Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Detroit Red Wings’ power forward Johan Franzen tore his ACL during Thursday’s game and will be out of the lineup for at least four months. According to MLive.com, Franzen complained of knee pain after a “pile-up along the boards in the second period,” but he remained in the game and even scored the game-winning goal. Apparently, this injury marks the third time in consecutive years Franzen has suffered an injury to his left knee in Chicago against October.
The Swede will have ACL reconstruction as soon as the swelling goes down, probably in a couple of weeks. While Franzen may be able to return by the end of February, he will be unable to represent Sweden in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Bloggers are a bit panicked about the loss and understandably so when you recall that Franzen had 34 goals and 25 assists last season. Babcock’s Death Stare, Bingo Bango, Hockeytown Static, Abel to Yzerman, Motown Wings, On the Wings (very thorough post), Red Wings Blog, Red Wings Hardware, Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle, Unconnected Red Wings Blog and Winging It In Motown all react to the injury.
How will Franzen’s four-month absence affect the lineup? For one, you’ll likely see coach Mike Babcock shuffle the lines for the next few games before he settles on anything. After a brief stint in Grand Rapids, forward Justin Abdelkader was recalled from the Griffins on Friday. The healthy scratch will likely rotate among Abdelkader, Kirk Maltby, Patrick Eaves, and Brad May depending on the coaching staff’s gameday decisions. Darren Helm hopes to re-enter the lineup on Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres, which will help ease the offensive void left by Franzen. GM Ken Holland told the media that they will look at solving this internally, rather than making a trade.
Wings defeat Capitals
Detroit evened up its season record at 2-2 with a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. In the team’s first game without Franzen, the team stressed goaltending, defense, and grinding it out before the contest began. Detroit did just that, playing their best game of the season so far or so goalie Chris Osgood thought. A power-play tally from Tomas Holmstrom with 6:53 left in the game, while limiting Alexander Ovechkin’s line to one assist gave Detroit its second straight victory
DRW.com’s Michael Caples broke down Saturday’s game with thoughts on the hero of the game among others. The game was just Alexander Ovechkin’s second appearance at Joe Louis Arena in his career. Patrick Eaves made his regular season debut wearing the Winged Wheel on Saturday. You can also check out various game recaps and notes from the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, MLive.com, The Windsor Star, Detroit Examiner, NHL.com, Babcock’s Death Stare, Big Red Machine, Nightmare on Helm Street, On the Wings, Winging It In Motown, and Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle.
In Other News
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com has more thoughts on the Brad May signing last week. The 37-year-old veteran hopes to eliminate cheap shots on the Wings according to the Detroit Free Press.
- While we’re on the topic of Brad May, the enforcer would like to switch his jersey number from No. 20 to No. 24. Before he asked the Wings, he gave Chris Chelios a call out of respect. The Detroit Free Press reports that “Chelios said jersey numbers have never been special to him, so he wouldn’t care.” He has yet to make an official request yet.
- Abel to Yzerman tells its readers to “Stop the Shanny Talk.”
- Winging It In Motown’s Kyle Kujawa examines three Red Wings’ prospects: Joakim Andersson, Jesper Samuelsson, and Adam Almqvist. Almqvist has apparently been on quite the scoring streak with 17 points in five games per Red Wings Central.
- George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press spoke with Assistant GM Jim Nill about some college players he watched this past weekend when Michigan State swept Clarkson.
- The Winnipeg Free Press reports that former Wing Bob Probert was the first player knocked out of CBC’s “Battle of the Blades” show.
- The Hockey News shows that the last pick in the NHL draft is last, but certainly not least — case in point, Wings’ defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.
- Are you a salary cap nut? Want to know if a certain player would fit under the cap? Matthew Wuest, the man behind Red Wings Central, spearheaded a new website called CapGeek where you can use the cap calculator to answer those questions and more. Puck Daddy spoke to Wuest about the venture.
- Brian Compton posted a great feature on Wings’ senior vice president and alternate governor Jimmy Devellano on NHL.com before he receives the Lester Patrick Award on October 21.