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Franzen cleared to return to ice

Wings' coaches, doctors certain that Mule will play in Cup series

Thursday, 05.22.2008 / 5:24 PM ET / News
By Lindsey Ungar  - DetroitRedWings.com Special Writer
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Franzen cleared to return to ice
DETROIT Johan Franzen is returning to the ice.

Red Wings doctors have cleared Franzen to skate on the eve of the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since May 8. Today, he skated briefly after practice.

While the Mule won’t be taking part in physical drills, he is a step closer to returning to the lineup for the Red Wings, who host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup on Saturday night.

“We’re going to see how it goes each day,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “If he doesn’t have any setbacks, the possibility that he’s going to be in the lineup before the end of the series is pretty good.”

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock reiterated that while Franzen is still doubtful for Saturday’s game, from a coach’s perspective, Franzen looks set to go sooner than later.

“He’s ready,” Babcock said. “He’s tipping pucks in the back of the net, he’s flying around 100 miles an hour. But he was like that when he left. He’s ready to go. He’s just gotta get the OK.”

Franzen, who has been suffering from concussion-like syndromes, missed the last five games of the Western Conference final against Dallas. He had headaches since the previous series against Colorado.

He has been unavailable to the media, but Franzen told Babcock that he feels good — good enough to be wisecracking about teammate Tomas Holmstrom.

“He told me his headaches went away totally in the last round when he saw Homer on a 2-on-1 and he toepicked,” Babcock joked. “He said he’s never had a headache since.”

Franzen had led the Red Wings in scoring (15 points) and the league in playoff goals (12) before missing time. In his absence, Dallas keyed on the top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Holmstrom and
held the Wings to two or less goals in three of the last five games.

But the return of Franzen could give that secondary scoring boost that had been lacking times against the Stars.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed,” Holland said. “We’re hopeful.”

Said Babcock: “I can’t tell you what game he’s playing in. I can just tell you he’s playing.”

WINGS NOTES: When asked if there would be any lineup changes for Game 1, Babcock answered, “you can ask me that tomorrow.” … Forward Kris Draper did not practice Thursday. He was at the hospital where his wife, Julie, gave birth to their third child, Kamryn Rose.


SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59