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The Malik Report

Franzen injury aftermath: the Red Wings center will miss a game or two (Abby, too)

Updated 2x at 12:43 AM: Make that both Abdelkader and Franzen out for this week:

Red Wings forward Johan Franzen was punched and/or elbowed in the face by Tampa Bay Lightining forward Radko Gudas during Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Bolts, and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that Franzen's likely to miss at least one of the Wings' next 4 games--and the Wings play a course of 4 games over 7 pre-Christmas-break nights this upcoming week:

Johan Franzen skated off late in the second period after taking a hit to the hit by Tampa Bay defense Radko Gudas. So frustrated was Franzen, he earned an unsportsmanlike penalty for shouting expletives at the referees who missed the hit. He did not return to the game.

“I don’t know. It’s all those guys who get bumped in the head,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “You know what it’s like in the league now. They’re gone forever. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know protocol what will happen or whatever. We’ll figure that out.”

That means the same thing Pavel Datsyuk went through and the same thing Justin Abdelkader will go through: first players have to display no concussion-like symptoms while riding an exercise bike for 30 minutes; then they can engage in a light skate; then they can practice; and then they have to pass their baseline neurological test. As such...

Franzen will definitely miss the Wings next game, which is Tuesday when the Anaheim Ducks visit Joe Louis Arena. If it is determined that he has a concussion, he’ll join Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader who have already missed games with head injuries.

“You can't really think about it too much. Is it what it is,” said Kronwall, of the rash of injuries befallen the Wings lately. “It's another opportunity for someone to grab more ice time and do well and really take advantage of it. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. Every team goes through this. Just gotta stay positive and stick together as a team. In the long run, I think you're just going to benefit from it.”

The Red Wings would ideally like to bring up Landon Ferraro as he's no longer waiver-exempt as of next season, but that doesn't appear likely as the Wings were already missing a pair of centers in Henrik Zetterberg and Darren Helm, and were employing Franzen as the team's second-line center.

As such...

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Ansar Khan penned an article about Franzen's situation:

"He got hit right in the face,” teammate Daniel Cleary said. “I don’t know if it was intentional or just a follow-throw. I talked to Devo (referee Paul Devorksi); he said his head was down and the guy just came through and caught him.”

No penalty was called. An enraged Franzen slammed his stick against the boards as he left the ice and then yelled at officials from the bench. He received a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Franzen had 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 16 games, before Sunday, since returning from a four-game absence due to an upper-body injury.

“You can't really think about it too much,” Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said of his team’s mounting injuries. “It's another opportunity for someone to grab more ice time and really take advantage of it. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. Every team goes through this. Just got to stay positive and stick together as a team. In the long run, I think you're just going to benefit from it.”

...

Babcock said he didn’t see a replay of the hit.

“What I’ve found over time in this league is it does me no good to evaluate someone else’s job because sometimes I get disappointed and I get frustrated and that’s a waste of energy,” Babcock said.

[Penguins defenseman Deryk] Engelland has an in-person hearing Wednesday with the NHL’s department of player safety. That gives the league the option of suspending him for more than five games.

“When the suspension is handed out, guess what, I don’t get the player back,” Babcock said. “How does that (suspension) affect my life? I just know that I had a good player and now I don’t have a good player. Normally -- and I say this all of the time -- someone else gets an opportunity. We’re running out of guys to get opportunities.”

Update #2: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan also noted Babcock's comments regarding Abdelkader:

Said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock: “They told me last night, don’t hold your breath.”

Babcock didn’t see any replay of the hit and wasn’t going to look for one.

“What I’ve found is it does me no good to evaluate someone else’s job,” Babcock said. “Sometimes I get disappointed (about a lack of suspension) and get frustrated and that’s a waste of energy.

“I know I had a good player and now I don’t have a good player.”

Engelland will have a meeting Wednesday with Brendan Shanahan, head NHL disciplinarian.

Abdelkader had been skating on a scoring line with Datsyuk and Alfredsson, and the Red Wings will miss his size and skating ability. Along with one other important ingredient.

“His work ethic,” Babcock said. “He brings it every day.”

 

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Comments

Alan's avatar

I’m hoping for Ferraro. Get healthy soon, Mule.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 12/16/13 at 01:08 AM ET

Bent's avatar

So I would hope this hit will be reviewed by the league?  Any word on that?

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 12/16/13 at 01:12 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.