Red Wings Notebook: Franzen hopes to dish out headaches with return to ice
Detroit right winger Johan Franzen battles for the puck with goaltender Dominik Hasek yesterday in practice. Franzen could return to the Red Wings' lineup for Game 2 in Detroit tonight.
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DETROIT -- There's a good chance the Detroit Red Wings will get center Johan Franzen back tonight for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final at Joe Louis Arena.
Franzen practiced with the team yesterday, coming out early and staying on the ice for a little more than an hour. He proclaimed himself ready and said he hasn't had problems with headaches "in a while," but needs medical approval. He will see a doctor again this morning.
With 12 goals in 11 games, he is the NHL playoff co-leader with teammate Henrik Zetterberg, but he has missed the past six games because of concussion-like symptoms.
Although he participated in all the drills, Franzen said he felt rusty and will need today's morning skate.
"It's going to take maybe one more practice to get the legs going," he said.
In the meantime, Detroit waits for added punch to a team that leads the Penguins, 1-0.
"We haven't been able to find a doctor to keep him out," cracked Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who seems to be growing impatient with Franzen's absence or reporters' questions about it or the doctors' time frame -- or some combination thereof.
"He's been cleared to do everything. So one of these days he'll get cleared to play."
Goalie interference dispute
Although it didn't factor into the outcome, Tomas Holmstrom's goaltender interference penalty that disallowed a goal in the first period of what became a 4-0 Detroit win was still bothering the Red Wings.
"We just need to define the rule in the offseason here and decide what it's going to be," goaltender Chris Osgood said, citing that first-period play when there was no score and a previous disallowed goal -- but no penalty -- when Holmstrom was close to Dallas' Marty Turco in the Western Conference final.
Holmstrom was just outside the crease when defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom blistered a shot past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, but it was ruled no goal and Holmstrom was sent to the penalty box, apparently for slapping at Fleury's ankles and getting his stick tangled in the goaltender's legs.
"There's guys in the crease, and the ref will say to you that wouldn't have counted if they scored, but our guy pushed him in," Osgood said.
"I don't believe they're overprotecting the goalies. I don't think guys are running the goalies this year in the playoffs like they have in the past, because they know they can't go there. But to me that was a goal [Saturday] night more than the other one was in Dallas that was disallowed."
Babcock said he hopes for a further explanation of Saturday's call when he meets with an officiating supervisor today.
After the game, he fumed about the play.
"That's the rule, you can't put your stick in the crease now, is it?" he said. "Did they change that when I wasn't watching?"
Osgood was asked why Lidstrom is considered the best defenseman in the NHL.
"I call him the Peyton Manning of the NHL because he gets the puck behind the net, he sees the whole ice, and he never makes a bad pass," Osgood said.
"It's always on somebody's stick. There can be one guy right near him, two guys, and he's got patience where he's standing back there. I'm always, like, he's going to pass it, because the guy's stick is getting closer and closer, and he always has a knack for zinging it through somebody, around somebody's tape. He just never misses.
"He's a perfect player. That's what I call him, too."
Babcock, on why he isn't surprised the Penguins didn't try to foil his plans to match Zetterberg's line against Sidney Crosby's: "What are you going to do? Tell Sid he's not playing?"
First Published May 26, 2008 12:00 am