Weiss, Franzen out for Saturday; Glendening, Ouellet recalled; Almquist back to GR

DETROIT – Quick update from Wings practice.

Stephen Weiss (groin) won’t play Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lighting and neither will Johan Franzen (upper body).

Wings general manager Ken Holland said Weiss is day-to-day.

Weiss didn’t practice Friday.

The Wings transferred Franzen to short-term injured reserve, retroactive to last Friday, in order to call up Luke Glendening from Grand Rapids.

Franzen could be ready to play Tuesday at home against the Winnipeg Jets.

The team also flip flopped defensemen, recalling Xavier Ouellet and sending Adam Almquist, who scored his first career NHL goal in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars, back to Grand Rapids.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said the decision was just to make a change.

Babcock is looking for something out of his second line, which hasn’t produced all season.

And he’s not breaking up Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi to find it.

“Our second line ain’t getting it done,” Babcock said. “Last night, let’s be honest, Pav and Z and those guys won the game for us. We checked it right back. We needed Kronner or the goalie to get hit on the third goal. We needed us not to take a penalty in the offensive zone. We didn’t need to lose coverage down low on Horcoff with 21 seconds left.

“We did tons of great things in the game,” Babcock continued. “I went through it meticulously today. That’s basically what I told the players, let’s keep getting better because we are getting better. But we can’t shoot ourselves in the foot. There were just a couple mistakes. The amount of zone time Pav and Z and those guys had alone they could have had five. They had great chances.”

Babcock had Helm between Daniel Alfredsson and Tomas Tatar on the second line.

“He’s a good player, we need someone to play with him,” Babcock said when asked about Alfredsson. “We have to give him some help. We need to get him some skating, net front presence and some execution. He has to take some responsibility as well, but we have to help him out.”

Helm, who’s played just three games this season, doesn’t seem to be the answer so early in his return.

“(He’s been) outstanding,” Babcock said of Helm. “The problem is fitness. How are you in game shape and how do you have hands when you haven’t played in two years. It just doesn’t happen. If I play Helmer as many minutes as a second line center needs he’s going to be done. How do you do it? I don’t know all the answers to the questions so I’ll sleep on it another night.”


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