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Helm wants back in Detroit lineup for Game 2

Apr 9, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Darren Helm AP

Darren Helm is back practicing with the Red Wings after missing a month with a sprained MCL.

Now, all he wants is to get back in the lineup.

“It’s been feeling great the last few days, been skating well,” Helm told DetroitRedWings.com. “Today felt really good, a lot better than the last couple of days. If it just keeps progressing, don’t have any setbacks than Game 2 should be a pretty good possibility.”

Helm skated with Detroit for nearly an hour on Monday, but wore a grey non-contact jersey, suggesting he’s not quite ready to return to the fold when the Wings open in Nashville on Wednesday. That said, the entire squad is eagerly anticipating getting him back in the lineup — and that includes Detroit’s head coach, Mike Babcock.

“We need Helm back,” Babcock said. “He seems to be the key to the bottom six. He plugs into the three hole and Abby [Justin Abdelkader] in the four hole. Then suddenly we’re a different hockey club depth-wise. That will be our plan. How soon we can do that remains to be seen.”

Prior to missing the last 10 games of the regular season, Helm had been centering an effective third line between Dan Cleary and Drew MIller. Helm had nine goals and 17 assists on the year, but it’s his value in the postseason that might be most important — despite the fact he’s only 25 years old, Helm has played in 64 playoff games and won a Cup with Detroit in his rookie year of 2007-08.

“I want to get out there extremely bad,” Helm said. “Watching games is no fun, playoffs is here, that’s what you play for the whole year. I’m almost there and want to get out there and help the team.”

  1. hockinj25 - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    He’s one of the most underrated players in the league. He doesn’t put up huge numbers but his speed and defense more than make up for it. We need him back but only when he is 100%.

  2. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Best news I’ve heard all day…Helm became an instant favorite for me in those 07-08 playoffs

  3. geo91 - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    If only he could finish

  4. polegojim - Apr 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Outstanding!

    If these boys all get truly healthy, I’d be very pleased to be considered ‘under-dogs’!

    Go RED WINGS!

  5. jdmix - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Wings are gonna need more than Helm to win against the tough Predators

  6. bigbluenoser - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Go Wings Go

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