Tag Archives: johan franzen

Wings staying hitched to the Mule

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings know what they have in Johan Franzen and they’re not willing to part with what’s already been invested in him.

“I just think Mule has been a streaky scorer,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “When he gets into a groove, he rides the wave. When it’s not going, it’s not going in.”

It wasn’t going for Franzen over the last part of the regular season and five playoff games the Wings played.

After a stretch of six goals over four games from late February to early March, Franzen had just one goal over the final 18 games of the regular season and none in the postseason.

“He had 16 goals in 54 games,” Holland said. “I know he didn’t score down the stretch, he didn’t score in the playoffs. We had a lot of guys that didn’t score in the playoffs. I look around the league and I kind of hear this talk about players in other teams a year ago and this year those players are scoring. It’s a hard league every year to score come playoff time.”

“Mule’s a big body,” Holland continued. “Coming out of the Olympic break, he was on a hot streak and I think that hot streak is part of the reason why we were able to play our way into the (playoffs). To go on the open market, I think there’s this perception that July 1 free agents, there’s this hockey store, there’s this fantasy hockey league that I’m running, they’re playing in, where you can go get superstars. Those days are over.”

Franzen, who still has six years left on a deal that has an average annual salary cap hit of just under $4 million, had just two assists in the five-game series with the Boston Bruins and 14 shots on goal.

In his last 23 games, playoffs and regular season, he had one goal, eight assists and a minus-8 rating. In the previous 23 games, he had 13 goals, 16 assists and a plus-14.

“It’s hard league to score,” Holland said. “You score 20-25 goals now, it’s a lot of goals. Other than superstars, we don’t have 60-goal scorers anymore. I don’t even know 50, but obviously (Alex) Ovechkin. What we need, we need six or seven or eight guys that score 25. Mule is a guy that has the potential to score 25. We need more players that can score 25. I think that’s the way to be successful.

“Mule can score 20 goals,” Holland added. “We need more Mules. We need more players who can score 20 goals. If you had nine forwards who could score 20 goals, you could go into a playoff series, you’re not sure who’s going to score. But you feel you’re going to score because you’ve got lots of people who have scored over the course of the year.”

In Franzen’s last 32 playoff games since the start of 2011, he has seven goals (one game winner), five assists and a minus-11.

In his previous 51 playoff games from 2008-2010, he had 31 goals (nine game winners), 28 assists and a plus-29.

“I like Mule,” Holland said. “When he gets on a roll, he can carry a team. He’s a streaky scorer. We’ve had other streaky scorers. We’ve had streaky scorers here that are in the Hall of Fame that I’ve gone to Toronto for a Hall of Fame ceremony. This is a league where there’s 30 teams and most of them think they’re going to be a playoff team as we head into this offseason. I don’t have any plans to buy Mule out. I don’t know where you go replace these people.”

Perhaps the best example of how streaky of a goal scorer Franzen is game in the 2010-11 season. After a five-goal game against Ottawa, he went on a 14-game goalless drought and ended the regular season with just two goals over his last 27 games.

“You don’t really go into a game, ‘Oh, I’ve got to score, I’ve got to score,’” Franzen said after the Wings lost in Game 5 to the Bruins. “You go out there and try to do your job. I always want to play defense first and make sure I don’t (make) any mistakes in my own end and try to help out the D. When the goals are coming, they’re coming. You get confidence and it’s easy to score. You can only go out there and do your best and try to battle as hard as you can.”

Tootoo a possible amnesty buyout for Wings … not Frazen

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings have one amnesty buyout left before it expires and they just may use it this offseason.

But it won’t be on the player many feel they should be using it for … Johan Franzen.

If they do intend to us it, that player most likely will be Jordin Tootoo.

“Toots doesn’t want to be in the American (Hockey) League,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during the Wings’ locker cleanout at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday. “We don’t want him to be in the American Hockey League.”

Holland said he has spoken with Tootoo’s agent, Kevin Epp, about that possibility.

“I think at the end of the day, there was a little bit of interest in Toots prior to the trade deadline,” Holland said. “Toots has done everything we could have asked of him in the AHL. He hasn’t complained. He’s been a good foot solider.”

Tootoo has one year left on a three-year deal worth $1.9 million. He would receive two-thirds of the deal (roughly $1.27 million) spread out over the next two seasons.

If the Wings choose that route to go with Tootoo they won’t suffer any cap penalties.

In two seasons with Detroit, Tootoo has played in 53 games with three goals and six assists and 83 penalty minutes.

He was assigned to Grand Rapids in mid-November after clearing waivers. He was recalled in March and played one more game in Detroit.

With the Griffins he has six goals and 12 assists in 51 games. He has appeared in one of their first round playoff games this season.

“I don’t know if we’re going to buy him out, but I don’t think it’s fair to Toots and from the business standpoint,” Holland said. “We don’t want Toots in the American Hockey League, so I’ve got to figure out a way to get Jordin Tootoo back to the National Hockey League.”

The Wings used the first of two cap compliance buyouts last season when they shed the contract of Carlo Colaiacovo, who had one year left on a $2.5 million a season deal.

As for Franzen, “I just think Mule, has been a streaky scorer,” Holland said. “When he gets into a groove, he rides the wave. When it’s not going in, it’s not going in. It’s a hard league to score in. You score 20-25 goals now, that’s a lot of goals. Other than superstars. We don’t have 60-goal scorers anymore. I don’t even know 50. Obviously (Alex) Ovechkin. What we need, we need six or seven or eight guys that score 25. Mule is a guy that has the potential to score 25.”

Wings not getting enough from their veteran players

DETROIT >> The Wings’ veterans have been pretty much silenced through the first three games of their Eastern Conference best-of-seven opening round series with the Boston Bruins.

“When I look at Pavel (Datsyuk), he’s playing against (David) Krejci and (Patrice) Bergeron, two world-class players,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We all know the situation with him, he’s doing what he can on … as healthy as he can, but we need more from everybody.

“I thought we played a good Game 1,” Babcock added. “They’ve responded since that time. We’ve had no push back if you look at the two games.”

Datsyuk and Luke Glendening have the Wings’ goals in the series.

Johan Franzen, Drew Miller and Darren Helm each have an assist.

That’s it point wise for the Wings this series.

“I was disappointed with tonight,” Babcock said. “I wasn’t as disappointed with our game in Boston, I knew they were going to push. But I was disappointed with tonight. We didn’t do a good enough job, whether that be as a coaching staff, we didn’t have them settled down enough, whether we didn’t have enough players digging in. When you go through the whole thing, hard to find guys out there.”

Detroit has been outscored 7-1 since winning the opener 1-0.

“I don’t know about embarrassed, it’s sport, you make mistakes,” Babcock said. “We’ve got to come in tomorrow … I didn’t talk to them tonight after the game at all. We’ll come in tomorrow and get regrouped. We know we’re in a series. They just got the home ice back. We had three home games, we just gave away one. We’ve got to get back in it. But to me, I don’t think there’s ever anything wrong with losing when you maximize your group and did everything you could. That’s why that’s disappointing to me. We’ve been a way better team than that. That’s unacceptable. And that’s not taking away anything from the Bruins.”

The Bruins, who won the Presidents’ Trophy with the league’s overall this season, lost in last year’s Stanley Cup final after winning it two seasons ago.

Asked if experience is playing a role in series Babcock said. “I thought we looked like kids tonight for sure, no question about it.”

Babcock juggles up his top three lines two days into preparing for series opener with Boston

DETROIT >> Just two days into Detroit’s preparation for its opening round series with the Boston Bruins, Wings coach Mike Babcock has already changed up his forward line combinations.

On Tuesday, Pavel Datsyuk centered Johan Franzen and Justin Abdelkader, while Tomas Jurco was on a line centered by Darren Helm along with Daniel Alfredsson.

On Wednesday, Nyquist was with Datsyuk and Abdelkader and Jurco was reunited with the Kid Line along with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar.

“I think it’s helped even more that we’ve adjusted so well and we’ve done it together and we’ve relied on each other,” Sheahan said of the lines with his former Grand Rapids Griffins. “Obviously Tats and Nyqi and sometimes Tats and Jurcs, we have some good chemistry but I think it’s just working hard and that’s the biggest thing.”

Franzen, Helm and Alfredsson made up another line.

“There are a lot of things we’ve got to do,” Helm said. “They’re a really good team and we’ve got to be on top of our game, doing everything we can as well as we can. If we do that, then we’ve got a chance to be successful. If not, if we’re not driving to the net, forechecking hard, being in position, then it might be a short series.”

The fourth line of Luke Glendening centering David Legwand and Drew Miller remained the same.

Jurco back in lineup and inserted on top line alongside Legwand and Franzen

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ top line will have a different look to it tonight against the Montreal Canadiens.

Wings coach Mike Babcock has inserted Tomas Jurco to skate alongside David Legwand and Johan Franzen to at least begin the game.

“He’s a big guy, good speed and good skill level,” Babcock said. “He gives us another real good player. He’s been an important guy for us, missed him when he was injured, helps on the power play. Good two-way player.”

Jurco, 21, has missed seven games with a broken rib.

“He probably thinks he’s dragging those old guys around,” Babcock said. “I can put (Gustav) Nyquist back there in a heartbeat but Nyquist on that line is flying. (Jurco) has a skill set, he makes good plays with the puck, can really skate. That line needs more tempo. We’re trying to have more balance, we need to generate on more than just one line.”

That move keeps the new Kid Line intact – Riley Sheahan, Nyquist and Tomas Tatar – and drops Daniel Alfredsson to the third line with Darren Helm and Joakim Andersson.

“The big thing with having players back that haven’t played in a while they’re trying to catch up,” Babcock said. “So you get their number back and their name on the back of the sweater but you watch them and they’re not the same. I’m hoping Helmer, now after a few games under his belt, will be Helmer and be able to contribute. Normally your first game back you’re all right and then you fall off the face of the world for a couple of games. So hopefully Jurcs can go tonight.”

Jurco has five goals and 10 points in 26 games.

“It’s a good chance for me, good opportunity for me to get back in the game quick,” Jurco said. “I know obviously the second with Shea and Tats and Gus were playing good so I understand that coach wants to keep them that way so hopefully I’m going to fit in the first line and we’re going to play good too.”

Before getting injured, Jurco was a winger on that kid line with Sheahan and Tatar.

“I just have to play my game, that means just keep being physical and try to win some battles for them and just put some pucks in the net hopefully it’s going to go in,” Jurco said.

Not doing so much with the puck is what Babcock wants from Jurco.

“He’s going to score better eventually but he’s got to be physical, he’s got to be hard guy, he’s got to get on the inside, all the dangling stuff, that doesn’t score any goals, I don’t know what all that stuff is for,” Babcock said. “Entertain your friends in practice, I guess.”

Franzen continues war of words with Neil … ‘I’ve never had a fight in my whole life. It’s like me asking him to get hockey sense and good hands or something. ‘

DETROIT >> The third period on-ice incident between Johan Franzen and Ottawa’s Chris Neil has taken on a life of its own.

Just a day after Neil slammed Franzen to the Ottawa media, Saturday was Franzen’s time to respond.

“Someone told me, (they) said it was something weird,” Franzen said. “No one could really understand what it was. He said yellow streak or something?”

The Senators’ tough guy ripped Franzen’s helmet off and then began to rough up the Wings forward in the third period on Thursday.

What Neil said was, “(If) he wants to drop his purse, take the lipstick out, put it on his lips and ‘Let’s go.’ Anytime. Any day. Anywhere. I’m 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. He’s 6-foot-4, 240 pounds. I’m giving up height. I’m giving up weight. I’m not scared of him. Bring it on.

“I’d take my cape off (if) he took the yellow streak off down the middle of his back,” Neil added.

The cape reference was in response to what Franzen after the Wings’ 6-1 win over the Senators on Thursday.

“I think he got a little upset,” said Franzen, who potted a hat trick in the game. “I don’t know (why), I have no clue. He usually shows up when the game’s over and tries to be the hero. Puts his cape on and goes and flies around out there. He doesn’t like to take heat from fans and coaches, I think. He usually steps up when the game is over and shows everyone that he really fights hard.”

Franzen has 11 goals in his past four games against the Senators, including a five-goal outburst back in 2011.

As for Neil’s reference to Franzen dropping his purse, “OK That’s tough. It’s funny. I definitely don’t care.”

Despite his size, Franzen is a skill player and not anywhere near a fighter.

“He thinks I’m not tough because I’m not fighting him,” Franzen said. “What does he have, like 30 fights a year? And he’s been doing that his whole career. I’ve never had a fight in my whole life. It’s like me asking him to get hockey sense and good hands or something. It’s kind of the same thing.

“I’ve never been fighting, didn’t grow up fighting,” Franzen continued. “For me it’s not a part of the game. I couldn’t care less … I’m not going to fight. It’s as easy as that. I’ve had enough concussions. I’m definitely not going to risk one doing something stupid like that.”

Another reason why Franzen isn’t real eager to drop the gloves is his latest bout with concussions.

After missing 16 straight games due to a concussion he returned for one game before going back to the sidelines for the final six games before the Olympic break.

“I definitely wouldn’t start with him,” Franzen said. “Like I said, it’s like me asking him to be a good hockey player.”

Prior to getting sidelined on Dec. 15 when Tampa Bay’s Radko Gudas hit him in the face during a battle for the puck, Franzen had seven goals and 10 assists over his last 17 games.

“I’ve been getting head shots pretty much every year and I don’t think it’s ever been punishment for any of the hits I’ve gotten to the head,” Franzen said. “This was the third one, targeting the head. He just sucker-punched me.

“I don’t care really, it’s up to the league to … maybe they should actually try to protect the players … a play like that when he just drops his gloves and punches me in the head, if he doesn’t get anything for that I don’t know, seriously, what’s going on,” Franzen added.

Having Franzen healthy will be big down the stretch for the Wings with Henrik Zetterberg lost for the rest of the regular season after having back surgery.

“I didn’t say that,” Franzen said when asked if he believed fighting should be taken out of the game. “I said I don’t fight. I never played that way. I don’t see the reason to start now.”

Senators’ Neil: “I’d take my cape off (if Johan Franzen) took the yellow streak off down the middle of his back.”

DETROIT >> Johan Franzen has picked up right where he left off.

And that’s a very good sign for the Detroit Red Wings as they fight to extend their record run for berths in the postseason to 23 seasons.

Since returning from a concussion, Franzen has three goals and two assists over two games.

“He finds different ways to score and he’s in the right spots and he makes things happen out there,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We’re happy he’s back playing for us. Obviously he’s a big part of our team.”

After missing 16 straight games due to a concussion he returned for one game before going back to the sidelines for the final six games before the Olympic break.

“The key for me is that he’s healthy,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s hard to do it when you’re sitting in the press box. He’s an important player for us. He has the ability, he has the touch. Lots of guys play hard and don’t score, Mule can score.”

Prior to getting sidelined on Dec. 15 when Tampa Bay’s Radko Gudas hit him in the face during a battle for the puck, Franzen had seven goals and 10 assists over his last 17 games.

Having Franzen find his scoring touch will help a team that has lost Henrik Zetterberg for the rest of the regular season after having back surgery.

And playing Ottawa always seems to help Franzen’s offensive output. He has 11 goals in his past four games against the Senators, including a five-goal outburst back in 2011.

“I like playing here,” Franzen said. “They’ve got Erik Karlsson on the other side. We grew up in the same little town. It’s fun to come in and play him. It’s something special every time. Just happy anytime we can keep him from the scoreboard, but it’s always fun to play him too.”

Franzen has 12 goals and 16 assists through 33 games this season.

“Regardless of where he is the puck’s coming to him,” Kronwall said. “Happy he’s back playing.”

“He’s obviously a really good player,” goalie Jonas Gustavsson said. “It’s always tough when you miss a piece like Zetterberg. You can’t really replace him, but the guys that are playing are really doing a good job. They showed that the whole season because we’ve been having a lot of injuries.

“We know what everyone in this organization is capable of and we believe in our group, whoever we put on the ice,” Gustavsson continued. “That’s the way it’s going to be, we can’t really focus on injured guys, we’ve got to focus on the guys that are playing. If you look at the talent we have in this organization we should be fine no matter how many injures we get.”

But Franzen’s growing concern is concussions becoming a recurring thing.

“It’s always going to be in the back of my head that it might come back because it did the last time,” Franzen said. “(I’ve) just got to go out there and try and see what happens.”

And that’s what made the incident Franzen, who notched his third career hat trick earlier in the game, had with Senators tough guy Chris Neil in the third period Thursday very alarming.

Neil ripped Franzen’s helmet off and then began to rough up the Wings forward.

“It’s probably not the best thing to do, getting hit in the face, but I don’t know, maybe the ref can stop that before it happens, I don’t know,” Franzen said. “He hit me once, but then the ref came in.”

Franzen began laughing on the ice when Neil, who received a roughing and a 10-minute misconduct penalty, tried to engage him to fight.

“I think he got a little upset,” Franzen said. “I don’t know (why), I have no clue. He usually shows up when the game’s over and tries to be the hero. Puts his cape on and goes and flies around out there. He doesn’t like to take heat from fans and coaches, I think. He usually steps up when the game is over and shows everyone that he really fights hard.”

Franzen also received a 10-minute misconduct.

“He tried to high-stick me after the draw right away and then he came after me, so I tried to stay close to him,” Franzen said. “(I don’t know) if he was going to run me into anything. He decided to rip the helmet off and hit me in the face.”

The two teams don’t meet again this regular season.

Neil, who didn’t speak after the game, addressed the incident Friday.

“The first shift and any shift he wants,” Neil told the Ottawa media after practice. “(If) he wants to drop his purse, take the lipstick out, put it on his lips and ‘Let’s go.’ Anytime. Any day. Anywhere. I’m 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. He’s 6-foot-4, 240 pounds. I’m giving up height. I’m giving up weight. I’m not scared of him. Bring it on.”

Despite his size, Franzen is a skill player and not anywhere near a fighter.

“I’d take my cape off (if) he took the yellow streak off down the middle of his back,” Neil said.

Wings ready to begin life without their captain, Henrik Zetterberg

DETROIT >> Life without the captain begins Wednesday night in Montreal for the Detroit Red Wings.

“It’s going to be tough,” said Justin Abdelkader, on the loss of Henrik Zetterberg for the rest of the regular season. “We have to move forward with the group in here now. We can’t just keep answering the questions anymore about the guys that are out. He’s our captain, he’s our leader. It’s life without Z. We have to worry about the guys in here.”

“He’s the one who drives the train in here and you know it’s going to be tough without him but it’s no excuse,” Jimmy Howard said. “There are still a lot of great hockey players in this dressing room and we just have to play our game.”

Zetterberg had surgery on Friday to remove part of a disc which was rubbing against a nerve, which caused severe back pain.

“Well you just deal with it,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “No sense worrying about it. We’ve got to find a way to get in (the playoffs). That’s what we’re going to do.”

Zetterberg played one game for Sweden at the Olympics before withdrawing.

“That’s a big loss,” Tomas Tatar said. “He was carrying. He’s the type of player when it’s a tied game he can decide it. But we’ve dealt with it before. (Injuries) have been happening all season long. It’s not easy to deal with, but it’s just hockey. Some seasons are like this, you get unlucky. We have good Grand Rapids guys that are filling the gap. They’ve come up and done a really good job and given us a chance to be where we’re at right now.”

Despite playing in just 45 of the Wings’ 58 games this season, Zetterberg leads the team in goals (16), assists (32), shots on goal (151) and plus-minus (plus-19).

“He’s our captain and best player so it’s a big loss,” Joakim Andersson said. “We have a lot of other good players that can do good stuff to make up for it and win games.

“We’ve been without Hank and (Pavel Datsyuk) a lot this year and many others,” Andersson continued. “We’ve been missing all our best players a bunch before so we know we can win games without them.”

The rest of the Wings’ injury news is a bit murky.

Datsyuk (knee) and Johan Franzen (concussion) appear ready to return to the lineup against the Canadiens, but that decision won’t be made until after the morning skate.

“I hope,” Datsyuk said when asked if he’s playing Wednesday. “I hope so one day the pain is (gone). Now it’s still the same.”

Datsyuk missed 14 of Detroit’s final 16 games before the Olympic break, but did play all five games with Russia finishing with six points in five games.

Franzen, who has missed 22 of the last 23 games, has been cleared to return. He had 17 points over his last 17 games before suffering a concussion on Dec. 15.

“It’s probably just the history of it coming back and stuff like that so let’s get this last practice in (Wednesday) morning and then we decide after,” Franzen said. “(Tuesday) was really good. Sunday was not as good as today but today was good.”

Two players that won’t return over the next two games are Stephen Weiss (sport hernia surgery) and Jakub Kindl (MCL).

“I still need a few more days of practice, obviously the decision will be up the coaching staff when they think I’ll be ready to come back and play in a game and make a decision whether they want me to play a game in Grand Rapids or just play up with us,” Weiss said. “Those decisions will be made in the next few days.”

Weiss made the trip to continue to practice.

Kindl missed the last two games before the break.

“I don’t feel any pain, but I feel my right leg is just a little weaker than the other one,” Kindl said. “I just need to practice and get that confidence back in my knee.”

Ryan Sproul was recalled from Grand Rapids and will make the trip to Montreal.

Franzen symptom free of concussions now, but worried about it becoming a reoccurring issue

DETROIT >> Johan Franzen has been symptom free of concussions for quite some time.

But he’s not ready to declare himself ready to return to action.

“It’s a first practice at full speed so you know I feel a little off,” said Franzen, who added he began skating again on Tuesday. “But I need to get a few practices in and see where I’m at.”

Franzen practiced Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena with teammates that weren’t participating at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

After missing 16 straight games due to a concussion he returned for one game before going back to the sidelines for the final six games before the Olympic break.

“I’ve been able to work out fine, it’s when I’m getting into a lot of movement, (and there’s) a lot of stuff going on around me like what’s going on the ice and that’s when it’s triggered. (That) makes it hard for them to tell. Even if I felt good the last two weeks without doing anything that doesn’t mean anything. I’ve got to get a few practices in to see how I really feel.”

Franzen said nothing happened in the game against Florida on Jan. 26 to have triggered the symptoms.

“Probably just playing (made it happen),” Franzen said. “(I) woke up with migraines and stuff like that. (I) took a step back again.”

The Wings return to action Wednesday at Montreal.

“Definitely,” Franzen said when asked if he plans to return against the Canadiens. “If everything goes smoothly, yeah, I’m planning to be there.”

But Franzen’s growing concern is this is becoming a reoccurring thing.

“It’s always going to be in the back of my head that it might come back because it did the last time,” Franzen said. “(I’ll) just got to go out there and try and see what happens.”

Franzen, who was named to Team Sweden, had to withdraw from the Olympics due to the concussion. Gustav Nyquist replaced him on the roster.

Franzen has nine goals and 14 assists this season in 31 games.

Nyquist making a strong push to be added to Team Sweden with fifth goal in six games

DETROIT >> Gustav Nyquist has plans of being someplace warm when the Olympic break comes around.

But he is willing to change them.

With Johan Franzen withdrawing from Team Sweden on Thursday because of issues with a concussion, Nyquist’s name will now be bantered about as a possible replacement for the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

“It’s not something where if you have travel plans, a trip booked or something like that, you wouldn’t be too sad to leave that behind and go to the Olympics,” Nyquist said after the team’s morning skate Friday at Joe Louis Arena. “I’d love to go. It would be an amazing experience. We’ll see what happens. It’s not the way you want to get a spot on the roster, see one of your teammates not be able to go. But I’d love to go.”

Nyquist is one of three players on Sweden’s reserve list, along with Nashville’s Patric Hornqvist and Washington’s Marcus Johansson.

“It’s something I had as a goal,” Nyquist said. “I knew it would be tough for sure to get a spot, but it’s something I’ve had in the back of your head. It doesn’t come around too often. All the great players are going. It would be amazing experience for sure.”

Nyquist said he hasn’t heard anything from officials on if he’ll be the replacement of not.

Five other Swedes on the Wings’ rosters – Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson and Jonas Gustavsson – will also be going.

Another spot on the roster may open depending on the status of Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin, who questionable due to bruised ribs.

“That’s for management to decide,” said Henrik Zetterberg, who is the captain for Sweden. “They’ll probably make a decision soon.”

Nyquist scored a goal in his fifth in six games Friday night against the Capitals.

He’s got 10 goals and 17 assists in 29 games this season.

Franzen played one game, last Sunday, after missing the previous 16 due to concussion-like symptoms.

“The whole thing’s been a tough break for the Mule,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Mule’s a man with two young kids and you need to be healthy for that first. Life is way more important than hockey so you need to get feeling good and it’s hard to have the kind of life you want unless you’re feeling good.

“We’ve got to get this looked after and then the next step would be for him to get his hockey back,” Babcock continued. “But we’ve got to be diligent about the process we’re going through so he can be healthy.”

The Wings placed him on short-term injured reserve Tuesday.

The earliest he could return to the lineup is Monday, but that appears highly unlikely according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.

“It’s doubtful we’ll play him before the Olympics,” Holland said on Thursday. “Hopefully he’ll be ready to go after that.”