The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/27/13 at 05:32 PM ET
Updated 4x at 6:29 PM with Khan reporting that Helm will have an MRI on Monday, per Ken Holland: Urgh. I was wondering why I was tossing and turning during my pre-game nap, but ahead of tonight's game between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks (7 PM ET, FSD/CSN Chicago/WXYT AM), RedWingsFeed provides us with bad news from Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson...
And MLive's Ansar Khan is confirming...
Detroit Red Wings center Darren Helm had a setback with his back injury and will not play tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Helm returned to the lineup in Friday's 5-3 win over Minnesota. He left midway through Saturday's practice. The team has just ruled him out for tonight. No word on how long he will be out.
While offering lineup notes via Twitter:
Babcock said Helm (back) is out tonight.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) January 27, 2013
Injury karma. It wakes your ass out of solid sleep.
Update: Meanwhile, on the Chicago side of things...
CSN Chicago's Steve Konroyd...Oh, wait, does that count?
Update #1.5: From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
MLive's Ansar Khan...
The Detroit Red Wings will have to try to contain the Chicago Blackhawks without the services of Darren Helm. Coach Mike Babcock said Sunday afternoon that Helm will miss the game (7 p..m, FSD) because of recurrent back problems. Helm had just returned to the lineup Friday against Minnesota.
"I don't know if it's a set back or a new thing," Babcock said. "I'm not the doc. Frustration is a waste of time, so let's just get on with it and win a game."
Patrick Eaves will be in the lineup to counter losing Helm. Justin Abdelkader will move back to centering the third line, between Daniel Cleary and Eaves.
The Wings looked pretty good in their last game, when they took on one of the better teams in the NHL.
Tonight comes the best, or at least the hottest: The 5-0 Chicago Blackhawks, who've averaged four goals a game as they've dispatched such notable opponents as the Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars. They beat the Blue Jackets Saturday at Columbus.
The Wings face the Blackhawks at 7 at United Center (FSD). Given that it's a 6 p.m. start in Chicago, the Wings opted not to have a morning skate, instead having work-outs at their hotel.
Update #2: Khan's just updated his game preview:
Helm missed all of training camp and the first three games of the season. He returned to the lineup in Friday's 5-3 win over Minnesota, logging 12:27, providing energy and a physical presence and killing penalties.
He left midway through Saturday's practice. The team has just ruled him out for tonight. No word on how long he will be out.
Patrick Eaves, a healthy scratch on Friday, will take Helm's place.
Here are the lines coach Mike Babcock said he will use at the start of the game:
Johan Franzen-Henrik Zetterberg-Damien Brunner
Valtteri Filppula-Pavel Datsyuk-Todd Bertuzzi
Daniel Cleary-Justin Abdelkader-Patrick Eaves
Drew Miller-Cory Emmerton-Jordin Tootoo
Babcock said defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (hip, shoulder) will take the pregame warmups before a decision is made on whether he can play. If Ericsson plays, Babcock said Jakub Kindl will be scratched.
NHL.com's Brian Hedger is keeping abreast of the updates on Twitter as well, and in the "for the record" department, here's the lineup he believes the Hawks will employ against Detroit, via NHL.com's "At the Rink" blog:
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp – Dave Bolland – Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell – Andrew Shaw – Viktor Stalberg
Brandon Bollig – Marcus Kruger– Michael Frolik
Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy – Michal Rozsival
Injured: Daniel Carcillo (lower body); Steve Montador (concussion symptoms)
Scratched: Sheldon Brookbank, Jamal Mayers
Lineup notes: Chicago did not hold a morning skate after beating Columbus 3-2 on the road Saturday night. Brookbank played alongside Leddy and Mayers played right wing on the fourth line in place of Frolik. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville may opt for the speedier Frolik against the Red Wings and could go back to Rozsival on the third defense pairing, after he’s played well in three games.
Update #3: Here's Ted Kulfan's report...
Red Wings forward Darren Helm will miss Sunday night's game in Chicago after possibly re-aggravating his back. Coach Mike Babcock said Patrick Eaves will replace Helm in the lineup. Helm missed the first three games of the regular season after his straining his back before the start of training camp.
Helm played 12 minutes, 27 seconds Friday against Minnesota but left during the middle of Saturday's practice.
"It's his back; I don't know if it's a setback or a new thing," Babcock said. "I'm not the doctor."
Helm wasn't available for comment.
The Red Wings have been hit hard with injuries to start this shortened NHL season. Forward Mikael Samuelsson (groin), defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo (separated shoulder), Ian White (lacerated leg) and goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin) all remain out of the lineup.
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (hip) could return Sunday night against Chicago. Babcock said Ericsson is a game-time decision. Jakub Kindl would be out if Ericsson is ready to play.
Babcock remains unfazed by the injuries.
"Frustration is a waste of time," Babcock said. "Let's go out and win a game."
Update #4: If you want some decent pre-game reading (nice Smith-Andrew Shaw fight wallpaper via CBS Detroit, by the way), MLive's Ansar Khan offers us a mid-afternoon notebook discussing the Wings' "issues" with the crackdown on sticks slashing hands, but this Tweet from Khan scares me:
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