzzi will comprise the top line.)
“I’m just going to try to play my game,” Nyquist said, per MLive.com. “We all know that we’re in need of a win here as a team and obviously we’ve lost a few in a row up here and at home as well. So that’s something we want to change tonight.”
Indeed, the Wings could use a win. They haven’t earned one in their last seven games, and they’ve got just three in their last 14.
Also worth mentioning, from MLive.com:
The Red Wings said they will determine after the game whether Nyquist returns to Grand Rapids or stays. Once he plays two more NHL games he will lose his waiver-exempt status. In that case he would be here to stay.
Dan Cleary, the veteran winger who so badly wanted to remain a member of the Detroit Red Wings that he reportedly spurned a higher offer with more financial security from Philadelphia, will be a healthy scratch tonight at home versus Winnipeg.
It wasn’t an easy move to make for Wings coach Mike Babcock. The team comes first though, and Cleary’s one goal and two assists in 18 contests wasn’t enough to keep him in the lineup.
“My job each and every day is to put the best 20 guys in the lineup that I think can help us win today,’’ Babcock said, per MLive.com. “I’ve been with Clears for nine years, I know him well; there’s no one who’s a bigger fan of Dan Cleary than Mike Babcock.
“I imagine he’s very (ticked) off today and I don’t know what you want me to do about it.’’
As Cleary takes a seat, winger Johan Franzen, whose injury/ailment we’ve covered here and there on PHT, is expected to be back in the lineup tonight. He’ll reportedly skate on the second line with Darren Helm in the middle and Daniel Alfredsson on the right side. The top line will once again feature Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Todd Bertuzzi.
One final lineup note: center Stephen Weiss remains out with a groin injury that he hopes will be better by next week.
The Wings are winless in their last three games, including a 4-2 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg last Monday.
Detroit will be down a pair of forwards on Saturday against the Lightning.
Johan Franzen, who’s missed the last three games with an illness, and Stephen Weiss (groin) will both be held out of tomorrow’s affair at the Joe, according to MLive.com.
The 2013-14 campaign has not been kind to either skater. Franzen has just two goals through 13 games and is a minus-2 on the year while Weiss, signed to a $24.5 million deal this summer in the hopes of becoming the team’s No. 2 center, has just one assist in 17 games and was recently demoted to third-line duty.
Speaking of the club’s No. 2 center gig, the guy that left the void — Valterri Filppula — will make his return to Detroit on Saturday as a member of the Lightning.
Filppula inked a five-year, $25 million deal with the Bolts in July and has been very good for Tampa this year, scoring 12 points in his first 15 games while averaging nearly 19 minutes a night.
The Wings have recalled Luke Glendening from AHL Grand Rapids.
Detroit winger Johan Franzen hasn’t played since Friday; he won’t play tomorrow at home to Dallas; and it’s not clear when he’ll be back in the Red Wings’ lineup.
“I don’t know what the schedule is on Mule, I just know he’s not feeling good,” Detroit head coach Mike Babcock said, per MLive.com.
Franzen reportedly skated for half an hour today. He apparently has an upper-body injury, though no specifics have been provided.
The big 33-year-old has just two goals in 13 games, his offensive struggles (when he’s been able to play) being part of the reason the Wings rank a disappointing 19th in goals per game (2.50). Offseason free-agent acquisition Stephen Weiss, with just two goals in 16 games, is another part of that reason.
On the bright side, Pavel Datysuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Daniel Alfredsson have combined for 44 points.
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