I really believe the problem is with us, not with Franzen.
For some reason when he signed his new deal fans developed unrealistic expectations for him and they don't match-up with what he's capable of or what the team actually expects of him. Franzen is not going to be a 50 goal scorer, he's a consistent 25-30 goal guy who will put up around 50-60 pts.
The idea that he's lazy is a fan thing, the players call him "Mule" for a reason. Even Babcock who got annoyed with his play near the end of this year seems to speak only positively about him.
Other than guys on entry level contracts it would be near impossible to find a player who produces more for the amount he gets paid.
I think the production is there, I wouldn't expect a whole lot more from him in terms of goals or points. There are shifts, however, when he just finds a spot in the neutral zone towards the attacking blue line and doesn't really do anything. I'd rather him backcheck hard consistently and lose 5 goals a year than float.
The other problem with the streakiness is that it goes away during the playoffs (usually). That tells me that he has an extra gear, he just only uses it when he wants to.
- LidsFan likes this