Johan Franzen wasn't scoring when last he played, something the Detroit Red Wings are hoping turns around quickly now that he's back. The power forward will join a line with Darren Helm and Daniel Alfredsson when the Wings host the Winnipeg Jets tonight at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., FSD, TSN). Forward Daniel Cleary has been booted from the lineup, for not scoring. Not scoring is, in fact, something of a trend among the Wings, save those named Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi and Alfredsson. Franzen has two goals — from the same game, Oct. 17 at Colorado. He hadn't scored in five games before being sidelined by an upper-body ailment. "First game is usually a little easier than the second one back, because you have more adrenaline going," Franzen said. "But still, you have to keep your shifts short and really try to be smart out there and don't do too much." Helm is only four games into his comeback after a long layoff stemming from back and groin problems, but the guy can skate and forecheck. Alfredsson is a world-class player and shooter; he just can't make a line work all by himself. Tonight’s other lines feature Datsyuk with Zetterberg and Bertuzzi, Joakim Andersson with Tomas Tatar and Mikael Samuelsson, and Luke Glendening with Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader. There are no changes on defense from the last game, as Brendan Smith (shoulder) and Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder) won't be back before the weekend. Jimmy Howard is starting in goal tonight. Babcock delved into why he scratched Cleary after he scored three points in 18 games. "My job is to put the best 20 guys in the lineup that I think can help us win today," Babcock said. "I've been with Clears nine years, I know him well.
Mike Babcock calls himself Daniel Cleary's biggest fan, but Cleary will sit tonight
Detroit Free Press | Nov 12