The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/05/12 at 03:25 PM ET
According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Red Wings have officially signed Riley Sheahan to a 3-year, entry-level contract, and they summoned the power forward to Detroit for the move, but that doesn’t mean he’ll play against the New Jersey Devils tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/MSG/97.1 FM)...
“I’m not going to take a look at him,’’ [Wings coach Mike] Babcock said. “ I’d love to put him in the lineup. I always like to put big people in the lineup. And he looks like he’s going to be able to play. He’s going to decide with his play over time, how soon that’s going to be. If he’s a regular every day Red Wing, or a just guy who plays in exhibition and ends up in Grand Rapids, I don’t know the answer to those questions.’‘
And Khan reports that both Jimmy Howard will start tonight opposite Martin Brodeur (per the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti), and that Kyle Quincey will rotate back into the lineup after serving a one-game suspension…
Jimmy Howard will start in goal tonight for the Detroit Red Wings against the New Jersey Devils at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
Howard also is expected to start Saturday’s regular season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks at JLA (1 p.m., NBC). That would give him four starts, following his latest return from a strained groin, heading into the playoffs.
Overall, Howard has played only 11 of the team’s past 28 games, missing 15 games due to injuries (broken finger, strained groin).
The Red Wings, with Howard, are coming off back-to-back shootout wins, 2-1 vs. Florida and 3-2 at St. Louis. Detroit has a one-point lead over Nashville in the battle for the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference and home-ice advantage in the first round.
And perhaps the best news of the day comes from the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa, who reports that Darren Helm (sprained knee) at least skated on his own today, which means that he’s on track to return sometime during the first round of the playoffs:
“Before I came in today, I wasn’t even sure when I could get back on the ice,” Helm said.
But when he met with doctors and the training staff, they told him to suit up and give it a shot.
“You know, they wanted me to get on there, right now,” said the speedster, who contributes heavily to the Red Wings’ defensive efforts and penalty kill, as well as the secondary scoring from the third and fourth lines.
“I’m still a ways a way, I think,” Helm said. “But it definitely helps a lot, mentally.”
Helm sprained a left knee ligament against the Sharks in San Jose on March 17, trying to deliver a heavy, open-ice check. He has missed eight games.
“I thought it was great, and it’s always good for the player to get back on the ice,” said coach Mike Babcock, who watched Helm a few other Red Wings participate in the optional skate, between consecutive games with the Blues and Devils. “We could really use Helmer, as everyone knows who’s been watching us,” Babcock said. “We’re not near as good a team without him. We don’t have anywhere near the depth. We don’t come at you as hard.”
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.