Wings' Darren Helm plays a style Kris Draper can appreciate
Ted Kulfan / The Detroit News
Calgary, Alberta— Darren Helm has often been compared to Kris Draper.
Both had — and have — a skill set based on speed and the ability to hound opponents.
And after Helm's goal during Tuesday's 5-3 victory over the Oilers, you can add an ability to make scoring look easy to the list.
"When he scores like that, he's definitely a young Kris Draper," Draper said of Helm.
Actually, both are thriving playing on a line with Patrick Eaves (or Tomas Tatar while Eaves has been hurt).
"We need contributions from everybody right now when we're short-staffed," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Draper has played well and Helmer, he's a real good NHL player."
Draper is 39, Helm 23. Experience-wise, they aren't close, with Draper having played 1,122 games and Helm 138.
Sure, they're headed in different directions career-wise. But, since just before Christmas, they've developed a chemistry using their strength — blinding speed.
"We've been playing pretty well together," Helm said. "It had been a while since we played together. At first it was just mixing and matching, and now we're finding a little spark and chemistry. It's effective when we can use our speed and find each other."
Draper has three goals his last seven games. Helm has one goal and six assists his last eight.
Todd Bertuzzi is an ardent believer Helm will develop into a dangerous offensive player. And Tuesday's goal — a slick shot past Nikolai Khabibulin — only reinforced that belief.
"It's just a matter of him realizing it and working on it," Bertuzzi said. "It's (scoring touch) something you have to develop.
"Sometimes you get portrayed as a certain kind of player (Helm being primarily a checker), but he has another element to his game. He's so gifted with his speed, and for the amount of breakaways he gets, it's just something he needs to work on and gain confidence to try things and be patient."
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/a...e#ixzz1AF0jTI1w
Helm was really good in the last game against the Oilers.
I'm not so sure I completely buy the comparison to Kris Draper however. Maybe I'm just weird but when I hear comparisons I think of a player's main defining trait. To me, Kris Draper's defining trait in his prime was that he was simply annoying. For one, the fact that a guy that small worked harder than them really irritated opponents. They often felt like, "How the f*** is this little midget chihuahua beating me at everything?" Two, he wasn't afraid to chirp away and run his mouth at anyone. His own teammates today will still tell you playfully that he just doesn't shut up no matter what he's doing. Lastly, he was just a fiercely competitive ball of energy all over the ice with speed. So to me, Draper's defining trait in his prime was his many layers of being annoying.
When I think of Helm I see someone who is very different, which of course, isn't a bad thing. He is who he is. He's got blazing speed and is good defensively and on the PK. But right now I don't feel the same annoyance that I did with Draper. The kind of feeling of, "Thank goodness he's a Red Wing because if he wasn't I'd probably send two guys to knock him on his ass all game."