At the risk of sounding like Eva, Hudler hasn't been nearly as bad as people are making him out to be. The guy has put up 42 points so far this season, half of which are goals. Are some of them luck or the result of good linemates, of course. However, name one NHL'er who doesn't get lucky goals or benefits from playing with good linemates. s***, Z scores some terribly lucky goals. His off-angle shots always magically go in and sometimes they tend to fall when he's in his worst slumps.
There is an injury bug every season, around this same time, to a similar degree. Its strange, almost like clockwork you get to late February and players start dropping like flies. Babcock can only play Fil and Z 20 minutes or so a night, less on back-to-backs, so the team sorely needs Hudler to improve or be replaces and Franzen to play like he is capable of. Neither of these are happening. Cleary is either injured and should grab a seat, or healthy and should grab a seat. White should be playing better and the Wings PP should shoot the puck more, things that can happen with the current lineup.
The most frustrating thing about Injury Season 2012 isn't the players who are out or up, its the players who continue to slack and waste the efforts of the few players we have going. I'd rather see any of Miller, Abdelkader, or Nyquist up with Val and Hank, over someone like Hudler, at least then they would all be skating hard. It might be time to put all of our eggs in two baskets, so to speak. Let the 4th line continue to suck; there's no helping them. Leave the energy line intact and give them second line minutes. Let the third line become the float line, Hudler-Franzen-Cleary. And give Filppula and Zetterberg young skilled help in Nyquist.
Passengers no longer benefit from while hindering the workers, improving the top lines and hopefully forcing the floaters to do less floating.
Again, I'm in the same boat with you as Franzen. Cleary hasn't been himself much of the season either, but I expect way more out of Franzen than I do #11.