The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/19/12 at 03:47 PM ET
Updated 4x at 3:18 PM; Time to press the, “Oh s#*t!” button regarding Red Wings forward Darren Helm’s knee injury, per MLive’s Ansar Khan:
Helm out 4-6 weeks with 2nd degree mcl sprain. Holland tells M-Live
The Free Press’s Helene St. James confirms:
Holland tells Free Press that Darren Helm has second degree MCL sprain, will miss 4-6 weeks
The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness is confirming as well, and 4 weeks from today = April 16th.
Update: St. James is confirming via text:
Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm will miss 4 to 6 weeks with a sprained knee. An MRI exam this morning revealed a second-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament in Helm’s left knee, general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.
Helm was injured when he went to hit San Jose’s Dominic Moore on Saturday. When Moore turned away from the hit, it turned into more of a collision, and Helm immediately pulled up and left the game without playing another shift.
This is a significant blow for the Wings, who rely on Helm for speed and energy as the team’s third-line center. He also is integral to the penalty kill. While four weeks would put Helm’s return date during the first round of the playoffs, these injuries tend to go to the longer estimate.
Update #2: Here’s Pleiness’s full report:
With the playoff just over three weeks away, the Wings will be without Darren Helm for the next 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprained on his left knee. No surgery will be required.
“We just have to wait for it to heal,” Wings GM Ken Holland said. “It’s just a sprain. You just have to wait for it to heal. Helmer’s a big part of the team, but an opportunity for others,” Holland added. “I’m assuming Abby will go into that 3 hole. He’s been a good player for us. The playoffs are three and a half weeks away. I’m hoping Helm’s a fast healer and he’ll be ready sometime around the start of the playoffs. That’s certainly the hope but you won’t know until you let some time go by. But certainly we’re hoping sometime during the first round of the playoffs we’ll get Helmer back, but in the meantime it’s an opportunity for Nyquist to play and opportunity for Abby to have a bigger role.”
Helm suffered a left knee or leg injury late in the third period of Saturday’s overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks in a collision with Dominic Moore.
“I’m a little bit concerned,” Helm said after the game. “More than I want to be right now. It’s pretty close to the end of the season. I was hoping I’d be healthy and playing my best going into the playoffs. That obviously is not going to be the case. Hopefully, I’ll be healthy and ready to play the first game of the playoffs,” Helm continued. “Hopefully I’ll be ready before that. I don’t know how long it’s going to take. We’ll find out on Monday.”
Helm tried to skate during a break, but went right to the dressing room.
“As soon as I jumped on I knew right away I couldn’t go,” Helm said. “I’ve had similar injuries, but this is more painful than other times. I was going to hit Moore, but I kind of didn’t take the best angle on him,” Helm added. “He kind of jumped out of the way a little bit, trying to avoid the hit and we just kind of collided. I was trying to hit him pretty good and he got out of the way. It was just one of those funky collisions. I was in pain right away.”
Update #2.5: Khan is confirming via text as well.
Update #2.75: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan also confirms:
Red Wings center Darren Helm will be out 4-6 weeks with a sprained left knee, the team said Monday.
Helm has nine goals and 17 assists in 68 games this season. He was injured in Detroit’s 3-2 overtime loss in San Jose on Saturday night.
Update #3: Here’s Khan’s story with quotes from Ken Holland...
“The playoffs are 3 1/2 weeks away. I’m hoping Helm’s a fast healer and he’ll be ready sometime around the start of the playoffs,’’ Holland said. “That’s certainly the hope, but you won’t know until you let some time go by. But certainly we’re hoping sometime during the first round of the playoffs we’ll get Helmer back.’‘
Helm was injured in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks, after delivering a hit on Dominic Moore midway through the third period. An MRI Monday revealed the extent of the injury.
The team will miss Helm’s speed and energy. He’s a player who elevates his game at playoff time, when he has proven to be hard to play against. Helm, 25, has nine goals and 17 assists in 68 games. Justin Abdelkader will take his spot as the third-line center.
“Helmer’s a big part of the team, but it’s an opportunity for others,’’ Holland said. “I’m assuming Abby will go into that three-hole. He’s been a good player for us.’‘
Detroit recalled rookie Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday to fill the roster opening. He practiced on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi, where he likely will start Monday’s game against Washington.
“Nyquist has played very well in the American Hockey League, but that’s the American Hockey League,’’ Holland said. “We’re trying to roll 3-4 lines and (Danny) Cleary is a guy that can play up and play down. You put Cleary and Abby and (Drew) Miller together and it’s a real good third checking line. We’re hoping Nyquist can do some things, but obviously if we’re in the first period and there’s no magic or no chemistry then the coach will make changes.’‘
And the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan did the same thing to his story:
Forward Darren Helm will miss approximately 4-6 weeks, according to general manager Ken Holland, because of a Grade 2 sprain to Helm’s left MCL.
“The good news was there was no damage,” Holland said. “We have 10 games left, three weeks, so we expect Helmer to be back at some point during the first round (of the playoffs). It’s a tough loss, but it’s an opportunity now, for other players.”
Helm injured his knee during Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss in San Jose attempting to check the Sharks’ Dominic Moore. Helm’s knee took the brunt of the hit. He attempted to return to the game but was noticeably hurt, and said after the game the knee was bothering him.
Holland mentioned Justin Abdelkader, who’ll step into Helm’s roll a center on the third line, and recent call-up Gustav Nyquist, who is the lineup Monday night against Washington, as two players who are likely to get increased minutes and responsibility with Helm out of the lineup.
“There are opportunities for other players,” Holland said. “Right now, we have to get healthy and we have to continue to find ways to win some hockey games.”
Update #4: Here’s NHL.com’s Brian Hedger’s report about Helm:
“It’s a sprain,” Holland said. “You wait for the sprain to heal. This one just so happens to be on his knee. If you sprain your thumb, you don’t do anything for it. You just wait for it to heal. This is the same thing. We just have to wait for it to heal.”
He should be used to that refrain by now, with Detroit’s list of walking wounded seemingly growing by the day. The good news is that several Red Wings appear to be on the mend, including defensemen Jonathan Ericsson (fractured wrist) and Jakub Kindl (oblique strain). Both went through Monday’s morning skate at the United Center and showed signs their ailments are healing. Captain Nicklas Lidstrom (bruised ankle) also went through a full morning skate for the first time in nine games and hopes to go through a full practice Tuesday.
“The playoffs are three-and-a-half weeks away,” Holland said. “I’m hoping Helm’s a fast healer and he’ll be ready sometime around the start of the playoffs. That’s certainly the hope, but you won’t know until you let some time go by. But certainly we’re hoping sometime during the first round of the playoffs we’ll get Helmer back. In the meantime, it’s an opportunity for (Gustav Nyquist) to play and an opportunity for (Justin Abdelkader) to have a bigger role.”
Abdelkader will fill in for Helm at center on the third line, which likely will start with Danny Cleary at right wing.
“We’re grinding right now,” Holland said of his team, which has won just once in the past seven games (1-5-1). “We weren’t overly pleased with our effort in our games in California (last week). I thought we played hard in San Jose. We just have to keep grinding.”
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