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Franzen on IR

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Veteran forward Johan Franzen is dealing with post-concussion symptoms again and has been placed on short-term injured reverse by the Red Wings. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT -- Johan Franzen's comeback lasted only two games.

Franzen, who suffered a concussion in Edmonton last Jan. 6, made it through training camp, preseason and the first two games of the regular season, has seen his symptoms return.

Franzen was supposed to play Tuesday against Tampa Bay and participated in the morning skate but did not feel well afterward and was a late scratch.

"That’s why it’s unfortunate," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "You don’t like to see anybody go through injury issues and certainly for him he’s battled, worked hard through the summer, got himself in great position. So you certainly don’t want to see it, none of his teammates want to see it, I don’t want to see it but it’s the reality right now and I feel extraordinarily bad for him.

"From the hockey team’s perfective I’ve never focused on who’s not available, I’ve focused on who’s available but from a personal standpoint I wish he wasn’t going through this."

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Franzen has been placed on short-term injured reserve for now.

HELM DOUBTFUL NOW: On Wednesday, Blashill indicated that Darren Helm (concussion/slight shoulder separation) could return as soon as Saturday in Montreal.

On Thursday, that had changed.

"Helm probably took a little step back today, so Helm won’t play tomorrow and I’m not sure he’ll play on Saturday," Blashill said.

Helm had indicated he still had a lingering symptom that was bothering him and he and the doctors were waiting to see if it would subside while practicing.

Helm did practice Thursday.

GLENDENING QUESTIONABLE: While the Wings will definitely be without Franzen and Helm, they might also have to play Friday's game against Carolina without one of their best penalty killers.

Luke Glendening blocked a shot Tuesday night and was able to practice Wednesday but not on Thursday.

"He had some swelling that didn’t allow him to practice so I don’t know if he’ll be available or not," Blashill said.

The Wings will not have to call anyone up, even if Glendening cannot play.

"We got (Joakim) Andersson, who I have unbelievable faith in," Blashill said. "From a hockey team and coach’s perspective we’re going to have 20 guys good enough to win the game tomorrow night for sure and now we got to execute."

HURRICANES COMING TO TOWN: The Wings traveled to Carolina last Saturday and although they managed to win the game, they weren't thrilled with their performance.

"We didn’t play that game, to be honest with you," Niklas Kronwall said. "The first two periods were what ,27-3 in shots, 23-4 or something like that. We weren’t even there. We were lucky to have Petr (Mrazek) steal that game for us. The other thing was, sure we were coming off playing the night before, but that’s no excuse, we have to find a way to play better than that."

Kronwall said it's more about their mental focus than their physical readiness.

"If the brain’s working you’re going to be playing a lot quicker," Kronwall said. "I think it was one guy with the puck and the other four guys standing there watching him and seeing what he was going to do with it. We have to play a better game overall with a five-man unit."

It was a good lesson for the Wings, who have back-to-back games every weekend this month.

"We have to make sure we're ready to go from the drop of the puck and then we gotta do a better job than we did in their building of skating," Blashill said. "I think our team, what can separate us, when we're skating we're a really good hockey team and that's probably most but that's certainly true with us."

GOALIE DECISION ALREADY MADE, NOT ANNOUNCED: Blashill said he has decided on the starting goaltenders for the next five games.

He said he would announce Friday's starting goaltender Friday morning.

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