What Was That About Secondary Scoring? Detroit Packs a Throrough Punch

Pat SullivanCorrespondent IMay 1, 2008

The Detroit Red Wings' main concern going into the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs was secondary scoring.

Forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom carried the load for the majority of the season and many critics questioned the team's offensive depth. Johan Franzen has been Detroit's answer to these skeptics.

Franzen, a second line center from Veltanda, Sweden, has netted hat tricks in two semi final contests against the Colorado Avalanche. He currently has 11 goals in the ten playoff games. 

ESPN hockey personality Barry Melrose has called Detroit's bluff throughout the season and until March, he was correct. Detroit played weaker Central Division opponents that Datsyuk and Zetterberg were able to beat singlehandely. When Detroit's premiere players were injured and Detroit's dominance began to fade down the stretch,  Franzen went on a hot streak. He has carried his scoring touch well into the playoffs.

His play has sparked Jiri Hudler and Vallteri Filppula.The surprise secondary scoring has shocked many teams that have exerted much energy to combat Detroit's top line. Nashville did everything right against the line of Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Holmstrom, but Franzen, Hudler and Filppula heated up to sink the Predators.

The secondary scoring did not rest against the inconsistent Avalanche. Franzen lit up the Avalanche goaltenders, while Filppula and Dan Cleary adequately produced. The winner of the Dallas San Jose series will have a handful against the Wings' depth.