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No headaches, Helm hopes to return soon

Red Wings' speedy center skated for second straight day without symptoms

Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:54 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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No headaches, Helm hopes to return soon

Darren Helm
Center  - DET
Goals: 7 | Assists: 5 | Pts: 12
Shots: 53 | +/-: 2
DETROIT Darren Helm skated for the second straight day for the first time since he experienced a setback in his recovery from a concussion that he believes he received in Ottawa Feb. 27.

“I haven’t had any bad headaches or long-lasting ones,” helm said Friday morning. “Every once in a while I get a slight headache or slight pressure up there but nothing where it’s been a huge concern to keep me off the ice or keep me from moving forward.”

Helm played in the Wings’ following game, four days later, in New Jersey. But it was in the second period that he began to experience vision problems.

“That’s why we kind of stopped and re-evaluated where my injury was at,” Helm said. “I don’t know if I’ll know exactly how good that is until I start amping up my workouts and my skating because I did take two practices before (game at New Jersey) and had no issues. When I got to that game situation where I really got going, that’s when the vision problems started happening.”

Still, Helm, who will sit out his fifth straight game when Detroit hosts the Edmonton Oilers Friday, is reluctant to establish a timetable for his return to the Red Wings’ lineup.

The Red Wings sent Helm to see a concussion specialist in Ann Arbor, where he said he visited with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, a sports neurologist at the University of Michigan Health System. He is the same doctor that treated Johan Franzen and former Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves for their concussions.

“I went to talk to him right after we got back from Jersey,” Helm said. “He diagnosed as a concussion, I’ve been keeping close contact with him about my progress each day. He says things are going well. Hopefully today will be another positive today and I won’t feel anything tonight and we can keep pushing forward.”

Helm has seven goals, including two game-winners, and 12 points in 29 games this season, However, the Red Wings definitely miss his speed through the neutral zone, his fore-checking, and his tenacious nature in the corners.

Helm said he felt fineFriday morning but the real test will come later this evening and into Saturday. If he continues to progress, Helm hopes to skate Sunday morning in Chicago with an eye on maybe returning next week against Pittsburgh on Thursday.

“That would be my goal (next week), just from watching other guys with concussions and head injuries, can’t really put a finger on when you think you’ll be back,” Helm said. “We thought Mule was going to be back for the Olympics but he kept having complications and couldn’t go. (Justin Abdelkader) had one this year, he was good to go after a week and a half, so you don’t know how your body is going to react.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80