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Stanley Cup Final

Wings not surprised by 'Mule'

Thursday, 04.14.2011 / 5:57 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / 2011 WCQF: Detroit-Phoenix Live Blog

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2011 WCQF: Detroit-Phoenix Live Blog
Wings not surprised by 'Mule'
The Red Wings talked a lot about how they just knew Johan Franzen would show up big in the playoffs, and then the Swedish power forward known as "The Mule" proved them right in Game 1.

His rocket wrist shot through the legs of a defenseman and past a stunned Ilya Bryzgalov was the highlight, but he also added an assist on Detroit's first goal, logged five shots on goal, missed the net five times and dished out four hits.

He even blocked a shot and won the only faceoff he took. All that after being somewhat invisible during the final 27 games he played in the regular season -- a span in which Detroit’s leading goal scorer potted just 2 goals.

The performance wasn't exactly "ho-hum" for his teammates to see, but close.

"He's been happier the last few days," forward Danny Cleary said on Thursday. "He just hates the regular season, I think. When he's going, he's very hard to stop. He gets on this roll of just complete dominance, physical and skating. He can be so powerful, with and without the puck, and his shot is lethal. So it just continued on, him playing well in the postseason."
Quote of the Day

If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.

— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday