–RW Johan Franzen has two goals in four games, including the overtime winner in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Minnesota. Franzen is skating much better and seems more determined than he was over the final 27 games last season, when he slumped badly, scoring only two goals. The Wings need Franzen to play like an elite power forward if they’re to make a serious Stanley Cup run.
–G Jimmy Howard was upset with himself following a couple of poor performances in the preseason. He challenged himself to play better, and he has started strong. Howard is 3-0, with a 1.62 goals-against average. He is playing with confidence, coming out of his crease to cut off angles and challenge shooters.
–C Pavel Datsyuk had a rare off-night Saturday. He committed two turnovers behind his net that led to both Minnesota goals and finished with a minus-2 rating. Datsyuk had a couple of scoring chances but did not register a point. The team’s best faceoff man went 7-8 on draws.
–D Mike Commodore (sprained MCL on Sept. 28) might be ready to play Oct. 21 against Columbus.
–RW Jan Mursak (fractured left ankle on Sept. 25) is not expected to return until late December.
–Nicklas Lidstrom, Ian White
–Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart
–Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl
–LW Henrik Zetterberg, C Pavel Datsyuk, RW Dan Cleary
–LW Jiri Hudler, C Valtteri Filppula, RW Johan Franzen
–LW Justin Abdelkader, C Darren Helm, RW Todd Bertuzzi
–LW Tomas Holmstrom, C Cory Emmerton, RW Patrick Eaves
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