On This Day: The ‘Russian Five’ make debut with Red Wings

When you look back on Detroit Red Wings hockey from the 1990’s, generally one era of players that comes to mind. We’re talking, of course, about the Russian Five. (Okay, maybe the Grind Line as well).

These five Russian-born Red Wings players, less-commonly known as “The Wizards of Ov”, brought together a combination of speed and defensive puck possession that hadn’t been seen very often in the NHL at the time. They are Viacheslav Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Sergei Fedorov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, and Vladimir Konstantinov.

The Russian Five would be an integral part of the Red Wings breaking thier Stanley Cup drought. Let’s take a look back to their debut with the Red Wings.

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FLASHBACK: Darren Helm earns ovation after amazing penalty kill [VIDEO]

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.

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