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Red Wings-Blackhawks pre-season game-day updates: lineups murky, Helm recovering from groin issues

As far as I can tell, the Chicago Blackhawks' press didn't accompany the team to Detroit ahead of today's game between the Hawks and Red Wings (5 PM EDT, Fox Sports Detroit/NHL Network U.S./AM 1270), and ChicagoBlackhawks.com's Brad Boron's game preview indicated that the Blackhawks' lineup would not be released early...

Last Meeting: Corey Crawford turned aside all 19 shots he faced as the Blackhawks shut out the Wings in their preseason opener, 2-0, on Sept. 17. Patrick Sharp and Ben Smith tallied in the game, while Brent Seabrook added an assist.

Three Stars (players to watch):

Brandon Bollig: The Blackhawks did not hold practice on Saturday, and as of Friday night, Head Coach Joel Quenneville had given little indication of who will travel to Detroit for the preseason matchup. Bollig, who has been better known for his toughness in his NHL career, has talked often during training camp about improving his scoring tough. With two goals so far this preseason, the 26-year-old winger would look to continue his hot start if he were to dress for Sunday's contest.

Ben Smith: Given a night off on Friday against Washington, it's possible that Rockford veteran Smith could return to the lineup Sunday. His last time out, the Boston College alum scored two points (1G, 1A) as the Blackhawks fell to Pittsburgh in a shootout, 4-3.

Corey Crawford / Nikolai Khabibulin: Coach Q hasn't indicated which goaltender will get the nod Sunday, but a road date against the Red Wings will be a good test for either player. Crawford is 11-2-2 with a 1.82 goals-against average in his career against Detroit during the regular season. Khabibulin is 16-28-6 all-time against Detroit, with a 3.28 goals-against average.

And at present, aside from the news regarding cuts made and not made as the Grand Rapids Griffins prepare to leave Detroit and begin their training camp in GR tomorrow, RedWingsFeed noted that the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa was the only member of the media attending a very, very optional morning skate in Detroit:

Honestly, we've got to go with, "Who the *#$%@& knows?" regarding Gustavsson's injury until we hear more about it than Babcock's, "Groins are a week for players and two for goalies" line.

Here's Krupa's game-day update in text form...

Darren Helm's long-awaited return to the Red Wings lineup, a development that would provide a vital boost for the team's fortunes, got a boost Sunday, when he practiced.

"That was the first time I was actually out there with a few guys," Helm said, talking about his recovery from a groin injury, which occurred as he was beginning to return from a back injury that occurred as the owners' lockout was ending, last season. "We just had so goalie drills, so it was kind of nice to handle the puck a little bit and be out there with some of the guys.

"I've skated a few times, just kind of laps and boring stuff. Feeling better, headed in the right direction."

Asked to gauge the excitement that should greet the news, Helm said, "It's still going to be a bit. It's a process."

"I learned with my back to take it very slowly, not put any dates on anything and just kind of take it a day at a time. I'm not getting too excited. Just stay on even keel and get this thing back to where I'm healthy and play as quickly as I can."

And if you missed the cuts...

Detroit, MI... The Detroit Red Wings today assigned 17 players to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. With the moves, the Red Wings’ roster currently stands at 38 players.

PLAYERS ASSIGNED TO GRAND RAPIDS ON 9/22/13

 
FORWARDS
No. Player Pos. Sh. Ht. Wt. Birthplace D.O.B. 2012-13 Team
26 Tomas Jurco LW L 6-2 195 Kosice, Slovakia 12/28/1992 Grand Rapids (AHL)
42 Martin Frk RW R 6-0 203 Pelhrimov, Czech Rep. 10/5/1993 Halifax (QMJHL)
49 Andrej Nestrasil RW L 6-2 210 Prague, Czech Rep. 2/22/1991 Toledo (ECHL)
54 Trevor Parkes LW R 6-2 202 Fort Erie, ON 5/13/1991 Grand Rapids (AHL)
57 Mitch Callahan RW R 6-0 200 Whittier, CA 8/17/1991 Grand Rapids (AHL)
60 Marek Tvrdon LW L 6-2 217 Nitra, Slovakia 1/31/1993 Vancouver (WHL)
70 Calle Jarnkrok C R 6-0 176 Gavle, Sweden 9/25/1991 Brynas (SHL)
73 David McIntyre C L 6-0 195 Pefferlaw, ON 2/4/1987 Houston (AHL)
81 Jeff Hoggan LW L 6-1 190 Hope, BC 2/1/1978 Grand Rapids (AHL)
                 
DEFENSEMEN
No. Player Pos. Sh. Ht. Wt. Birthplace D.O.B. 2012-13 Team
46 Gleason Fournier D L 6-0 191 Rimouski, QC 9/8/1991 Grand Rapids (AHL)
48 Ryan Sproul D R 6-4 200 Mississauga, ON 1/13/1993 Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
51 Brennan Evans D L 6-4 230 North Battlefield, SK 1/6/1982 Grand Rapids (AHL)
58 Max Nicastro D R 6-3 225 Thousand Oaks, CA 3/2/1990 Grand Rapids (AHL)
61 Xavier Ouellet D L 6-1 190 Terrebonne, QC 7/29/1993 B.-Boisbriand (QMJHL)
77 Richard Nedomlel D L 6-5 231 Prague, Czech Rep. 7/31/1993 Swift Current (WHL)
                 
GOALTENDERS
No. Player Pos. Sh. Ht. Wt. Birthplace D.O.B. 2012-13 Team
38 Tom McCollum G L 6-2 215 Amherst, NY 12/7/1989 Grand Rapids (AHL)
68 Cam Lanigan G L 6-3 202 Calgary, AB 6/9/92 Medicine Hat (WHL)
                 
CURRENT DETROIT RED WINGS ROSTER – 38 PLAYERS
FORWARDS
No. Player Pos. Sh. Ht. Wt. Birthplace D.O.B. 2012-13 Team
8 Justin Abdelkader LW L 6-1 219 Muskegon, MI 2/25/1987 Detroit (NHL)
11 Daniel Alfredsson RW R 5-11 203 Gothenburg, Sweden 12/11/1972 Ottawa (NHL)
13 Pavel Datsyuk C L 5-11 198 Sverdlovsk, Russia 7/20/1978 Detroit (NHL)
14 Gustav Nyquist LW L 5-11 185 Halmstad, Sweden 9/1/1989 Detroit (NHL)
15 Riley Sheahan C L 6-2 212 St. Catharines, ON 12/7/1991 Grand Rapids (AHL)
17 Patrick Eaves RW R 6-0 187 Calgary, AB 5/1/1984 Detroit (NHL)
18 Joakim Andersson C L 6-2 206 Munkedal, Sweden 2/5/1989 Detroit (NHL)
20 Drew Miller LW L 6-2 178 Dover, NJ 2/17/1984 Detroit (NHL)
21 Tomas Tatar LW L 5-10 186 Ilava, Slovakia 12/1/1990 Grand Rapids (AHL)
22 Jordin Tootoo RW R 5-9 199 Churchill, MB 2/2/1983 Detroit (NHL)
25 Cory Emmerton C L 6-0 191 St. Thomas, ON 6/1/1988 Detroit (NHL)
28 Triston Grant LW L 6-2 212 Neepawa, MB 2/2/1984 Grand Rapids (AHL)
29 Landon Ferraro C R 6-0 179 Trail, BC 8/8/1991 Grand Rapids (AHL)
32 Louis-Marc Aubry C L 6-4 208 Arthabaska, QC 11/11/1991 Grand Rapids (AHL)
37 Mikael Samuelsson RW R 6-2 218 Mariefred, Sweden 2/23/1976 Detroit (NHL)
40 Henrik Zetterberg C L 5-11 197 Njurunda, Sweden 10/9/1980 Detroit (NHL)
41 Luke Glendening RW R 5-11 200 Grand Rapids, MI 4/28/1989 Grand Rapids (AHL)
43 Darren Helm C L 5-11 192 Winnipeg, MB 1/21/1987 Detroit (NHL)
44 Todd Bertuzzi LW L 6-3 229 Sudbury, ON 2/2/1975 Detroit (NHL)
45 Willie Coetzee RW R 5-10 185 Johannesburg, S. Africa 11/7/1990 Toledo (ECHL)
56 Teemu Pulkkinen RW R 5-10 180 Vantaa, Finland 1/2/1992 Jokerit (FIN)
71 Daniel Cleary RW L 6-0 203 Carbonear, NL 12/18/1978 Detroit (NHL)
90 Stephen Weiss C L 5-11 190 Toronto, ON 4/3/1983 Florida (NHL)
93 Johan Franzen RW L 6-3 223 Vetlanda, Sweden 12/23/1979 Detroit (NHL)
                 
DEFENSEMEN
No. Player Pos. Sh. Ht. Wt. Birthplace D.O.B. 2012-13 Team
2 Brendan Smith D L 6-2 198 Toronto, ON 2/8/1989 Detroit (NHL)
4 Jakub Kindl D L 6-3 216 Sumperk, Czech Rep. 2/10/1987 Detroit (NHL)
23 Brian Lashoff D L 6-3 212 Albany, NY 7/16/1990 Detroit (NHL)
24 Nathan Paetsch D L 6-0 195 LeRoy, SK 3/30/1993 Grand Rapids (AHL)
27 Kyle Quincey D L 6-2 207 Kitchener, ON 8/12/1985 Detroit (NHL)
47 Alexey Marchenko D R 6-2 183 Moscow, Russia 1/2/1992 CSKA Moscow (KHL)
52 Jonathan Ericsson D L 6-4 221 Karlskrona, Sweden 3/2/1984 Detroit (NHL)
53 Adam Almquist D L 5-11 173 Huskvarna, Sweden 2/27/1991 Grand Rapids (AHL)
55 Niklas Kronwall D L 6-0 190 Stockholm, Sweden 1/12/1981 Detroit (NHL)
65 Danny DeKeyser D L 6-3 190 Detroit, MI 3/7/1990 Detroit (NHL)
                 
GOALTENDERS
No. Player Pos. Cat. Ht. Wt. Birthplace D.O.B. 2012-13 Team
31 Jared Coreau G L 6-4 208 Perth, ON 11/5/1991 N. Michigan (NCAA)
34 Petr Mrazek G L 6-1 187 Ostrava, Czech Rep. 2/14/1992 Grand Rapids (AHL)
35 Jimmy Howard G L 6-0 218 Syracuse, NY 3/26/1984 Detroit (NHL)
50 Jonas Gustavsson G L 6-3 192 Danderyd, Sweden 10/24/1984 Detroit (NHL)

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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.