Johan Franzen in Stanley Cup Finals, Game Two: the "Mule" Is Back

Russell IvanacSenior Analyst IMay 26, 2008

Time for a quick quiz:

Who is currently tied for most goals scored (12), eighth overall in points (15), and has the fourth-best plus-minus rating (+9) in the 2008 NHL playoffs?

The same guy who hasn't played since the first game of the conference semifinals against Dallas: Johan Franzen.

Starting tonight, he's back.

The "Mule" is looking to add even more scoring to a Red Wings lineup that blanked the Penguins 4-0 in Game One. There is no news yet as to where he will fit in the lineup, but there shouldn't be too much trouble fitting him in seeing as Detroit has shown the ability to change their lines and maintain chemistry throughout the playoffs so far.

The Penguins, on the other hand, have made some lineup changes of their own to try and get back on track before it's too late. They have given veteran left winger Gary Roberts the go-ahead to play. They also have shuffled their lines up a bit by switching left winger Ryan Malone with top line left winger Pascal Dupuis. This move looks like an attempt to put a big body alongside Crosby and Hossa to open up the ice and create some havoc in the middle.

Tonight, we will see how much these changes will affect both teams. My guess is that the changes will give Pittsburgh more than it will the Red Wings, but it won't be enough. At least not tonight.

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