Darren Helm set to return Thursday against the Panthers

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Detroit Red Wings fans everywhere received an extra good luck charm on St. Patrick’s Day – the news that forward Darren Helm is ready to return to the lineup after having missed the last seven games with a strained oblique muscle. 

Helm’s return will certainly provide a much-needed energy jolt to the lineup. Before Sunday’s 5-1 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit had managed a measly 2-4-0 record in his absence. It will also almost certainly end the “Luke Glendening on Pavel Datsyuk’s wing” experiment.

In 61 games this season, Helm has scored 13 goals, a career high. Helm’s best assets, however, are his speed and ability to play both ends of the ice. His return should also aid the struggling Red Wings’ penalty killing unit.

Barring any setbacks, Helm will play his first game since February 28th on Thursday, when the Red Wings play the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, FL.