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Things just got a whole lot tougher for the Red Wings as Darren Helm’s had a ‘setback’

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:

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...

Both the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan and the Free Press's Helene St. James are confirming on Twitter, and St. James added Babcock quotes to her game preview story:

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

Corey Crawford

Ray Emery

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."

If you want to read CSN Chicago's Tracey Myers' or the Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc's stories about Corey Crawford starting tonight, you may...

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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NIVO's avatar


grrrrr, it is what it is, but i still hate it.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 01/27/13 at 06:57 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Not happy to see Helm hurt again :(  And it looks like Kindl should start packing his bags if Lashoff and Huskins have passed him on the depth chart.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 01/27/13 at 07:18 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

Somebody needs to make a decent offering to Hockey Jobu and get this stupid injury bug cured!

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/27/13 at 07:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Operating theories:

1. The Wings are probably using an overabundance of caution here as the best cure for a “sore back,” regrettably, is generally rest and anti-inflammatories, not physical therapy or chiropractic care.

2. Yes, it’s time to start the collection for our shamanistic exorcism.

3. Wrap Helm in bubble wrap when he’s not on the ice? Or does he need to start picking his spots more, like Kronwall? Or both? I like the bubble wrap idea…

4. Very strange to see Kindl being scratched. It’s incredibly, incredibly early, but his status as a Wing may be dependent upon injuries continuing to occur. Very surprising given that he’s a former first-round pick who the Wings have invested so much in developing, as On the Wings’ Matt Saler has suggested.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/27/13 at 07:22 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I feel a third line slaughter feast tonight. Abby doesn’t have the chops against Bolland

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/27/13 at 07:37 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Taking into consideration neither Ericsson or Kindl dominated at the AHL like the scouts and coaches wanted them to, coming up to the NHL because they ran out of options has led to lackluster performance out of both of them.

As big as Ericsson is, he should be running over most players and he’s not.  Kindl hasn’t filled out (6’ 3” 180ish ?) and it shows.  He gets pushed off the puck way to easily and gets rid of the puck too soon out of fear of being hit.

Between Ericsson, Kindl and Franzen ... they all need a little more Kronwall in them ... and Kronner is the smallest of the 4 !!!

Trading Ericsson & Kindl are almost expected ... Trading Franzen would really wake up the rest of the room and make them wonder “who’s next?” if they don’t perform.  Only question is .. how much do they want to change team chemistry ??

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/27/13 at 07:42 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The only way Franzen would be moved with that contract is if he was bought out, and I don’t think the Wings plan on doing so, despite popular opinion lining up against him.

Ericsson is *not* a #1 defenseman and is *never* going to be as physical as we want, but he *is* a capable penalty-killer and he did establish himself last year to an extent that I don’t think anybody acknowledged. The Wings desperately, desperately missed him when he was gone and the penalty-kill went in the shitter. He’s not a terrible player by any means, and on this roster, anyway, he’s a top-four guy.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/27/13 at 07:47 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Kindl was drafted 8 years ago and hasn’t done enough to make it into the lineup.  No excuses this year as the D lineup is not strong.  Trade bait? Lashoff better stay up in my opinion.

I may be wrong as usual but it pisses me off that people are calling Helm injury prone.  I think most of this injury stuff was in the last 8 months, one getting cut with a skate, getting hit in the face with a puck, ??

Franzen is the only top 6 Wing (until equally useless Samuelsson returns) playing now without a goal and his floating, fly bys are one reason.  I also thing he is over weight or he is the slowest skater on the team.  Would rather have Homer at 40!  Remember Franzen plays regularly with 2 World Class players and on the 1st PP.  As log as Babs is the coach Franzen will drag his ass around and pout.

Hope the bottom 6 can hold the Hawks in their own end for awhile and maybe chip ibn their 1st goal!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/27/13 at 08:36 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Fuch back injuries.

Yeah bad backs can suck, but they don’t have to be forever. Bert seems to have beat his

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/27/13 at 09:03 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I loves me some Helm but fer feck’s sake this kid musta tortured animals in a past life. Sheesh…

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 01/27/13 at 10:18 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Overhaul ..

wait til you pull a muscle in your back because you were sitting or standing in the wrong position when you sneeze.
i’ve done it ... talk about embarrassing .. lol .. stupid out of shape 53 year old body .. grrrrrrrrr

and on a happier note…  i’ve done it again ... threaten to trade franzen and he scores a goal .. baaaaahahahaha.
said the same thing last season and he scored 2 the next game.
maybe I should skate behind him with a megaphone while he plays.

can’t believe how out of sync everything gets when Helmer isn’t around.  who knows a good acupuncturist ??

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/28/13 at 02:28 AM ET

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About The Malik Report

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.