Archive for the mule

The Mule

Posted in Detroit Red Wings with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by davepoleck

A few weeks ago, I found myself thinking that I sometimes wish that the Wings had held onto Marian Hossa and let Johan Franzen walk in the 2009 offseason. Of course, the Wings re-signed Franzen to a massive extension and that, combined with Henrik Zetterberg’s extension, made it impossible for them to keep Hossa. Hossa then went onto sign with the Chicago Blackhawks and win a Stanley Cup in 2010.

This feeling came with Franzen’s late season slump in which he only scored two goals in his final 20+ games, while Hossa was riding high with 25 points in his last 23 games. Franzen looked disinterested and lazy at times during that slump, and after seeing what he was capable of in a five goal game against earlier this season, it was extremely frustrating to watch.

But once again, the Mule is showing everyone why he earned that multi year extension with the Wings, he performs in the playoffs, while Hossa often fades into the background. Even last season, when the Hawks won the Cup, Hossa only had three goals and 12 assists in 22 games! With Detroit’s run ending in the second round, Franzen piled up six goals and 12 assists in only 18 games. In the 23 games played in 2008-09, when both were members of the Wings run to the Final, Hossa had 15 points, Franzen had 23.

When the going gets tough, the Mule steps up.

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The Mule Returns

Posted in Hockey Blogs with tags , , , , on May 7, 2010 by davepoleck

This reminds me of the real Johan Franzen who absolutely dominated for stretches in the 2008 and ’09 NHL Playoffs. In a second round series in 2008, he had nine goals in a four game playoffs series. Yeah, that’s right Joe Pavelski.

For those who didn’t watch, I think it could have been the feel good story of the year. Franzen was caught out on the ice on his first shift of the game for a too many men penalty. According to Ray Ferraro, who was “inside the glass”, when Franzen got up to go on his next shift, Babcock told him to sit down! Hearing those words from Mike Babcock might have been the scariest thing Mule has ever experienced:

With six points last night, he has now tied Sidney Crosby for the lead in points.