This is Johan Franzen's time of year. I don't just mean he plays well. I mean we should name it after him. From now on, the seasons should be known as Winter, Mule, Summer and Fall.

While the kids are on Mule Break and adults do Mule Cleaning, the Mule himself is dominating the playoffs. He has two goals in the first three games of the playoffs, after scoring twice in the last 27 games of the regular season. This is typical for him. Look at his career stats.

Regular Season Mule: 0.31 goals per game, 0.25 assists per game, plus-63 in 395 games. Playoff Mule: 0.47 goals per game, 0.45 assists per game, plus-39 in 78 games.

This is a huge difference. Franzen is 52% more likely to score a goal in a playoff game than a regular-season game. He is 80% more likely to record an assist.

This is even more impressive than it sounds because it is harder to score in the playoffs. NHL teams averaged 2.76 goals per game in this regular season. In the first 23 games of the postseason (through Monday night), teams averaged 2.48 goals per game.

So what is so different about the playoffs? I asked Franzen and, like a true artist, he responded: "What do you think is different about it?"

Well, there are some obvious on-ice differences. Playoff games tend to be more physical, which makes it tough for the smallest, most skilled players. As Nicklas Lidstrom said Tuesday, Franzen "is one of those guys that goes hard to the net every time. You see that a lot more in the playoffs, where you have to earn your goals more."

Franzen has an incredible wrist shot -- very few players can flick the puck at the net with such fury. But last I checked, wrist shots are legal in the regular season, too. So that doesn't tell us too much.