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The Malik Report

St. James speaks to Ken Holland about the Red Wings’ playoff injury list

MLive's Ansar Khan reported that Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula will miss 6-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain and that Mikael Samuelsson may need surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, and as we talk about possible roster moves and Wings GM Ken Holland talks about sticking to his plan (which would mean very few roster moves), Holland also dished playoff injury dirt to the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Holland also said today that Jimmy Howard played with a pulled hamstring at the end of the Anaheim series.

Other than that, both forward Daniel Cleary and defenseman Niklas Kronwall were banged up, each dealing with the effects of monstrous hits. Kronwall got clotheslined in Game 5 by Chicago forward Bryan Bickell and "was playing with an injured shoulder," Holland said. "He hurt his hand in the Anaheim series."

Cleary suffered a second-degree separated left shoulder and a fractured left finger after he was slammed into the boards by Anaheim's Daniel Winnik in Game 5.

St. James continues, and offers the following:

"We had lots of players banged up," Holland said. "All teams do. It's the playoffs. You're playing every other night. Players are getting beat up every second night. It's a lot of hockey."

[Danny] DeKeyser was lost to a broken right thumb in Game 2 against Anaheim, requiring surgery May 7. Holland said DeKeyser would have been cleared next Tuesday — exactly four weeks after an operation to have a plate and screws permanently inserted into his thumb. Had the Wings advanced to meet the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals, DeKeyser might have been back for Game 3.

As for forward Darren Helm, who spent all season, save one game, battling a perplexing and aggravating back injury, the Wings have shut him down for a couple weeks, after which he'll take baby steps in recovery attempt No. 20.

"He's seen three or four doctors, and every one of them has said they don't see anything," Holland said. "Every doctor has ruled out this, has ruled out that. Our focus now is to have Helm ready for training camp in September."

It appears that the Red Wings will clean out their lockers tomorrow, and we'll find out more about injuries--as well as where some players are leaning regarding their futures, and what Holland and Mike Babcock want to see happen roster-wise--a day from now.

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan also offers an update regarding Helm:

"The plan is to get him ready for September,'' general manager Ken Holland said. “The plan is to let him heal. We need him healthy in September.''

Helm, 26, was limited to one game this season, on Jan. 25, due to recurring back pain. He was injured the first week of January, a couple of days before training camp, while lifting weights. Doctors haven't been able to pinpoint the cause of the pain.

“He's been to about four doctors who've said there's no structural damage,'' Holland said. “In order to get him playing, doctors asked him to push through it. He would push through it, feel good and then experience pain. Now, there's no use for him to push through it.''

They decided two weeks ago to shut him down and start from scratch.

“He's on a rehab program,'' Holland said. “He's doing baby steps.''

Holland said it will probably take Helm half the season to get up to speed, considering how much time he has missed. He has appeared in only two games since March 17, 2012, when he injured his knee. In his first game back, the playoff opener against Nashville, Helm's forearm was cut by a skate, severing tendons and ending his season.

“We got to get Darren Helm healthy for next year,'' Holland said. “The third-line center is an important part of any team.''

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John W.'s avatar

Surprised nothing has come out about Pav.  Something was obviously wrong with his hand/wrist/arm at the end of this series.  Seemed like he could barely handle the puck at all in Game 7.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/30/13 at 04:19 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

keep hearing Pav is retiring ...  Praying it is just rumors   hmmm

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 05/30/13 at 04:46 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

keep hearing Pav is retiring ...  Praying it is just rumors  
Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan on 05/30/13 at 04:46 PM ET

I’ve only heard that he is going back to Russia when his contract is up after next season? Is this something new you have heard?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/30/13 at 04:48 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan on 05/30/13 at 04:46 PM ET

My Fuching Gods. Please tell me you’re kidding.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/30/13 at 05:16 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Pavel is not a quitter. If he decides to play in Russia after next season, I don’t exactly think that’s quitting. I’d love for him to sign a one or 2 year deal, but I’m just not able to talk myself into that notion.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/30/13 at 05:19 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I’d be fine if he decided to go back to Russia next year. It’d at least give the team a chance to find a suitable replacement. Retiring now is such short notice.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/30/13 at 05:33 PM ET

Alan's avatar

...so I hope that’s just a baseless rumor. I’m sure it is, but still.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/30/13 at 05:35 PM ET

perfection's avatar

man, even more props to Cleary after hearing he had both separated shoulder and fractured finger. I thought he was just a monster this playoff. It really clouded my view for the future because I was DEFINITELY in the camp of not resigning him for next year but his inspired performance made me realize just how important having diehard vets really are for a team. He set the precedent and I think was just a huge part of the Wings’ success. Of course you can’t expect someone to play like that all year so is it worth carrying the semi-dead weight of an aging grinder over the course of a season so he can shine in the playoffs? Perhaps if you are sure you’ll make the playoffs… and you have the roster spot to burn. I guess it all comes down to what our options are. But either way, if this is the last we see Cleary in a Wings’ jersey, he did Detroit proud. He was in the middle of everything. Banged up and strong as hell.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/30/13 at 05:41 PM ET

awould's avatar

What was wrong with Pavel in Game 7 was that Chicago was holding onto his arm or stick every time he skated near anyone. I’ve never seen a player so systematically held and obstructed as Datsyuk in this last game. The last time it was even close was way back in Game 6.

Posted by awould on 05/30/13 at 05:57 PM ET

perfection's avatar

i noticed too that they double teamed him every time he touched the puck. when he did have the puck he had AT LEAST two guys on him. he still was able to shake loose here and there of course, but whether he was hurt or not, whether they obstructed him or not, I think he was also defended really well by some really talented defensive players.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/30/13 at 06:28 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

The issue with Pasha the last few games was that he was defended very well. Double-teamed, or triple-teamed when he had the puck, and often times he didn’t have people to pass to when he got the puck.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 05/30/13 at 07:05 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

Datsyuk being double-teamed doesn’t account for it. He kept going down and losing control of the puck without help from defenders. There were also a number of times were he was beaten on 1-on-1s, and that does not happen. Much of the time, he looked more like Filppula than himself.

Posted by bleep bloop on 05/30/13 at 10:08 PM ET

Crater's avatar

Much of the time, he looked more like Filppula than himself.

Posted by bleep bloop on 05/30/13 at 10:08 PM ET

Maybe the passion is really gone, and he really is done with the NHL.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 05/31/13 at 01:38 PM ET

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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.


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