Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen miss practice this morning and is expected to be out for Wednesday’s contest against the Vancouver Canucks. Detroit will be facing a four game road across western Canada that will start in Vancouver and make it’s way to Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg before they return home on November 7th to play the Dallas Stars.
Franzen is a key element to the Wings second line. The stats haven’t been there this season, not completely anyway. Franzen has the ability to score 30+ goals every season. He’s only eclipsed the mark once, but has come close a few other times. The potential is there, but Franzen is noticeably streaky.
Franzen has contributed 3 goals and two assists this season in 12 games for the Red Wings, but even without the numbers shining through, Franzen’s game has been excellent over the past week or two.
Detroit called up forward Luke Glendening from their AHL affiliate the Grand Rapids Griffins to replace Franzen on Wednesday night. The Wings are hoping to have Franzen back in action Friday night when they visit the Calgary Flames. Until then, Luke Glendening will fill in at center on the Wings fourth line, presumably, moving Stephen Weiss back to the second line, and Joakim Andersson back to the third after a messy line switching debacle has taken place over the last few games.
Glendening is a more than capable fourth line center, skating in five games this season. He’s failed to register a point, but I’ve been impressed with his ability to create chances and kill penalties.
The Wings will hope to get Franzen back as soon as possible. They’ve lost four straight games now since Jimmy Howard returned from his injury, and need to turn their game around on their upcoming road trip. The Wings are also missing Patrick Eaves, Darren Helm, and Jonathan Ericsson, and will be traveling with only six healthy defenseman on their trip.
As for Helm, the Wings expect him to be ready to play within the next week or so. His speed and defensive strengths could be rather useful for Mike Babcock and company with the loss of Ericsson.
Topics: Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Darren Helm, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Jimmy Howard, Joakim Andersson, Johan Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson, Luke Glendening, Mike Babcock, Patrick Eaves, Stephen Weiss, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets