Helm Out for Playoffs

The Red Wings were dealt a blow after last night's 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Nashville Predators; Darren Helm is out for the playoffs with severed tendons in his right forearm. 

Helm was skating after Alexander Radulov in the Detroit zone and layed a hit on the Nashville forward. As Radulov went down, his skates went up, catching Helm in the wrist and effectively sliced it open. Helm didn't realize for a second, but once he did he dropped his glove and skated hard to the bench. He immediately went to the dressing room with trainer Piett Van Zant and left for the hospital where he underwent surgery to reconnect the tendons.

If you remember last year, Mike Modano (see picture, right) went through something very similar and was out for a huge chunk of the season. Helm is younger, but any tendon damage and possible nerve injuries (no nerve injury for Helm, confirmed by Mike Babcock) are scary for a professional athlete.

A tendon connects muscle to bone, so Helm coulnd't move some of his fingers and possible his wrist. To make a better example, picture a marionet with a couple strings cut. Mix it with an inability to move your hand or wrist in some places, total numbness with a  quick searing pain and a pool of blood in your glove. It's enough to scare anyone.

So, with Helm out of the lineup, either Chris Conner or Gustav Nyquist gets the call in Game 2 and beyond. Justin Abdelkader will go back up to the third line.

It's another bad break for the speedy Helm, who just got back from an MCL sprain after missing the last few weeks of the regular season. The Wings will obviously miss his tenacity and speed, but someone has to fill his shoes and it won't be easy. Playoffs are a time for role players to step up and now is the time to do it.

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Kyle Busch