The Detroit Red Wings are losers of three straight and eight of their last eleven, so imagine my excitement when hearing the news that the dangle-dangle man himself and the team's leading scorer, Pavel Datsyuk, is returning to the lineup tonight when the Wings take on the San Jose Sharks.
"I had a hard time moving," Franzen said. "I've had a little stiff back, but nothing like this. When I started skating, it started to cramp up, or spasm up. I can't play like this."
The Red Wings are currently seven points behind the St. Louis Blues in the Central Division and lead the Nashville Predators by only a point for the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference playoffs. Datsyuk's return will certainly help, but Franzen's injury takes a 26-goal scorer off the ice.
Here are tonight's lines and defensive pairings, with the top line starting on the ice:
The puck drops at 10:30 ET and the game will be aired on NBC Sports Network.