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Lebda Scratched; Injury Updates

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen saw team doctors on Tuesday and was told his surgically repaired knee is fine and he can play when he's ready. Franzen, who still needs to improve his conditioning level, estimated he's about two weeks away.

"I'm good to go when I feel ready,'' Franzen said. "Maybe a couple more weeks. (The knee) doesn't hurt.''

He said he needs to strengthen his skating muscles.

"I haven't used them in 3 1/2 months,'' said Franzen, who only began skating in earnest last week. "One practice I skated hard, then I was sore the rest of the week.''

He still is hoping to return before the Olympic break (Feb. 15-28), but if he can only play a couple of games before the break, he said he would consider the advantages of resting it an additional two weeks before returning.

"It's going to take its time,'' Franzen said. "The way I feel now after one hard practice, I need two rest days to get back. I got to improve that.''

Other noteworthy items:

-- Tomas Holmstrom got in his first real good skate today at the Xcel Energy Center -- he was out there for about an hour -- since he broke his foot on Jan. 6. He said it's doubtful that he'll return Friday against Nashville, but Sunday at Pittsburgh is a distinct possibility.

-- Jason Williams (fractured fibula on Nov. 7) said he is ready and can play Friday, as long he gets the OK.

-- Andreas Lilja (concussion) said he hopes to have a meeting, possibly on Thursday, with doctors, general manager Ken Holland and his agent to determine when he can be cleared to play and what's the next step to take.

-- Chris Osgood will start in goal tonight against the Minnesota Wild, coach Mike Babcock said after the morning skate.

The only other lineup change sees Derek Meech replacing Brett Lebda. Babcock contemplated resting Niklas Kronwall, who returned to action Tuesday after missing nearly 10 weeks with a sprained knee, but they decided he was good to go.

"That was a decision we didn't make until this morning when the trainers talked to him,'' Babcock said. "He didn't have heavy minutes (Tuesday). We didn't play a lot of time in our zone last night grinding, so he's going.''

Here are the expected lines and defense pairings:

Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Cleary

Bertuzzi-Filppula-Miller

Draper-Helm-Eaves

May-Abdelkader-Maltby

Leino (scratched)

Lidstrom-Rafalski

Meech-Stuart

Kronwall-Ericsson

Osgood (starting)

Howard

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there's nothing about this report that doesn't make me happy!

ESPECIALLY that Lebda is OUT

Good stuff all around. :thumbup: It's weird getting all these good news all of a sudden. :D

I know, I'm still VERY cautiously optimistic...

Edited by stevkrause

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Getting Franzen back this early is going to be huge. I just hope this team can get things back on track quickly when everyone comes back.

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i cant believe im saying this......it should be ericcson scratched. he is having a HORRIBLE year, and yes i know this is his first real season. He looks completely lost/in over his head. He could have used another year in GR.

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i cant believe im saying this......it should be ericcson scratched. he is having a HORRIBLE year, and yes i know this is his first real season. He looks completely lost/in over his head. He could have used another year in GR.

While he certainly hasn't played good he brings something to the defense that we absolutely can not do without. Size and strength are the main reasons he's in the lineup and we can't take that out of the line up, at least willingly. Give him some time, he's made some major mistakes, but so has a lot of other players, and we will need him.

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May provided more energy AND scoring opportunities than Leino has in 10 games.

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wow thats a great article. Also another reason to be optimistic, we have only won 1 out of our last 6 games but we have moved up in the rankings. I think that means we only need like 5 more wins on the season to guarantee a playoff spot. ;)

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While he certainly hasn't played good he brings something to the defense that we absolutely can not do without. Size and strength are the main reasons he's in the lineup and we can't take that out of the line up, at least willingly. Give him some time, he's made some major mistakes, but so has a lot of other players, and we will need him.

He has made no more mistakes than Lebda, probably less - the difference is, he hasn't been in the league for 6 years - I can deal with growing pains from a rookie who is still growing and hasn't peaked...

Put him with a more solid D partner and you will see a difference - just watch tonight as he's out there and who he's with and how he looks... pair him with Meech or Lebda and yea, he's going to suffer, when he's on the ice with Lids or Kronwall... he will look right in place with where he belongs...

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While he certainly hasn't played good he brings something to the defense that we absolutely can not do without. Size and strength are the main reasons he's in the lineup and we can't take that out of the line up, at least willingly. Give him some time, he's made some major mistakes, but so has a lot of other players, and we will need him.

it would have been completly idiotic to do but it would have been interesting to see him play forward(his original position in europe) when we super decimated earlier this season ala meech.

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Franzen Franzen Franzen Franzen Franzen Franzen FRANZEN

Franzen.

I'm gonna go on a limb and guess you're excited about Franzen's return

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Maybe Kronwall can slap some sense into Ericsson.

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Then when Lilja comes back Ericsson can be benched for a few games. Maybe then he'll stop turning the puck over in our own end EVERY GAME.

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Then when Lilja comes back Ericsson can be benched for a few games. Maybe then he'll stop turning the puck over in our own end EVERY GAME.

no.

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can't wait for lebda's ass to be waived or traded, meech and Ericsson def should battle for the 6t dman sport or at least make it appear that way to light a fire under ericsson's ass

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now if we could just scratch Meech and Big E for maybe actual pylons we will be on to something

Why don't you elaborate on some #6 and #7 Defensemen that you consider so superior to those two.

Jesus.....we're talking about the bottom Defensemen on a team in the Salary Cap era! What do you realistically expect out of them?

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Why don't you elaborate on some #6 and #7 Defensemen that you consider so superior to those two.

Jesus.....we're talking about the bottom Defensemen on a team in the Salary Cap era! What do you realistically expect out of them?

that post completely ignored Ericsson's potential

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elaborate

Lebda met some of my friends... lady friends in Royal Oak, and he keeps posting useless nonsense on their facebook.

that is all. i guess its not really harassment, but i feel like maybe he should be on "defensive coverage" websites.

tony

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