Blog Entry

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

Posted on: September 20, 2011 7:46 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 7:57 pm

By: Adam Gretz

On Feb. 2 of last season Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen had a career night scoring five goals during 7-5 win against the Ottawa Senators.

Unfortunately for Franzen and the Wings, he would score just two more goals over the final 27 games of the regular season, a goal-scoring drought that is rather unheard of for a player that's established himself as one of the NHL's best power forwards. Even with the slow finish to the season he was still Detroit's leading goal-scorer with 28 goals, two more than Dan Cleary, who finished with 26.

Still, the veteran forward has been facing questions about his slump that also carried over to the playoffs, the time of year Franzen has typically dominated throughout his career, where he recorded just three points in eight postseason games as the Wings were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks in seven games.

Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News wrote about Franzen's season-ending slump, as well as his hopes for bouncing back in 2011, following an intra-squad scrimmage this week where Franzen scored a pair of goals. From Kulfan:
"I hate these questions," Franzen said. "I didn't even know I had that (deep of a slump)."

The Red Wings don't know the answers either; they just hope Monday intra-squad scrimmage was the first step to a bounce-back season.

The two goals in 27 games was the worst stretch of Franzen's career since his rookie season in 2005 when he scored 12 goals in 80 games -- the only time in his career he's played 80 games in a single season -- and was playing just over 12 minutes per game.

In the years since he's been one of Detroit's most consistent -- and productive -- goal-scorers when he's been in the lineup. Over the past four seasons Franzen has had just one 27-game stretch (the season-ending one last season), which is basically one-third of the season, where he scored fewer than six goals. Six times he's scored at least 10 goals over such a stretch. If you go back to the start of the 2007-08 season and break each season down to 27-game segments here's how many goals he's tallied over each stretch, in order: 6, 6, 15, 14, 12, 8, 10, 13, 13, 2.

The last one, of course, is the one that's getting the attention this preseason, and it seems to be the obvious outlier of the group.

When a player like Franzen goes through such a slump it's obviously big news because you're not used to seeing it happen, which also makes it easier for it get overblown. If he can stay healthy, which is always the No. 1 question regarding Franzen, it should be a safe bet to pencil him for another season near the 30-goal mark. Or above it.

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 8:17 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:21 am

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

With Rafakski gone our d should improve. While he did score a lot a lot of goals were caused by him. The main concern I had last season was the way we turned the puck over 30 times a game.

Since: Oct 8, 2009
Posted on: September 21, 2011 2:11 pm

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

I'm less concerned with Franzen's performance this season and more concerned with the Wings' PK and Defense. They've been lacking for a couple seasons now at least and need to be improved. Ericsson's making big-boy cash now so he'd better start playing like it. He curls up in the fetal position and starts sucking his thumb anytime the oposition comes close to him. I think he may have been abused as a child.

Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: September 21, 2011 2:02 pm

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

Todd Bertuzzi is confusing helikes to use his off arm to keep people off and have one hand on his stick. For a person his size he never seems to drive the net like you would think he would.
the probale with Franzen  is he gets injured a lot. Franzen shows potential but I would like to see him do mare later then early. Remember last year the Wins looked like they were going to run away with the league and injuries nailed them.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: September 21, 2011 11:46 am

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

Franzen is a good average NHL player, he just got over-paid by the Red Wings due to one dominant post-season.  Now he being made out as some uncharacteristic player, he has always been this way.  I do not understand these Johan Franzen standards.

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:55 am

Am I the only one...

I feel like I am alone in my overall disapproval of Todd Bertuzzi. I keep hearing people talk about him as a power forward, but explain to me when he has played as one? I have watched almost every Wings game over the past two seasons (I live near Philly, just go the Center Ice Package) and I rarely, if ever, see him forecheck the way a power forward should. More times than not, especially when he plays with Datsyuk, I see him trying to display hands and creativity that he simply doesnt have. If he is playing with Pavel or Hank, his first order of business should be finishing checks, getting those guys the puck, and either park himself in front like Homer does, or try to find some soft space in the defense to setup for a shot, because you should expect a pass from those guys, especially Datsyuk.

Can someone please tell me what I am missing when he is called a power forward? I dont mean this as a knock on anyone's point of view, but obviously I see things differently.


Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: September 21, 2011 7:14 am

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

Another quality season out of Bert and the Mule will be a huge part of the Wings doing well. Those are two guys that are hard for opposing forwards to handle physically and the the Mule has a nice skill set for a guy his size. the Mule is nails in the playoffs and thats all that really matters to me. he stays healthy 35 goals is very attainable, if Bert chips in 16-18 the Wings willl be happy. The key for these two who have had theor share of health problems in the past is to stay healthy

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: September 21, 2011 4:19 am

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

Us Wings fans would love a 30 goal season from this guy. But honestly, our season doesn't start until the Post-season begins. It's not cocky or arrogance in saying so...maybe a tad, but when you reach the playoffs for 20 straight seasons it's easy to understand why. Here in lies our canundrum, we need the Muel in the playoffs to show up. We can't simply rely on Hank and Pav to do all the scoring. Hank is usually more concerned with face-offs and defensive play in the post-season therefore his scoring lacks. It's not only Franzen but also others will need to step it up in the scoring department like Helm. One thing is for sure, Abdelkader better smarten the hell up and not act like such a Tool this time around and take such selfish penalties.

Since: Aug 16, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:30 pm

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

Hope he saves a lot of his scoring for the playoffs when we need it most.

Homer won't be as effective this season with age catching up to him and abuse he's taken and Bert too so The Mule needs to assert his strength more this season around the crease, driving the net.

We got some youth coming in and some actual tough players on this seasons roster so I like Franzen to have a better scoring season than he did last.

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: September 20, 2011 10:30 pm

Franzen should bounce back after slow finish

There are no two ways about it Johan Franzen had a miserable last part of the season and play-offs.  The Red Wings badly needed more output from this guy.  All good and great players go through rough times and there is no doubt in my mind that he will bounce back this season the guy is too much of a natural goalscorer not to.

I just hope the defense of the Red Wings is up to the test, there is never any doubt in my mind this team can score with the best of them but defensively... not so sure of late!!! 

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