Babcock: Helm Done for Season

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock doesn’t think forward Darren Helm will return from his back injury this season.

“He’s not going to play hockey, right, this year, I don’t think,” Babcock told the assembled media after today’s practice at Joe Louis Arena.

“We got to get ourselves in the playoffs and be ready to go without him.”

Helm, who signed a four-year deal with an annual salary cap hit of $2.125 million last summer, has appeared in only one game for the Red Wings this season after injuring his back during a preseason workout. He had previously suffered a broken orbital bone in a scrimmage during the lockout.

Last spring Helm missed the final ten games of the season with a sprained MCL. He returned in the playoffs only to have tendons in his forearm slashed by the skate of Nashville’s Alexander Radulov in a freak accident.


According to tweets from Finnish sportswriter Matias Strozyk, Red Wings’ prospect forward Teemu Pulkkinen will join the Grand Rapids Griffins this week as the team closes out its regular season.

Red Wings Eliminated with Loss to Predators

The Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday night with a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.

The loss in Game Five of the first-round matchup between the teams is the earliest exit for the Red Wings since 2003, when they were swept in the opening round by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Nashville’s game-winning goal came just 13 seconds into the third period. The Red Wings won the period’s opening faceoff but Brad Stuart‘s attempted pass into the neutral zone became a turnover, with Alexander Radulov gaining the Detroit zone and working the puck to Gabriel Bourque. The Detroit defense collapsed on Bourque and blocked his attempted shot but the puck came right to the trailing David Legwand, who snapped a shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to make it 2-1.

The Red Wings would be unable to even things up, barely sustaining any pressure in the Nashville zone for the remainder of the game.

The Predators had opened the game’s scoring with 3:50 left in the first period. Legwand picked off Kyle Quincey‘s attempted pass to Jonathan Ericsson along the boards behind the Detroit net and sent the puck out to Radulov all alone in front of the goal for a shot past Howard.

Jiri Hudler tied things back up with 6:15 left in the second period, poking the puck under Nashville netminder after Valtteri Filppula threw it to the net.

Rinne finished the night with 21 saves on 22 shots against. Howard made 23 saves on 25 shots.

Neither team scored a power play goal. The Red Wings had two tries with the extra attacker and the Predators had three.

The series was the first of the season to end.

Red Wings Face Elimination After Game Four Loss to Predators

The Detroit Red Wings are one loss from elimination from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs after dropping Game Four of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series with the Nashville Predators, 3-1.

The Predators now lead the series 3-1 as it heads back to Nashville for Game Five.

The Red Wings dominated the scoreless first two periods of the game, carrying a 28-11 shooting advantage into the third. It would be Nashville, however, that opened the game’s scoring.

Just 1:55 into the period, Gabriel Bourque was left along in front of Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to take a feed from Alexander Radulov and snap a shot into the back of the net. The goal came shortly after the Predators thought they had made it 1-0 but an apparent goal was called off on an “intent to blow” play.

The Red Wings would even things up at 3:14. Niklas Kronwall‘s rocket from the blue line was tipped in front of the net by Jiri Hudler, with the deflection rising over Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne for a power play goal.

At 6:25, the Predators regained the lead when three Red Wings followed Martin Erat into the corner and Howard shifted right to track the play. This left Patrick Holmqvist and Kevin Klein wide open in front, and Erat fed Klein for an easy shot into the vacated net.

The Predators finished off the scoring with 39 seconds left in regulation. With Nashville on a power play, Danny Cleary attempted to carry the puck out from behind his own goal and start a rush. At the side of the crease, David Legwand poked the puck off his stick and it slipped through Howard, ending Detroit’s chance at a comeback.

Each team had a power play goal on the night, with the Red Wings having seven power plays to Nashville’s three.

Howard made 14 saves on 17 shots against while Rinne stopped 40 of 41 chances.

Game Five of the series will be on Friday.

Red Wings Get Even with Predators in 3-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings evened things up with the Nashville Predators in more ways than one during a 3-2 win Friday night.

The Western Conference Quarterfinal series between the two teams now sits at 1-1 as it shifts to Detroit for Game Three on Sunday, with the Predators having taken Game One on Wednesday.

In addition to tying the series up, the Red Wings got back at Nashville captain Shea Weber. Weber ended the opening game of the series by slamming Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg‘s head into the glass. In Game Two, Todd Bertuzzi fought Weber just 1:36 in.

Ian White gave Detroit its first lead of the series at 8:25 of the opening period. White walked the puck in from the right point to the top of the right faceoff circle and snapped a shot past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne to make it 1-0.

With 4:27 left in the period, Cory Emmerton made it 2-0 for the Red Wings. Emmerton blocked a shot in the Detroit end and gathered up the puck for a two-on-one down the ice with Gustav Nyquist. After defenseman Roman Josi dropped to the ice to block the passing lane, Emmerton fired a shot from the left circle over Rinne’s shoulder.

The Predators pulled back to within a goal at 9:01 of the second, when Andrei Kostitsyn was left alone in the slot. He took a feed from Alexander Radulov and flung the puck past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to make it 2-1.

Detroit regained the two-goal lead just 56 seconds later, when a Brad Stuart shot from the left circle tipped off Johan Franzen in front of the net and in behind Rinne to make it 3-1.

The Predators would pressure late but could only manage one more goal, with Weber backhanding a shot from the slot past Howard with 4:44 remaining.

Howard finished the night with 24 saves on 26 shots. Rinne made 14 saves on the 17 shots he faced.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had two tries with the extra attacker while the Predators had six power plays, including 30 secons of five-on-three.

The teams will meet in Game Three in Detroit on Sunday.

Red Wings Lose Helm for Playoffs

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Thursday that center Darren Helm will miss the remainder of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Helm underwent successful sugery at Vanderbilt Medical Center on Wednesday night, repairing lacerated tendons in his right forearm. The injury was suffered midway through the first period of Game One of Detroit’s Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup with the Nashville Predators, when Nashville forward Alexander Radulov‘s skate came up and caught Helm’s arm.

He is expected to make a full recovery in time for the team’s 2012 training camp in the fall.

Red Wings Fall to Predators in Howard’s Return

Goaltender Jimmy Howard returned to the Red Wings lineup Friday night but Detroit couldn’t hold off the Nashville Predators, dropping a 4-1 decision.

With the loss, Detroit falls to fifth place in the Western Conference standings, one point behind the fourth-place Predators, who have a game in hand.

After the first half of the game was scoreless, Nashville’s Gabriel Bourque opened the scoring with 6:55 left in the second period. Bourque flipped a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle through traffic and past Howard to give the Predators the 1-0 lead.

Francis Bouillon made it 2-0 with just 33 seconds left in the period when he picked up a loose puck and snapped it past Howard after a net-front scramble.

At 2:40 of the third period, Alexander Radulov was left all alone at the top of the crease to take a feed from Andrei Kostitsyn and punch it past Howard.

Jiri Hudler scored Detroit’s lone goal with 3:03 remaining, knocking the puck past Nashville golie Pekka Rinne from the side of the net on a pass from Henrik Zetterberg.

Shea Weber wrapped up the scoring with an empty-net goal in the game’s final minute.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, with Detroit having three chances and Nashville having two.

Howard made 23 saves on 26 shots against in his return from a groin injury. Rinne stopped 31 of 32 shots.

The Red Wings play again on Sunday when they host the Florida Panthers.


Detroit’s healthy scratches were Kyle Quincey on defense and Jan Mursak up front.

Red Wings Hold Off Predators to Take Two-Game Lead

The Detroit Red Wings held off a strong push by the Nashville Predators Saturday afternoon, allowing a two-goal comeback before scoring twice more themselves and earning a 4-2 win.

Detroit also benefitted from an early no-goal call against the Predators, when goalie Dominik Hasek was beaten as the goal was knocked off of its moorings in what replays showed could have been and allowed goal.

Shortly afterwards, the Red Wings got on the board.

Dallas Drake drove to the net and backhanded a shot that goalie Dan Ellis knocked aside. Charging through the slot, Darren McCarty got to the puck and banged it back past Ellis just 2:26 into the game.

Nicklas Lidstrom added a power play goal 39 seconds into the second period to put the Red Wings up by a pair, sending a pass from the right point through a screen by Tomas Holmstrom.

Just 1:40 later the Predators got on the board with a bounce off the boards. Martin Erat sent the puck around the boards into the Detroit zone. As Hasek went behind the net to play it, the puck bounced off the glass and back out in front for Alexander Radulov to put into the vacated net.

Only 11 seconds lated, Jordin Tootoo tied the game when a bobbled puck by Jiri Hudler and Andreas Lilja put him in alone on Hasek, beating him through the legs.

Kris Draper put Detroit back in front after a Red Wings time out, putting a shot off defenseman Greg Zanon‘s skate and into the net at the 5:00 mark.

Midway through the third period, Holmstrom added a goal off the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk chance, wrapping up the game’s scoring.

Hasek made 25 saves on 27 shots, 15 of them coming during Nashville’s spirited first-period effort. Ellis made 34 saves on Detroit’s 38 shots.

The two teams meet again on Monday when the series shifts to the Sommet Center in Nashville for Game Three.


Chris Chelios became the NHL leader for career playoff games played, stepping onto the ice for his 248th playoff game… The Predators replaced the injured Scott Nichol with Darcy Hordichuk.

Red Wings – Predators Zombie-Blogging

I realize I never do any fun blogging anymore. Tonight I’m going to try to change that, doing a zombie-blog of the Wings-Preds tilt.

I missed the game live, having had a couple soccer games tonight, so since this isn’t a live-blog but it’s close, so I’ll call it a zombie-blog.

Most people who do this are funny. I’m not. We’ll see how this works.

11:49 PM – Just now getting underway. It’s like a West Coast game if you’re talking about the west coast of Alaska. Or Maui, which is probably more likely given the NHL’s expansion/relocation history.

11:51 PM – Mikael Samuelsson starts with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. I’m insane but I want to see Tomas Kopecky out with them.

11:53 – Hand pass gives me time to mention that this zombie-blog is brought to you by Gatorade, makers of energy drinks and Sidney Crosby commercials.

11:55 – Darren Helm goes to the box. I didn’t see a penalty, whatever.

12:07 – I love Babcock going off on the refs. For once, Andreas Lilja didn’t deserve it.

12:11 – Scott Nichol just saved a goal. Great defensive play. Too bad.

12:13 – You’re kidding me. Giveaway by Niklas Kronwall, Alexander Radulov takes it into the corner and throws it back out front, off Kronwall and Hasek and in. When was the last time the Wings had one like that?

12:16 – End of the first. Yawn. Nothing too exciting, aside from Nichol’s save. Even the lone goal was a boring play.

12:19 – Kronner makes amends. As Redmond says, an awful goal to give up. Ellis just missed it.

12:24 – Chelios with a seeing-eye shot, no idea how that got through. Out comes Ellis. I’m not sure I’d do that.

12:28 – Starting to get chippy. That always worries me against Nashville.

12:29 – Bad clear by Nashville and Brian Rafalski rifles it into the top of the net. Power play goal. Very nice. Ken and Mickey making a big deal about three goals from the Detroit defense.

12:30 – Huge stop by Dom. I hope that means he’s feeling comfortable.

12:52 – Things had been kinda boring but now we’ve got a five-on-five scrum and the goalies yelling. Kind of surprising that no real fights came of that. Maybe not, how often does Nashville actually fight?

12:55 – Hamhuis goes after Zetterberg to end the second. At this point, Nashville’s not looking to make a point. You make a point by fighting the other team’s fighters. This is just thugging it up.

1:00 – The Wings blow a long five-on-three and Nashville comes right back to score. Bad goal for Dom to give up, he came too far off the post. And of course it’s off Kronwall’s stick.

1:04 – Tie game. Dom made a series of saves on the Nashville power play but couldn’t stop the last one.

1:07 – Huge save by Hasek on Bochenski but what was with the giveaway that led to that chance? Replay shows Lebda couldn’t corral it.

1:10 – Johan Franzen‘s been hanging out with Datsyuk and Zetterberg too much. He was all over the Nashville zone all on his own before slipping that shot past Mason to put the Wings back out in front.

1:13 – Dom stones Jordin Tootoo to keep the Wings in front. Someday someone’s going to snap Tootoo in half but for now I’ll take this.

1:20 – Zetterberg hits Datsyuk to put him in all alone and all I can do is laugh. Mason looked terrified. And an octopus hits the ice.

1:29 – Kirk Maltby hits the post on an empty net. Appropriate. Datsyuk puts it in. Also appropriate.

1:31 – And it’s over. I’m glad, this could have gotten messy pretty quick but never got quite to that point. I’m going to sleep.

Out in Front: Red Wings move into first place with win over Predators

The Detroit Red Wings leapfrogged into first place in the National Hockey League Wednesday night with a 4-2 win over the Central Division rival Nashville Predators. The Red Wings now lead Nashville by one point in the standings while retaining a game in hand.

Detroit needed a comeback to earn the win and rookie Jiri Hudler delivered, scoring twice to even the game and then put his team out in front.

With the Red Wings down 2-1 and 3:37 remaining in the second period, Robert Lang threw the puck out in front from behind the net and Kyle Calder got a whack at it. The rebound came out to Hudler, who whipped it past Nashville goalie Chris Mason to even the game.

At 5:41 of the third, Hudler would score the eventual game-winner, sneaking in behind the defense and taking a pass from Lang before roofing a shot over Mason.

Kirk Maltby added an empty-net goal to seal the win.

Alexander Radulov opened the scoring for the Predators with 1:54 remaining in the first period. Radulov stole the puck in the neutral zone and got around defender Andreas Lilja, who couldn’t get back to stop him from putting a shot past netminder Dominik Hasek‘s glove.

Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game just 1:16 into the second, blasting a shot from the top of the left circle past Mason.

Jason Arnott put Nashville back out front 8:56 later, knocking a fluttering puck past Hasek with the shaft of his stick.

Hasek finished the night with 27 saves on 29 shots against. Mason stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced.

Neither team scored on the power play. The Predators had five chances with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had one.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Saturday night in Vancouver in the first game of a brief two-game Western Canada road trip that will wrap up on Tuesday in Calgary.


The Red Wings lost rookie Valtteri Filppula to an unspecified lower body injury at the end of the second period.

Red Wings Open Home-and-Home with Win over Predators

In the first game of a home-and-home series, the Detroit Red Wings held off third-period pressure by the Nashville Predators to pick up a 5-2 win.

The win lifts the Red Wings to within one point of the Predators in the Central Division standings with one game in hand.

Nashville had four power play opportunities in the third period and converted on one of them.

Martin Erat scored for the Predators on a two-man advantage at 5:07 of the period. A Shea Weber blast from the blue line was stopped by Detroit goalie Chris Osgood but Erat got the rebound at the side of the net and put it in, pulling the Predators to within a goal.

Nashville wasn’t able to even things up and Detroit scored twice at the end of the period to seal the game.

Attempting to throw a pass across the top of the crease with 2:02 remaining, Kyle Calder scored when the puck deflected off the skate of Marek Zidlicky and over Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun‘s shoulder.

Valtteri Filppula put the game away 41 seconds later after stealing the puck at the Detroit blue line with Vokoun on the way to the bench. Filppula raced in on the goal as Vokoun got back but the netminder never got settled and Filppula whipped a shot past him to make the final score 5-2.

The Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 1:39 into the game when Robert Lang banged the puck through a crowd in front of the Nashville net and past Vokoun.

Rookie Alexander Radulov tied the game at 7:02, ripping a shot from the high slot past Osgood with Nashville on a power play.

Early in the second period, Kirk Maltby put Detroit back out in front. Filppula moved the puck into the Nashville zone and got it deep to Kris Draper, who moved behind the net and sent it out front to Maltby. Maltby lifted a shot over Vokoun at 4:30 to make it a 2-1 game.

Jiri Hudler extended the Detroit lead at 1:24 of the third, scoring on a one-timer off Vokoun’s glove from a pass by Calder.

Both of Nashville’s goals came on the power play, which they had eight chances with, including the two-on-one that led to Erat’s tally. Detroit was held scoreless on three chances with the extra attacker.

Osgood made 29 saves on 31 shots against, including key stops with the Predators threatening to pull even in the third. Vokoun stopped 25 of the 30 Detroit chances he faced.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow in Detroit.


The Predators lost Erat in the third period after a collision with teammate Jason Arnott.