Darren Helm

Detroit’s Helm sees back specialist in New York


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.”

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: