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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  - Managing Editor | 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 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89