Franzen out Wednesday; Eaves in; Wings coach Mike Babcock: “We’re not very good right now, we’re going to be.”

DETROIT — Quick update from Wings practice.

Johan Franzen missed practice and won’t play Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks. His injury or length of time he will be out has yet to be revealed.

The Wings recalled Luke Glendening for their trip to Western Canada.

Drew Miller also left practice early suffering from the flu.

Darren Helm also appears won’t play Wednesday.

“I’m not even thinking about that,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked about Helm’s status. “When they tell me he can play. He didn’t look like he was playing to me today.”

Babcock didn’t reveal what his lines would be against the Canucks, but did say Patrick Eaves will be in the lineup.

“Eaves will be playing,” Babcock said. “He’s smart and he shoots the puck cause we don’t shoot the puck I need someone to shoot the puck and I need someone smart. If he’s looking at the bigger picture and if he’s looking for a larger chunk of cheese there’s lots out there cause lots of guys have left it out there for him.”

Eaves has yet to play this season after suffering a sprained MCL and ankle after a collision with Jeff Hoggan at practice on Sept. 21.

He could have returned last Saturday against the New York Rangers after coming off long-term injured reserve.

Babcock had his team focusing on the basics at practice.

“You can’t continue to give up 40 shots a night and hope to win,” Babcock said. “I said it earlier when we were winning when Gus was in the net that it’s fool’s gold and that’s exactly what it is. There’s a right way to play and a wrong way to play. We’re cheating the system and we’re paying for it.

“The bottom line is the second period is the hardest period,” Babcock added. “When we’re playing good it’s where we always eat the other team alive. They can’t get their people on the ice and we wear them out. We gave up 10 scoring chances. When you think of our team, we don’t execute coming out of our own zone so we spend too much time in our own zone in the second period and that means you end up out there tired.

“We don’t spend enough time in the O-zone because we’re too light on the puck,” Babcock continued. “We don’t get enough shots because we won’t shoot the puck. We don’t get through the neutral zone good because we don’t execute. That’s not a lot of positive things there, but in saying all that when I go through all the tape, rewind it, fast forward and back and forth and go over it over and over again we’re not that far away, but we’re a million miles away if we don’t execute and that’s us right now.”

Detroit is 0-2-2 in its last four games and have scored five goals in that stretch.

“We don’t score any goals, at least not what I’ve seen so let’s not give up 40 shots, let’s give up 20 shots, let’s continue to score no goals and let’s win 2-1,” Babcock said. “How’s about that. Sound like a plan.”

Babcock ended his interview with a CliffsNotes version of how his team has been, “We’re not very good right now, we’re going to be.”


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