After 2.5 months away, Avs playoff hero Darren Helm once again returns

Mar 22, 2023, 11:42 AM

Darren Helm...

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Avalanche might not have won the Stanley Cup a season ago without Darren Helm.

Helm helped Colorado break their Round 2 “curse,” scoring a goal against the Blues with literally seconds to go to take Game 6 in St. Louis. The Avs won the series and the rest is history.

And while Helm’s certainly not a top player on the team, he’s a glue guy who proved he can come up big in the most tense moments. That’s why the news Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar delivered on Wednesday morning was great to hear.

After a 2.5 month absence, Helm will return to the lineup tonight against the Penguins at Ball Arena. Helm missed the first couple of months of the season as well, playing in just five games in the month of January. Helm has been battling a
“lower body” injury.

Bednar said Helm will play center for the Avs on their fourth line, with Alex Newhook centering the second line. Lars Eller will assume third line center duties while Nathan MacKinnon will, of course, be in the middle with the top unit.

In his five contests this year Helm didn’t register a point, while averaging a little less than 10 minutes of ice-time per game. Still, it’s not his production the Avs are necessarily missing, it’s the leadership and intangibles. They’ll get a boost against Pittsburgh with him back in the fold.

Meanwhile, defensemen Cale Makar and Erik Johnson remain out, as does forward Evan Rodrigues, who’s in the NHL’s concussion protocol.



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