Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy 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

  • RSS

Frustrated Cleary is healthy scratch

Franzen is set to return against the Jets; Smith, Ericsson are close to coming back

Tuesday, 11.12.2013 / 1:21 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
Share with your Friends

Frustrated Cleary is healthy scratch

Forward Daniel Cleary, who has one point in the last 12 games, will be a healthy scratch when the Red Wings host Winnipeg on Tuesday night. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – Mike Babcock has a pretty good idea of the state of mind Daniel Cleary might be in, but the Red Wings’ coach doesn’t care about feelings.

“My job each and every day is to put the best 20 guys in the lineup that I think can help us win today,” said Babcock, who made the decision to scratch Cleary from tonight’s lineup against the Winnipeg Jets at Joe Louis Arena.

“I’ve been with Clears for nine years, I know him well,” Babcock said. “There’s no one who’s a bigger fan of Dan Cleary than Mike Babcock. I imagine he’s very pissed off today and I don’t know what you want me to do about it.”

Cleary has struggled this season, compiling one goal with two assists in 18 games. He has one assist and an even plus/minus rating in the last 12 games.

“Hockey is a game of confidence, you have to have a lot of confidence and you have to be good defensively,” Cleary said. “Bring different things to the table so you just have to continue doing that you’ve been doing.”

The Red Wings are on a five-game home skid, and while they’ve played well defensively, the offense is another story. With the exception of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit has had difficulty scoring goals, especially at home.

“We need to score more as a team,” Cleary said. “Defensively we’re pretty good. I’m good defensively. We need to help out Pav and Z a little more.”

The Red Wings have 19 goals in nine home games. Only Florida (18) and Buffalo (14) have scored fewer goals in the same number of home contests. Detroit has been held to two or fewer goals in seven home games, including a 1-0 loss to San Jose on Oct. 21.

Since blitzing Edmonton 5-0 on Nov. 2, the Wings have spiraled to a 0-2-1 mark with losses at Winnipeg and to Dallas and Tampa Bay.

“We were rolling right along until we got to the mighty Jets there and they stomped us and then we haven’t recovered,” Babcock said. “I thought we played fairly good game against Dallas and deserved better. I thought we were fortunate to get a point against Tampa. Our game looks like we’re a real team and know how to play and then there’s 30-seconds where we give up three chances in the second and then 30-seconds where we give up two two-on-ones in the third. In the end, you can’t play like that. You got to play with patience and take what’s given.”

Johan Franzen
Goals: 2 | Assists: 3 | Pts: 5
Shots: 26 | +/-: -2
MULE RETURNS: Johan Franzen will be back in the Red Wings’ lineup tonight, skating on the second line with center Darren Helm and forward Daniel Alfredsson.

Franzen has missed five of the last six games with an undisclosed injury. Though he’s missed nearly two weeks, he thinks he’ll be fine tonight.

“The first game is usually a bit easier than the second back because you have more adrenaline going,” Franzen said. “But still you have to keep your shifts short and really try and be smart out there and not try and do too much.”

Franzen has been versatile this season, spending time at center and forward. But playing the wing should be more adventitious in his first game back after a lengthy layoff, he said.

“You can hide a little bit on the wing,” Franzen said, laughing. “It’s not as obvious as bad a shape you’re in there. It’s easier on wing.”

Franzen has produced two goals, three assists and a minus-2 rating in 13 games.

“He’s had a good mental break,” Babcock said. “He should be fresh, he should be jumping, should be lighting the red lamp, life’s good.”

Darren Helm
Center  - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 1
Shots: 4 | +/-: -2
HELM ON THE PP: Without Cleary in the line, Helm will get a rare look on the power play tonight. He’ll play a net-front role on the second unit, Babcock said.

“I’ve never really played net front,” Helm said. “I’ve gotten a few tips from the guys in the room that have played (there). Get knocked around a little bit, maybe tip a few pucks.”

Helm said it’s been a few seasons since he last played a regular role on the power play.

“Our power play’s not going. It’s not scoring any goals,” Babcock said. “Winnipeg’s a good penalty kill team so we’re going to be under some pressure in those areas. Ideally we’re going to work hard enough to draw some power plays and we can execute a little better, but Helm is going to play net-front to start with on the second group, but we like his speed through the neutral zone bringing the puck.”

In four games since returning from a degenerative disc, Helm has a goal, 11 hits and won 50 percent (27-of-54) of his face-offs.

Brendan Smith
Defense  - DET
Goals: 0 | Assists: 1 | Pts: 1
Shots: 11 | +/-: -7
INJURY UPDATES: Defenseman Brendan Smith (shoulder) said he’s healthy enough to return to the lineup this weekend, while center Stephen Weiss is probably a week away.

“It’s just up to the coaches if they’re going to put me in,” said Smith, who was injured during a fight with Edmonton’s Will Acton. “I’m going to have to take everything in from here on in and see how it goes. I don’t know when I’m actually off IR. I’m not sure what the date it. Hopefully I can get going right away and get back in the lineup.”

Smith was placed on short-term injured reserve on Nov. 4. He’s eligible now but needs to be cleared by team doctors. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder) has been on long-term IR since Oct. 21. He still needs to be cleared and can return to the lineup Friday when the Wings host the Washington Capitals.

Weiss hasn’t skated since experiencing a sore groin early in the Dallas game last Thursday. And he doesn’t expect to skate before next week.

“I’ve had some groin issues (in the past)” Weiss said. “This one was a little bit different. Something happened that I couldn’t tell you what it was. I don’t remember what it was. I just know it wasn’t there before the game and it was there pretty early in the first period. It’s one of those things that’s bad luck and just trying to get rid of it before we come back for good.”

Since joining the Wings as a free agent, Weiss has struggled, producing just two goals and one assists in 17 games. His hope is that the time off will help him refocus.

“When you get some time off it gives you a chance to regroup mentally and physically,” he said, “and hopefully come back even better.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose




1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47


D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89