Darren Helm’s return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup on Friday night against the Minnesota Wild was effective but short lived.
The 26-year old Helm, who’s been hampered by a back injury that happened shortly before training camp, will again be inactive against the rival Chicago Blackhawks (5-0-0) on Sunday night at United Center.
Taking his place in the lineup will be veteran forward Patrick Eaves, who will shift to the right wing of the third line usually centered by Helm – whose spot in the middle will be manned by Justin Abdelkader.
“It’s his back,” said Detroit coach Mike Babcock, who didn’t say whether the injury will continue to be assessed day-to-day or whether Helm might need a longer time off for the injury to heal. “I don’t know if it’s a setback or a new thing. I don’t know. I’m not the doc.”
The Red Wings (2-2-0) are already without Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Ian White (leg laceration), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Valtteri Filppula is also playing through a nagging knee injury and Helm now rejoins the list of injured.
“Frustration’s a waste of time,” Babcock said, just a couple hours prior to playing the hottest team in the NHL with a patched-together lineup. “So, let’s just get on with it and win a game.”
Also among the injured for Detroit is defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who’s missed three straight games with hip and shoulder injuries he sustained in Columbus during a practice. Ericsson will be a gametime decision against Chicago and will replace Jakub Kindl if he plays.
Johan Franzen – Henrik Zetterberg – Damien Brunner
Valtteri Filppula – Pavel Datsyuk – Todd Bertuzzi
Danny Cleary – Justin Abdelkader – Patrick Eaves
Drew Miller – Cory Emmerton – Jordin Tootoo
Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith – Kyle Quincey
Brian Lashoff – Kent Huskins
Injured: Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Ian White (leg laceration),
Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Mikael Samuelsson (groin)
Scratched: Patrick Eaves, Jakub Kindl
Lineup notes: Ericsson is a gametime decision because of hip and shoulder injuries, but he’s expected to return to the lineup soon. Kindl will play if Ericsson, a gametime decision, can’t go.