Franzen still has a long way to go, but has resumed skating on his own
Forward Johan Franzen, who has been out with a concussion since January 6th, has skated very lightly on his own over the last few days. Even though his chances of returning this season are becoming very slim, his teammates are happy to see him around again.
“Just him being around the guys, being around the rink is a great indicator he’s feeling a little bit better,” Niklas Kronwall said. “It’s great to have him out there.”
Alexey Marchenko is close to being cleared to play
Defenseman Alexey Marchenko is very close to being cleared to play after suffering an oblique strain. He is able to take slap shots and has been skating on a regular basis.
It is very likely that when he is cleared to play that he will be assigned to Grand Rapids. The Red Wings are set with their six defensemen for now so it would be foolish to have Marchenko in the press box when he could be playing for the Griffins.
Darren Helm should be ready by the weekend
Forward Darren Helm, who the Red Wings have sorely missed since he was injured on February 28th, participated in half a practice today, which means he could be ready to play this weekend when the Red Wings face Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
“I told him I was calling his name out on the bench but he wasn’t out there last game, so we’d like to see him sooner or later,” Babcock said. “I think he’ll be back here, not for Columbus but after that.”