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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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89