The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/12/12 at 12:23 PM ET
Updated 4x with good news about Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg at 12:06 PM: Via MLive’s Ansar Khan, this quip from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos should come as no surprise to those who witnessed Darren Helm suffering a serious injury to his forearm on a skate cut from Alex Radulov:
#SNPlayoffs news. #toughloss #Redwings Helm playoff run is over. Its believed tendon damage that required surgery went well.
Awful news for the Wings, and it should be noted somewhere that Helm wears gloves with very long cuffs—size 14 gloves which end up with 15-inch protection—so it’s hard to blame the player for not taking adequate precautions to protect his wrists.
Update: the Red Wings are confirming:
HELM UPDATE: Darren had successful surgery to repair lacerated tendons in his right forearm. He is out for the remainder of the playoffs.
Helm, who had successful surgery Wednesday night, had just returned to the lineup after suffering a sprained left MCL on March 17 in San Jose. The Wings have missed Helm’s energy on the third line that he centers.
“Helmer just puts everybody in their right spot,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday after the morning skate. “We had a great bottom six all year long and then we lost our people and we had no bottom six, no support scoring.”
Justin Abdelkader will more than likely move back up to centering the third line and Cory Emmerton will center the fourth line.
Helm is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.
After finishing a check on Alexander Radulov with six minutes to play in the first period, Helm was cut by Radulov’s skate blade.
MLive’s Ansar Khan...
Helm is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of training camp in September.
Helm’s was cut by the blade of Alexander Radulov’s skate with about six minutes to play in the first period of Nashville’s 3-2 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena.
It’s a huge loss for the team, which relies heavily on Helm’s speed, forechecking ability and physical play, particularly in the playoffs.
The injury likely will prompt coach Mike Babcock to move Justin Abdelkader from fourth-line center back to third-line center, where he played the final 10 games of the regular season, when Helm was idled by a sprained left MCL.
Cory Emmerton would then move from wing back to center on the fourth line. Rookie Gustav Nyquist or veteran Chris Conner likely will be inserted into the lineup for Game 2 Friday in Nashville.
eneral manager Ken Holland told the Free Press, “Z is fine, I just talked to him at breakfast,” quenching any concerns Zetterberg might have awoken with the mother of all headaches—or worse, a concussion—after Wednesday’s events.
At the end of the 3-2 loss to the Predators, Zetterberg checked Weber, who responded by grabbing Zetterberg’s head and slamming it into the glass, twice. Zetterberg wasn’t available for comment after the game, Wings coach Mike Babcock said he was too far away to see much and hadn’t yet seen the replay, and Weber wrote it off as “playoff hockey.”
No word yet from the NHL regarding any possible disciplinary action, but league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan already has reviewed what happened and will make a decision today. He might just issue a warning, in light of Zetterberg not suffering any injuries. But the NHL has made a big deal all season of protecting players from head injuries.
Meanwhile, the Wings won’t have forward Darren Helm available when this series continues with Friday’s Game 2. He underwent surgery on his right forearm Wednesday night after getting cut by Alexander Radulov’s skate blade and is out for the playoffs. The surgery was performed by Dr. Douglas Weikert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Update #3: For the record, here’s the Wings’ press release regarding Helm:
HELM UNDERGOES SUCCESFUL SURGERY
RED WINGS FORWARD OUT FOR REMAINDER OF PLAYOFFS
Detroit, MI…Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm underwent successful surgery last night to repair lacerated tendons in his right forearm. The injury, suffered with just over eight minutes remaining in the first period of the Red Wings Western Conference Quarterfinal Game 1 vs. Nashville, will sideline Helm for the remainder of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Helm is expected to make a full recovery and return for the Red Wings 2012 training camp.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Douglas Weikert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
FSD’s Dana Wakiji is confirming, too.
Update #4: Don’t expect much from Helm in terms of comments, per DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
It’s expected that Helm will be released from the hospital later today and will stay with the team in Nashville before returning to Detroit following Friday’s Game 2 against the Predators, who hold a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals.
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