Detroit Red Wings DetroitRedWings.com presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Datsyuk says he'll play; Mule may miss

Franzen left Friday's practice early with back pain

Friday, 03.16.2012 / 4:58 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Datsyuk says he\'ll play; Mule may miss
Pavel Datsyuk had 16 goals and 43 assists before undergoing knee surgery last month. (Photo by Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, Calif. – When it rains, it pours.

Just as the Red Wings prepare to welcome back superstar center Pavel Datsyuk to the lineup Saturday, another key piece might be missing for their game against the Sharks at HP Pavilion.

Forward Johan Franzen left the ice early Friday morning complaining of low back pain as the team skated at the Sharks’ training facility. His status for Saturday is uncertain.

Franzen said that he’s experienced back problems in the past, but nothing quite as severe as Friday morning.

“I never had this before. Not like this,” he said. “Can't play like this.”

The Wings’ leading goal-scorer is one of three players to appear in all 71 games this season, joining center Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Niklas Kronwall. But Franzen is just the latest in a laundry list of players to be added to the team’s infirmary.

Over the last month, nine players have spent time on the shelf for either injury or illness, including Datsyuk, who had knee surgery and captain Nicklas Lidstrom (bruised right ankle).

If Franzen can’t play Saturday, he’ll be the 1010 player since Feb. 21 to miss a game.
 
“When I started skating it started to spasm up and got worse and worse, tried to skate through it,” Franzen said. “I had to get off, I couldn't really move.

“We're going to do some treatment tonight and get back on it tomorrow.”

But Datsyuk sounded much more positive about his possible return.

“Looking forward to playing tomorrow,” said Datsyuk, who last played on Feb. 19 against the Sharks.

While he’s glad to be returning, Datsyuk is glad to have 11 games to work out any rust prior to the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs next month.

“Every time is different,” he said. “I hope so tomorrow it be back, kind of everything. But after every injury, it takes more time or less time, it's hard to say.”

Coach Mike Babcock wasn’t so certain that the Wings would have their top forward back for Saturday, but if they do, the coach said, “He’s talented and he’s a hard worker. I think he’s the best two-way player in the game, so he’s a huge part of what goes on and we haven’t been very good.”

Datsyuk is also aware of the Sharks dire situation as they try to qualify for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture.

“San Jose good team. Now it's end of season, every team is fighting for playoffs, every game is tough,” he said. “It's going to be a challenging game tomorrow for sure.”

Meanwhile, with Lidstrom experiencing a setback in his recovery from a deep ankle bruise, the Wings decided to send the captain home to Detroit, where he can rest the injury and be re-evaluated by the team’s medical staff on Monday.

Backup goalie Joey MacDonald is also nursing a bad back that he sustained during Wednesday’s 4-0 loss at Anaheim.

The Wings have recalled goaltender Jordan Pearce from Grand Rapids. The Griffins’ goalie will serve as Howard’s backup Saturday against the Sharks. However, Pearce didn’t make it to northern California in time for Friday morning’s practice, leaving goalie coach Jim Bedard to man one of the practice nets.

As the 55-year-old former NHL goalie made his way out to the ice surface, he jokingly squinted his eyes and asked, “Which way is the ice?”

Pearce’s recall is his second stint with the Wings this month. He backed-up MacDonald for three games while Howard recovered from a groin strain. Pearce has been in the Wings’ organization since the 2008-09 season, but is still seeking to make his NHL debut.

A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Pearce has appeared in 17 games with the Griffins this season, compiling a 3-7-1 record, a 3.53 goals against average, an .874 save percentage and one shutout.

In 67 career games with Grand Rapids, the 25-year-old University of Notre Dame graduate has a 24-25-6 record, a 3.13 GAA, an save percentage and two shutouts.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map