DETROIT – Getting over what occurred in Game 1 of the Wings’ first-round series with the Nashville Predators is going to take quite some time for Darren Helm.
Helm lacerated tendons in his right forearm in the first period of Game 1 last week and will miss the rest of the postseason because of it.
“I’m not really too happy with anything that’s going on right now,” said Helm, who addressed the media at Joe Louis Arena for the first time since the on-ice incident. “I haven’t really gotten over what happened. I’m still pretty angry with the situation. It still hurts quite a bit, pain wise.
“I have to watch again,” Helm continued. “That’s probably the worst thing of all. The way I tried to battle back after my knee and to come back and have this happen in the first period, it’s pretty tough.”
It was Helm’s first game back since suffering a sprained left MCL on March 17 in San Jose.
“At first I was scared,” Helm said. “I didn’t know how severe it was. I didn’t know if it went really deep and hit a nerve or artery. As soon as they slowed down the bleeding I was able to wrap my head around the injury, how long I’d be out. That’s when I got frustrated, I got mad. I kind of sat there by myself and took some deep breaths and calmed myself down.”
After finishing a check on Alexander Radulov with six minutes to play in the first period, Helm was cut by Radulov’s skate blade.
He had successful surgery after the game at Vanderbilt Medical Center. He didn’t suffer any nerve damage.
Helm tried stay in the game after getting cut, but when he saw a gash and blood he immediately dropped his stick and went right to the bench.
“As soon as I looked I knew it was a fairly serious injury,” Helm said. “I couldn’t do anything with one arm.”
Helm is the third wing to suffer an injury due to a skate blade in two seasons.
Earlier this season Valtteri Filppula was cut on his lower right shine by a skate blade. Last year Mike Modano suffered a similar injury and missed roughly three months.
And this has gotten Helm to seriously consider wear more protection on the ice.
“I don’t know how many times this has happened in the NHL in the past 10 or so years, but it’s twice to our team in the last two, which maybe might be more than a fluke thing. It just happened where I came down as the steel was coming up.
“I have seen some Kevlar wrist guards that have been coming out,” Helm added. “I saw Fil wearing one. I’ve seen a couple guys wearing Kevlar-like sleeves with wrist guards. That is definitely something that I’ll be wearing in the future.”
Helm said he hadn’t heard from Radulov since the incident and doesn’t expect to.
“There’s nothing he could have done,” Helm said. “I don’t think he tried to do anything. It was a fluke thing, an accident. Move on.
“It’s not easy coming here,” Helm added. “When I get away from the game, it’s a little bit easier for me. When I have to watch a game, that’s when it’s the hardest. There aren’t a lot of people watching at my house right now. It’s difficult.”
By the end of the press conference Helm did find a way to crack a smile when he was asked if he had talked to Modano.
“I did ask him how his golf swing was and it didn’t seem to affect him so I’m happy with that,” Helm said. “I’ll talk to him a little bit more probably when things settle down for myself. Like I said, I’m not quite over what happened.
“I’ve definitely got one arm right now,” Helm added. “I can’t do anything with it. I try to keep it elevated. I can’t really bend my elbow. It still hurts. I’ve got some people at home helping me out right now which is good. It’s one arm. I can’t use my hand at all right now.”