Helm's back....still hurts - Dave Sandford
The Wings practiced today... most of them at least.
Before we get to the rest of the fun, Darren Helm had an MRI done on his back today. He's played one game this season and the Wings looked awesome.
Injury Update: Helm's MRI shows inflammation only.Will not play Tuesday vs. Dallas. Questionable for the weekend.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 28, 2013
So the good news is that Helm's troubles may only be temporary. The bad news is that so is the season. If Helm wants to be THAT much like his buddy Bertuzzi, the least he could do is burn down an orphanage before suffering back problems.
In practice news, Red Wings Front's Chuck Pleiness reports that the power play was the main issue of focus for the Wings today:
"We need shots," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I don’t care who’s getting them. If you look at our shot totals, (Henrik Zetterberg) is leading us with 23, (Damien) Brunner has 22 and I think (Johan Franzen) has 15. Pavel (Datsyuk) doesn’t have enough."
Babcock calling out Datsyuk to shoot more is certainly interesting. He's not wrong or anything, it's just...interesting.
Skipping back to injury news, Samuelsson, White, Colaiacovo, and Mursak remain out with injuries. Jonas Gustavsson (groin) skated in practice today, but Valtteri Filppula didn't. Diggers have been reporting for the last week that Flip's knee is bugging him and everybody's eyes on the game last night confirmed that he's definitely not up to snuff. Still, he's expected to be in tomorrow's lineup.
For fun, Babcock put defenseman Brian Lashoff in Filppula's place on the PP unit. Ok, I'm sure it wasn't just for fun. They did need another body out there and I think that giving the young defender a bit of perspective as to what kind of looks he should be trying to stop while killing penalties is part of Babcock's development plan. He certainly couldn't have Ericsson doing that for fear that the anti-forward brainwashing that took three years to take will get deprogrammed all in one unfortunate practice afternoon.
Unfortunately, Lashoff may be using this lesson in more of a schoolroom setting tomorrow against Dallas, as one of the D-Men who played against Chicago won't be going versus Dallas, according to Gregg Krupa
babcock says jakub kindl will play on second power play unit against dallas, but he has made no decisions about how that will affect others.— gregg krupa (@greggkrupa) January 28, 2013
Well ok. If Kindl's going to grab this apparently last shot with the Wings by the short-and-curlies, he's going to at least need a chance to shine. What better way to give him that then putting him on one of the worst power play units in the league and telling him that he has to make them better?
If I were a gambling man, I'd say Lashoff probably sits. He's been impressive, but last night against the Hawks, some of the rookie mistakes started showing and it might be a good time to let him watch from up high and take some mental notes.
In news for the future, Dallas plays in Columbus tonight before heading to Detroit for tomorrow's matchup. This will be the reverse situation from last week. Detroit will have had a day off while Dallas will be playing the second of back-to-back nights and their third game in four days.
Brandon Worley at Defending Big D has a bit of roster news about the team's recent re-signing:
The good news is that Jaromir Jagr and Jamie Benn should be on the ice together for the first time, although we are still awaiting word on whether Benn's visa paperwork has been approved. He needs to be added to the NHL roster by 4 p.m. CT in order to play tonight in Columbus.
Dallas won't have Derek Roy, but Jamie Benn is way better than that guy.
One way or another, if Benn doesn't play against Columbus, his paperwork should be fixed before tomorrow's game. I'm hoping both he and his brother Jordie play terribly enough for NHL.com to use the headline 'BENN-HURRRRR'. Mostly because I'm petty, but also because I'm a Wings fan and they aren't Wings. Them doing poorly against Detroit would really benefit my reality team.