The Detroit Red Wings are still hanging around in the playoff picture in the Western Conference, despite the rash of injuries that they’ve had to deal with this season.
Though they’ve managed to fight it off for the most part, it looks like they’re going to be without a couple of important forwards for quite a bit longer. Neither Darren Helm or Todd Bertuzzi have a timetable for their respective injuries, and the outlook isn’t terrific.
Helm has appeared in just one game for the Red Wings this season. He’s been struggling with a back injury. He attempted to practice earlier this week and experienced a setback in his recover. While it initially looked like he could play this week, that doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the case anymore.
Bertuzzi is also dealing with back issues of his own. He’s been limited to just seven games this year, and has three points in those contests. He’s not anywhere close to playing, or practicing. The hope right now is that he will avoid surgery, but he could very well miss the entire year.
Of the two, Helm sounds like he could return. There was some buzz he could return on Wednesday, but that was derailed by his setback. Nonetheless, he should be back in action at some point. Bertuzzi, on the other hand, looks like his season could be completely gone very soon.
Neither one is an absolutely key piece of what the Red Wings hope to accomplish this season. But in a seven game playoff series, each of them gets to be a little bit more important. Which means that the Wings could end up missing them, assuming they can make it into the postseason.