Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/25/13 at 08:18 AM ET
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
In his first two preseason games since signing a five-year free-agent deal with Tampa Bay, Filppula looks every bit the part Tampa Bay signed him to be — and more. In those two games before Tuesday, Filppula produced four assists and had a successful shootout attempt.
In the offensive zone, Filppula has impressive puck control, poise and vision that can give opposing defenders fits, all while keeping his linemates on their skates to be ready at a moment’s notice.
“As you play more with him, you pick up on some of his tendencies, like you don’t have to be so close to him because he is so good with the puck and does a good job of holding it,’’ said right wing Teddy Purcell, who played camp scrimmages and the preseason opener on a line with Filppula.
“To support him, you have to get away from him, let him do his thing and get open because (the puck) can come at any time.’’...
“He gives optimal effort every shift. He does what he is asked and you can’t ask for more as a coach,’’ Cooper said. “I think the big part, and everybody is looking at his offense and his offense is all well and good and we want that, but in the end we need a defensive player, somebody who is going play at both ends of the ice and on the penalty kill.
“If he delivers on that end, the rest is gravy for us.’’
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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