This was not a mad Mule or even a miffed Mule. At least, that's what he said, again and again.

This was a muted Mule, simmering well. Johan Franzen is called the Mule for a reason, mainly because of his size (6-foot-3 and 223 pounds) and because of his stubbornness. Nothing wrong with those traits, they've made Franzen a playoff star and the leading goal scorer for the Red Wings two years running.

Here stood Franzen after practice Monday, sporting a nasty black eye and unyielding demeanor. He's not angry, he swears. But it sounds like he's getting there, and that's positive news for the Red Wings, who need a fired-up Franzen as they head into a pivotal Game 4 tonight against the Predators.