The Detroit Red Wings head into the final weekend of the regular season with their status for the postseason completely up in the air. The odds are in their favor, but there is no guarantee that they will be able to continue their streak of postseason appearances that spans nearly two decades.
If there’s one thing working in the favor of Detroit, it’s the fact that they have some serious momentum built up heading into the last game of the regular season. Several players have taken their game up a notch, including one of their core players who has been on a tear of late.
Johan Franzen has missed a bit of time this season and could actually miss the final game of the season with an injury. Even if he doesn’t play, and the Red Wings are able to pull it off and reach the postseason, they can thank him for a large part of their success down the stretch.
Franzen has been one of the hottest players in the league since the month of April got underway. The Red Wings have played a dozen games this month, with Franzen recording at least a point in 10 of them. Three of those 10 have included at least two points. Six of them have included at least one goal.
Franzen’s point total on the season is 31. That includes 14 goals, half of which have come during this month alone. Already a difficult matchup for opposing defensemen because of his size, he’s even more terrifying for opposing teams when he’s putting the puck in the net at the rate that he is.
Even if Franzen isn’t able to go in the final game of the season, if the Wings are able to crack the top eight in the Western Conference, having Franzen hot could help them to make some noise in the playoffs. We’ve seen how this Red Wings team can play when they have urgency. A combination of that urgency and a hot Johan Franzen is dangerous.