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Wings set up for playoff run sans Helm

Speedy center remains optimistic that he can return this year

Tuesday, 04.9.2013 / 12:19 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - DetroitRedWings.com
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Wings set up for playoff run sans Helm

Darren Helm
Center - DET
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 0
SOG: 1 | +/-: 0
DETROIT – It appears that the Red Wings will have to finish the remainder of the season without their speedy third-line center Darren Helm.

As Helm continues to recover from lower back pain that has held him out of all but one game this season, Wings coach Mike Babcock wasn’t sounding very hopeful on Tuesday that the 26-year-old will return this season.

“He's not going to play hockey, right, this year, I don't think,” Babcock said. “We got to get ourselves in the playoffs and be ready to go without him.”

Helm, who suffered the injury while lifting weights as part of his conditioning a few days before the start of the team’s training camp in mid-January, isn’t giving up hope – at least not yet.

“I'm trying to stay positive,” Helm said. “I think my spirits are a little bit higher than they have been. It feels better but still can't really put any time on what's going on.”

The ordeal has been frustrating for everyone associated with the team, especially Helm. He’s met with a few different back specialists, including one in New York, and all have agreed that there isn’t any structural damage to the vertebrae, though there is a small tear in a disc, which has caused inflammation.

Helm has been skating on his own at Joe Louis Arena; and hasn’t made the last two road trips with the team, choosing to stay behind so he wouldn’t aggravate the injury.

“I've been skating for a while, working out for a while, working really hard, said Helm, who seemed ready to return to the lineup before he experienced another setback in mid-March. “It's just that I still feel pain, feel a lot of discomfort. I don't know if one day I'll wake up and feel great or it's going to be kind of gradual thing.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80