Frustrated by his inability to recover from injury, Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm met with a back specialist in New York, who thinks he might’ve uncovered something new on Helm’s MRI.
“The doctor thinks he saw something there that other people didn’t see,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told MLive.com. “He gave him some medication. We’re going to see where he’s at in 4-5 days.”
Holland went on to explain the club would re-evaluate Helm when it got back to Detroit. The Red Wings are currently on a two-game Western road trip in Los Angeles and San Jose (Wednesday-Thursday) but will return to Michigan on Friday.
Helm, 26, has been hobbled by back issues all year long. The ailment has held him out of 18 of Detroit’s 19 games played thus far, and he hasn’t skated since the end of January.
Not having Helm in the lineup has been a major blow for the Wings. Head coach Mike Babcock has referred to Helm as the “best third-line center in the NHL.”
The injury has also taken its toll on Helm both mentally and physically.
“I come in for treatment, and then I go home to sleep,” Helm told the Detroit Free Press. “Mentally, I’ve had a couple of bad days here and there. It has been a long time since I’ve played hockey, and it does get you down.
“I’ve seen a couple of doctors, and they believe it will get better; it’s just a matter of time. I just have to stay happy and positive about that.”
Thomas Greiss will be between the pipes for the New York Islanders when they host the Blackhawks tonight in Brooklyn.
Greiss was signed this offseason to back up Jaroslav Halak, who skated this morning but remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
“Jaro’s not 100 percent right now, so it was an easy decision,” coach Jack Capuano told Newsday. “Jaro’s progressing well and we’ll see how he is moving forward.”
Greiss will be backed up by J-F Berube, who was claimed off waivers from Los Angeles earlier in the week.
Corey Crawford will be in goal for Chicago.
These two teams meet again tomorrow at United Center.
— Michael Hutchinson goes for the Jets in New Jersey after Ondrej Pavelec got the win last night in Boston. Cory Schneider for the Devils.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky for the Blue Jackets in their opener.
— Jonathan Bernier for the Leafs. Jimmy Howard for the Red Wings in their opener.
— Mike Smith for the Coyotes. Jonathan Quick likely for the Kings, who will need a better effort than the one they had Wednesday against San Jose.
Related: Mike Smith seeing benefit from sports psychologist
Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.
Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.
Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.
“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”
Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.
According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.