May 10, 2011, 11:24 AM EDT
The San Jose Sharks will play without their big, talented forward Ryane Clowe but the Detroit Red Wings will reportedly try to survive without Johan Franzen. “The Mule” will sit out with his recurring ankle problems in favor of Mike Modano, according to TSN.
It’s no shocker that Franzen won’t play in Game 6. To put it lightly, the dangerous playoff performer just couldn’t get around properly in Game 5 and many other points in this series. He was really laboring around and could occasionally be seen limping. You have to respect Franzen’s toughness, but I’m not sure how much he could help the Red Wings with that injury curtailing much of his usefulness.
If nothing else, Modano will be much more mobile than Franzen. We feared that Modano might end his career as a healthy scratch, but he will get at least one more playoff game under his belt tonight (barring unforeseen changes). Modano had one assist in his one playoff appearance this year and 15 points in 40 regular season games before an unlucky injury forced him to miss half the season. If San Jose beats Detroit, it would be surprising if this wasn’t Modano’s last NHL game … but you never know.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, all signs point to Pavel Datsyuk playing again tonight. His ailments didn’t seem to keep him from being his world-class self in Game 5, so it’s not too surprising.
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