Bertuzzi, Helm go full practice; Wings control playoff destiny

DETROIT — Todd Bertuzzi and Darren Helm both took part in the full team practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena, but both had no further updates as to when they might get back in the lineup.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said he hasn’t decided on who he’ll go with on the blue line Wednesday at Calgary.

Four of Detroit’s six remaining games are against team on the outside of the playoff picture.

“Some guys can play better when they don’t have anything on the line,” forward Johan Franzen said. “It’s some days hard to play those teams that don’t have anything to play for. They do something that you don’t expect, maybe, so it’s hard to tell.”

The Wings are currently in eighth in the Western Conference, tied with Columbus with 47 points, but Detroit holds the tiebreaker over the Blue Jackets (regulation and overtime wins, or ROW).

“When you have this kind of must-wins you feel like you’re getting into that playoff mode, which is good,” forward Valtteri Filppula said. “That’s what we need right now.”

Detroit is also a point behind St. Louis and two points behind Minnesota for sixth.

“I think at the end of the day if you look after your own business we’ll be in good shape,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “Obviously you’re curious what’s going on in the other games, but at the same time I think it’s like that every. But this year is different because we’re right on the bubble. Other years it’s more about positioning. It’s definitely a fun time of the year.

“It’s a different feeling, but at the same time it just means that the games matter even more now,” Kronwall added. “Those are the times you want to be playing. The games matter at the end of the regular season. It’s a fun time of the year.”


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