After the Parent trade, wasn't this guy supposed to be the Predators' top defensive prospect?
Well, he sure hasn't shown it in the playoffs.
In 19 playoff contests, Franson has just 3 goals an 4 assists to go wth a solid +8 rating. Those are pretty solid numbers for a defensman under normal circumstances. But these aren't normal circumstances. Franson had 17 goals and 34 assists during the regular season for the Vancouver Giants, tied for the team lead(with Johnathan Blum) and sixth in the WHL.
So what caused this seemingly gigantic(no pun intended) collapse on CF's part?
There are a couple of possibilities.
1) Franson is getting less ice time. He got off on the wrong foot in the playoffs, taking a roughing penalty 18 seconds into the first game against the Chilliwack Bruins, and they scored on the ensuing power play(the Giants went on to win in OT thanks to John Blum). Franson, based on what I've found(the WHL doesn't track TOI), was pretty much nonexistant for the rest of the series. Perhaps head coach Don Hay felt it best to sit him. But he seems to have "re-earned" his ice time and was on ice for three of Vancouver's nine goals in a 9-2 rout of the Seattle Thunderbirds in the second round, but he still hasn't been very effective. It's also possible that he's been yanked from the PP unit, which would seriously hamper his production.
2) Franson is playing hurt. I really doubt this is the case, but it's still a possibility. He missed Game Five of the finals, a 3-0 Vancouver win over Medicine Hat. What the injury is, I couldn't tell you (again, no source for the information- checked WHL.com and the Giants' Website and found nada).
3) Franson's mind is elsewhere. Franson may already have his mind on the NHL. Well, he needs to cut that out right now- just because he's under contract doesn't mean he automatically makes the roster. And the way he's playing, he'll be wearing a sweater with a skull of the sailor variety rather than the sabre-tooth tiger variety.
Vancouver play game six against Medicine Hat tonight and lead 3-2 in the series. A win tonight gives the G-Men their second consecutive WHL title. After that, they play host to the Memorial Cup, which already has three participants- Vancouver, Medicine Hat, and Lewiston(QMJHL). The Plymouth Whalers are still competing for the OHL title against the Sudbury Wolves, and they lead the series 3-2.
Okay, this is hard to admit because I have a soft spot for Buffalo, but here goes...
The Senators are going to beat the Sabres. Not in seven games, not in six, not even in five- in four games. The Sabres special teams have not shown up at all in this series and the defense is leaving Miller to fend for himself. Not to mention the fact that Ray Emery is a beast(I'm still wondering why Muckler signed Gerber), the Senators have an outstanding defensive corps(Volchenkov, Phillips, Redden, Schubert, etc.) and possibly the most dangerous scoring trio in the NHL(Heatly, Spezza, Alfredsson). Going back to Scotiabank Place(I HATE that name, for the record), Ottawa have all the momentum, all their major pieces intact, and what should be an entirely pro-Ottawa crowd, the Senators should know what to do. I've underestimated them all through the playoffs, and I'm not about to do it again.