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April 26, 2008

2008's John Druce

To most of us, Johan Franzen is developing into 2008's version of John Druce. Every year we see unexpected playoff scoring heroes emerge. Every once in a while we see extreme examples, such as when Druce scored 14 goals in 15 games in the spring of 1990, after a season just 8 goals in 45 games. A year before that Chris Kontos came out of nowhere to score 9 goals in 11 games for the LA Kings.

Enter Johan Franzen, who now has 7 goals in 8 playoff games after game two against Colorado, a game where the player affectionately known as Mule scored a hat trick.

Kudos to those who drafted Johan Franzen in your hockey pool. I say that because Franzen really shouldn't have been such a surprise scorer. At least not if you had properly done your homework.

Franzen did score 27 goals in 72 games this past season. If you felt the Wings were going to go a long ways this spring, you likely were looking at Franzen as an inclusion anyways.

But a closer look suggests Franzen should have been a priority pick. Including today's game, Franzen is hockey's hottest scorer. Going back into regular season play, Franzen now has 22 goals in his last 24 games.

"The puck keeps coming to me in front of the net," said Franzen, after his two goals and an assist performance in Game 1 against the Colorado Avalanche. "I seem to be getting extra pokes at the puck and I just happen to be putting it in the net. You feel it (confidence). You feel you've scored before, so you can do it."

Here is a great biographical article on Johan Franzen's career thus far.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Mule has been on fire for the better part of 6 weeks. Anyone who watches the Wings noticed that when Holmstrom went down, Mule picked it up.

Check his month of March:
13 Games
14 Goals
4 Assists
6 Multi-Point Games
6 Game Winning Goals

And his playoff stats:
8 Games
7 Goals
3 Assists
3 Multi Point Games
3 Game Winning Goals

Franzens emergence as a 2nd power forward along with Holmstrom is the key to the Red Wings cup run. Providing a 2nd line goal scoring option lessens the burden on Zetterberg and Datysuk.

If he continues to perform, and the Red Wings continue to advance, you cant deny this man is a legitimate Conn Smythe candidate.

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