The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/25/11 at 02:42 PM ET
Updated 5x at 2:35 PM: Franzen did skate, just not with the team: Per the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James, the Red Wings returned to practice this morning at Joe Louis Arena, but they did so without Johan Franzen:
Some familiar sights this morning at Joe Louis Arena: Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom back skating together, and a grill fired up for one of Al Sobotka’s barbecues. The Wings went back to work today after taking two days off, the reward for having swept their series against Phoenix. The only guy not on the ice is Johan Franzen, who has been dealing with a sore ankle since midway through the Coyotes series (he played Game 3, missed Game 4).
Zetterberg missed all of the first round because of a sprained left knee, but he’s looked good in practice. He was back with Datsyuk and Holmstrom today, reuniting one of the Wings’ most successful lines.
I’ll update here in a bit when I know more details, but it’s not that surprising Franzen isn’t skating. Since the next round won’t begin before late this week, the Wings can afford to be extra cautious.
Per the Red Wings’ Twitter account:
After having the weekend off, the team will practice at Joe Louis Arena this morning.
Back to work for the only team to sweep a first round series. http://t.co/KVKKbOn
Zetterberg looking pretty strong out there. Have not spotted Franzen.
Goalllll! The mood is very light at today’s practice. http://t.co/C0GaSVq
Big crowd of media around Nick. http://t.co/PavjONB
Rusty and Paul Boyer are talking about something equipment related. http://t.co/QoiJfb9
Kelly Miller, cousin of Drew, was just named the assistant coach at Michigan State.
Some players, including Hudler and Kindl have well wishes from young fans hanging in their locker. http://t.co/igHNgNZ
Jimmy Howard on having the weekend off: I did nothing, it was kind of nice for a change. Got to enjoy Easter.
Babcock on Nick: There’s no player that has been as good as long as he has, at least as long as I have been around.
Babcock admitted he’d rather coach an intense playoff game as opposed to watching it. Says he is far calmer behind the bench.
Johan Franzen not on ice with the #Wings this morning as the team resumes practice still not knowing who their 2nd RD opponent will be.
Update #2: Via the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff...
#redwings Johan Franzen ((lower-body injury) skated with Black Aces today in track suit. #NHL
#redwings Ruslan Salei on Norris: “The three finalists should be Nick Lidstrom, Nick Lidstrom and Nick Lidstrom.” #NHL
Also of note: MLive’s Ansar Khan profiled Drew Miller;
• MLive’s Rob Otto rambled on about playoff series (plural) going long;
• Per the Detroit News’s David Guralnick:
#RedWings practice. Franzen shows up in full gum suit plus helmet. #halfplayerhalfcoach
• Interesting, via the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:
The morning after Game 1 of the Phoenix/Detroit series, I was chatting with Montreal backup Alex Auld in Boston. With Detroit down 1-0, Jimmy Howard made a great stop on Ray Whitney to prevent the Coyotes from going up two. The Red Wings came back to win. Auld called that, “The save of the night” and added, “That’s the kind of save that can change a series.” Obviously, different things can alter momentum, but Auld nailed that one.
Update #3: From 97.1 The Ticket:
Johan Franzen not on the ice practicing today
Franzen skating on his own after practice
Babcock said Franzen should be ready for game one which he thinks will be on Thursday or Friday
And here are Babcock’s Monday comments from the Wings’ website:
Update #4: Pat Caputo wants to see a Wings-Hawks series;
• Per St. James, here’s Babcock on Franzen:
Asked for an update, coach Mike Babcock kept it short. “He didn’t practice with the team. That’s all I got for you.” Asked whether Franzen will be ready for Round 2, Babcock said, “Oh, yeah.”
Zetterberg missed all of the first round because of a sprained left knee, but he has looked good in practice. He was back with Datsyuk and Holmstrom today, reuniting one of the Wings’ most successful lines.
The other lines were:
Danny Cleary-Justin Abdelkader-Todd Bertuzzi
Mike Modano/Drew Miller-Valtteri Filppula-Jiri Hudler
Kris Draper-Darren Helm-Patrick Eaves
The Wings are trying different combos because they have the luxury of several practices.
“Tomorrow, I’m going to practice Z and Fil, and Mo will go back with Pav,” Babcock said. “I’m just thinking that I want to have the option of having Pav and Z and Pav and Mule, and Fil and Mule and Fil and Z.”
Update #5: per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, a bit of a surprise:
Add Detroit general manager Ken Holland’s name to the list of those who don’t want to see the Phoenix Coyotes return to their Winnipeg roots. “Hopefully, they keep the team there,” Holland said. “They had great crowds two nights in a row (against Detroit in the opening round of the playoffs), a lot of energy in the building.”
• If you’re interested, HockeyKanalen.se reports that Johan Ryno’s signed with Modo of the Swedish Eliteserien;
• And here’s Ansar Khan’s report:
The Detroit Red Wings’ Johan Franzen did not practice with the team Monday, skating by himself in a warm-up suit briefly after the workout, but coach Mike Babcock said the big forward will be ready for the start of the next round, which Babcock anticipates will be Thursday or Friday.
Franzen missed Game 4 against Phoenix due to a sore left ankle and hasn’t practiced in more than a week.
“He’ll be playing,’’ Babcock said.
Henrik Zetterberg (sprained left knee) skated well on Monday, practicing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom.
Update 5.5: Here’s David Guralnick’s practice gallery from the Detroit News.
Update 5.75: Yes, Ken Holland and Mike Babcock are, as the Toronto Star’s Randy Starkman notes, figure skating fans.
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