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Helm concerned about injury

Speedy center hurt in third-period collision in Saturday's loss

Sunday, 03.18.2012 / 3:50 AM / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Helm concerned about injury
Darren Helm was added to the injury list Saturday following a collision with San Jose's Dominic Moore late in the game. (Photo by Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, Calif. – It was a game of big-time collisions Saturday night, but there was one particular hit that was heard loud and clear in the press box about six or seven floors above the ice surface at HP Pavilion.

Unfortunately for Darren Helm, the consequences of the hit may sideline the Red Wings’ center for the remaining three weeks of the regular-season with a lower-body injury.

“I was hoping I'd be healthy and playing my best going into the playoffs. That obviously is not going to be the case,” Helm said. “Hopefully, I'll be healthy and excited to play the first game of the playoffs. Hopefully I'll be ready before that. I don't know how long it's going to take. We'll find out on Monday.”

Helm left the game midway through the third period. He was hurt after delivering a body check on Sharks center Dominic Moore in the neutral zone with 8:37 left in the period.

“I was going to hit Moore, kind of took not the best angle on him,” said Helm, who got the worst of the it. “He kind of jumped out of the way a little bit, trying to avoid the hit and we just kind of collided. I was trying to hit him pretty good and he got out of the way. It was just one of those funky collisions. I was in pain right away.”

Both players fell to the ice, but Helm got up very slowly before making his way to the Wings’ bench. A few minutes later, he left the ice under his own strength and did not return to the game.

An MRI is scheduled for Monday in Detroit, Helm said.

Helm’s injury is just the latest in a growing list of wounded Wings, which includes Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle), Johan Franzen (back spasms), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Jakub Kindl (sprained oblique), Joey MacDonald (lower back) and Patrick Eaves (post-concussion).

Since late February, the Wings have had 12 players miss games because of injury or illness.

“We need to get a break with some injuries here,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Get Mule and E and Nick back and be the kind of team we're capable of being, because we're not as good right now. It's gone on long enough, we need to get rolling.”

On Saturday, the Wings welcomed back center Pavel Datsyuk to the lineup. It was the third straight game that Detroit has gotten an injured player back on the ice. Goalie Jimmy Howard returned Tuesday in Los Angeles, and Todd Bertuzzi came back the next night in Anaheim.

Helm tried to remain confident when he was asked if he thought the injury was beyond a day-to-day status. “I don't know, maybe I'll feel good tomorrow. We'll see. I don't think that's the case but we'll find out Monday when I do some tests.”

The first period of Saturday’s game, a 3-2 overtime loss for the Wings against San Jose, featured no fewer than three huge hits, including back-to-back clean body checks by Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray and Wings rookie defenseman Brendan Smith.

The third hit could have been a penalty on Logan Couture who delivered a right elbow to Brad Stuart’s jaw. The Wings’ defenseman looked shaken up by the play, but he returned to the ice for his next shift.

But Helm knew immediately that something didn’t feel right after the hit. “I've had similar injuries,” he said, “this is more painful than other times.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill


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