Franzenstein scares TVs
That's good news if you're a Red Wings fan. That's great news if you're a television set.
"It drives you crazy not playing," said Franzen. "I can't watch games. I hate it. I get so frustrated sitting … I want to throw the TV every game. There's a bad penalty or something, I want to be on the ice yelling."
Saturday night's game against New Jersey was the fifth straight game of fear for television sets. Franzen was put on the shelf, Oct. 25, by a knee-on-knee collision with Brent Sopel in Chicago.
At first, the injury looked severe with Franzen being helped off the ice and flown back to Detroit for tests while his teammates flew west on a road trip. Franzen's knee, however, was just sprained -- a much better fate than ligament damage, which could sideline an athlete for six months.
It had been two weeks to the day after the injury, yesterday, and Franzen was just off the ice, having pushed his knee hard for an hour's worth of practice. Afterwards, Franzen said that his knee has responded well.
Franzen believes that he could return to the lineup for either Tuesday's home game against Pittsburgh or Thursday's game in Tampa.
When Franzen returns, one forward will be bumped from the lineup with Darren McCarty a possibility. Putting Franzen back on the second line will mean that either Valtteri Filppula or Mikael Samuelsson will drop down to the third line.
And a return will be welcomed by Franzen, who has a machine other than televisions that he isn't fond of … exercise bikes.
"In a game, you work as hard as you can without thinking about it," said Franzen. "You can't get that on a bike because you can't push yourself as hard. You don't think about on the ice. All you do is think on the bike. When you play hockey, you want to stay out there. When you're on the bike, you want to get off."
In other words, no athlete has ever said, "Put me back on the bike, coach."