Dec 13, 2011, 2:10 PM EDT
Every Tuesday at PHT, we’ll pump a player’s tire. Because every player likes it when nice things are said about them.
This week’s tire pumpee: Valtteri Filppula, Detroit Red Wings
The 27-year-old Finn has been a key contributor in Detroit’s recent run of success. In his last eight games – seven of them Wings victories – Filppula’s racked up seven goals and four assists. He could still shoot the puck more, but with 25 points in 27 games and a plus-13 rating, it’s hard for anyone to complain.
Taken 95th overall in 2002, Filppula’s one of many savvy Detroit draft picks in the lineup. His first few seasons in the NHL showed a lot of promise; however, his production fell off last season when he tallied just 39 points in 71 games.
Wings coach Mike Babcock knew his team needed more out of Filppula.
“We’ve challenged Fil a lot here,” Babcock told Fox Sports Detroit late last month. “We think Fil can score, and we think Fil can be a dominant player.”
Nicklas Lidstrom was similarly complimentary of his teammate.
“He’s playing at the top of his game right now, whether it’s back-checking or handling the puck,” Lidstrom said. “How he plays with the puck, too. He’s so strong on the puck, and he can make it look so easy out there, so it’s fun watching him out there.”
Valtteri Filppula, everyone.
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 52
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 42
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)