Jump to content

This is Johan Franzens team, for better or worse


Recommended Posts

  Johan Franzen, I apologize.


  I have ripped on the Mule for his lackluster play at the start of the season, for his indifference to playing defense, to missing shots to not using his big body in front of the net.

  He began the season slowly to put it mildly, with 2 goals and 3 assists in the first 13 games, and more than that you hardly noticed him on the ice. For a big body with a cool moniker he was hardly spotted. His effort was questioned, whispers were began that he might be used as a buyout over the summer.

  It is no coincidence that his revival came about around the time the Wings recalled Gustav Nyquist. The two seem to be in sync, Nyquist with his speed and quickness and the Mule with is instincts for the net. The two of them have proven to be a perfect marriage and after the first 13 games Franzen has taken off.


First 13      2 goals     3 assists    -2    

next 23     13 goals    16 assists  +14


In between he missed considerable time with a concussion but has come back as the leagues hottest player.


  The Wings need the mule to continue, maybe not at his current pace, hell nobody can play for long at his current pace he has 12 points in his past 6 games, but they need him to continue to be a leader of this club, to help young Nyquist continue to establish himself at an NHL level, to work the net, aggravate other teams, in other words to be the mule.

  With Zetterberg gone for the year and Datsyuk looking like he will play on one leg when and if he can return someone has had to step up as the leader of this bunch and the Mule has done so playing inspired hockey and showing what he is capable of. When he is on, there are few better and the way he is leading the charge not just on the ice but as the emotional leader of the club is a breath of fresh air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Feel your pain.  We felt the same thing with Giroux earlier this year. ( I refer you Exibitit A - all the Giroux bashing threads in the Flyers Forum back in Oct. / Nov.) Was a basic no-show for the first 15 or so games.  Now he has done a complete turn around..  Go figure? (off season hand injury more than what everyone thought?)  It is true, for better or for worse, but so goes the pulse of Giroux....so goes the pulse of the Flyers. 


Franzen is gonna need to keep his play up if the Red Wings hope to make the playoffs this year ... especially with the Red Wings now playing in the Eastern conference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Quite right, yave. But your earlier criticisms weren't wrong, just short-sighted. What's fun is that I said before the season started, when Nyquist was sent down because Tatar would have to go through waivers, that Nyquist would play in such a way that the Wings would be forced to bring him up. He has really been a spark for this team, and for Franzen in particular.

It was only 1 game, but how could you NOT like the Franzen-Legwand-Nyquist line last night? And it makes sense: bigger-bodied scorer and speedy scorer surrounding a playmaker. That is usually a very good combination. I hope it continues to be.

However, it is my belief that for it to continue to be that, the Kid line has to remain a threat. Sheahan's got the kind of game that will be great for the playoffs, and so far, he and the kids have played like they aren't under pressure. Man are they fun to watch! But as the playoffs approach, and the pressure builds, they need to stay loose but responsible. My biggest concern is for when that line goes a few games where they don't make the scoreboard. It happens to every line from time to time. But when the pressure is on, it is important that they continue to play well and not get frustrated and play through it. If they can do that, staying responsible with and without the puck, the N-F-L line will reap the benefits, as will the other 2.

I would never have guessed that a kid like Sheahan would have been so critical this season, but I think he is. I think Babs knows it, and that's part of the reason he's saying good things about him--to give him confidence. He's made some really fine dishes in the last few games. That needs to continue, and I think it will. I'm impressed with him.

He even set up Quincey for a score, eh? (To be fair, Q has been a lot better this calendar year than last.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...