Apr 9, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT
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.”
- WATCH LIVE: Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Game 1) 1
- WATCH LIVE: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Game 1) 1
- Emery to start Game 1 versus Rangers 70
- Bulletin-board material: Why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup 30
- PHT staff picks: Who’s going to win the Stanley Cup? 53
- 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: PHT’s Round 1 picks 34
- Pressing Question: Can the Blackhawks avoid the Stanley Cup hangover? 10
- Florida wins ’14 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall 41
- Philly mum on Mason’s availability for Game 1 vs. Rangers 26
- Pressing question: Can the Blues get back on track? 16
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension (91)
- Lightning’s Malone arrested for DUI, cocaine possession (73)
- Emery to start Game 1 versus Rangers (70)
- Update: Daniel Sedin in stable condition, hospitalized after scary hit (58)
- PHT staff picks: Who’s going to win the Stanley Cup? (53)