Today we’re flashing way back to Game 5 of the 2009 Western Conference Finals. The Detroit Red Wings are facing off against their long-time rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are coming off the heels of a 6-1 drubbing at home by the Red Wings and are trying to put on a better showing. It’s scoreless halfway through the game, so they think they can take advantage of a power play opportunity. But not if Darren Helm has anything to say about it.
With 30 seconds left in the man-advantage, Helm corrals a loose puck off the boards and takes it into Chicago territory. The Red Wings are tired and need a line change, so Helm puts in the work. He circles the net, turns in the corner away from three Chciago defenders, then gets tangled up with two of them. When the puck pops free, he manages to regain possession, takes it to the net-front, and even gets a shot on goal.
He then STEALS the puck back to get possession, takes it behind the net again before finally throwing it free to a Blackhawks player. At that point, Helm had singlehandedly killed off over 20 seconds of power play time. He left Chicago with no time to make a final play as the man-advantage ended.
The Red Wings would go on to win the game 2-1 in OT, advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the 2nd straight year. Many fans say that this was the night that “Darren Helm became Darren Helm”. The speedy bottom-six forward that killed penalties with the best of them. Along with Drew Miller at the time, and a shutdown defense in Nick Lidstrom and Brad Stuart, the Red Wings’ PK was a force to be reckoned with.
The Red Wings ultimately lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins.