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Leino On A Hot Streak

from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Playing on a line with Danny Briere and Hartnell, Leino has 11 points in 10 playoff games and continues to impress with his poise and his speed. He and Briere together are a truly dynamic combination.

And nobody saw it coming. Repeat, underlined: nobody.

“It was an awful regular season,” Leino said. “It was a really, really tough stretch there. I don’t know if you sometimes have to go to the bottom to get back on top. Mentally, it was tough. Hopefully, I got stronger from that.”

In February, when the deal was made, it was viewed as a nothing kind of transaction, just a little roster churning by general manager Paul Holmgren. What they knew all along was that Leino needed to play with skilled players to show his skill, that he really didn’t have a checking-line function. And it was hard for coach Peter Laviolette to find a place for him - that much was obvious.

“I think Detroit had some cap issues,” Holmgren said. “When I talked to [Red Wings GM] Kenny Holland, I don’t think he wanted to trade him. He liked him, and I know the coach [Mike Babcock] really liked him. But they got themselves into a bind and they were going to lose him on waivers. I think somebody would have claimed him if they went that route. We were able to make a trade.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ville+leino

Comments

Mike from Austin's avatar

How come he couldn’t play like this while wearing red and white?  All year the dude couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a frickin boat.

Posted by Mike from Austin on 05/19/10 at 11:29 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

“Leino” and “speed” in the same sentence? Huh?

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/19/10 at 11:53 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Leino was given several shots with ‘skilled players’...and for 40 games he did absolutely nothing.

Nothing like playing in the Eastern Conference eh?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 05/19/10 at 11:59 AM ET

Avatar

Fluffy:

What’s with the Leino and Eastern Conference bashing?  A rather useless argument, no?  Just lame.

Posted by ProjectMayhem on 05/19/10 at 01:29 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What’s with the Leino and Eastern Conference bashing?  A rather useless argument, no?  Just lame.

If you’d seen him for half a season playing against defenses better than Boston’s or Montreal’s, you’d understand.

Plenty of us (championed by HockeyTownTodd in particular) speculated that Leino would be a better fit for the Eastern Conference, where the style of play is different.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/19/10 at 01:34 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

He is an injury replacement and you have to give Laviolette credit for just putting him on the top line rather than sliding him into the 4th, and moving players up.  The way it is done here seems to be one injury means a change in 4 lines.  He may stay in the line-up for a while after Carter returns, but for how long is a big question.  They gave him a starring role and he filled it, but as for supporting actor, he was a big disappointment here.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 05/19/10 at 01:54 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

What they knew all along was that Leino needed to play with skilled players to show his skill, that he really didn’t have a checking-line function.

And we may be facing this exact same issue next year when Happy returns. Skilled guys like Happy and Ville need to play with other skilled players. That’s just common sense. But the Wings have guys like Hank, Pavel, Mule, Cleary, Fil and Bert pretty much locked into the top six spots.

Hopefully, Happy can win a spot on the second line next year (with Buckets moving to the third line with Helm and Eaves/Miller). Otherwise, I think we’re going to be experiencing the same “disappontment” with Happy that we did with Ville.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/19/10 at 02:21 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Otherwise, I think we’re going to be experiencing the same “disappontment” with Happy that we did with Ville.
Posted by OlderThanChelios

Exactly….
15:00-18:00 total ice time brings out the best in skilled players.
Happy’s production here bounced around because of moving him up to cover an injury and then back to 4-6 min. on the 4th line when the injured player returned to the line-up.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 05/19/10 at 02:34 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

15:00-18:00 total ice time brings out the best in skilled players.

Agreed. And as much as I love Happy, if the Wings can’t (or won’t) give him that, I hope they trade him for the 4th-line grinder they want plus a high pick or quality prospect. A grinder at $850k versus Happy’s $2.85M would leave a nice cushion of $2.0M to use at the trade deadline.

Happy’s return has turned what should have been a rather boring summer into what could be a pretty interesting one. It’s time for Tick Tock to do his thing and impress us all.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/19/10 at 03:54 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I saw this coming, told my wife, and meant to post it here so I’d be on the record.  Alas, I did not.  He was showing some signs of life when the Flyers played Dallas late in the regular season (a game we attended- my three kids first ever hockey game).

If you watched Leino during the playoffs last year, he was actually a force to be reckoned with on the forth line.  He, Draper and Maltby would frequently have the puck int he offensive zone for a fairly good period of time but, of course, none of them could score.

Leino is a very skilled player who is short on heart, dedication and work ethic.  He can definitely get it going when the situation is right- for short periods of time- but he seems moody, apt to sulk when not given what he perceives is his due, and unwilling to work for the entirety of the 82 game season.  I still think he’s going to be trash as an NHL’er unless he takes a dramatic shift in his mentality, but he’ll be able to put together these streaks when, and only when, he finds the motivation.

As for Hudler… I’m not entirely certain I agree that he needs huge minutes, but he does need talent.  His production in Detroit was due largely to his power play time and that he played on a third line with two other skilled players in Sammy and Filpulla.. 

As I recall, last season he led the league in points per minute for the first half of the season.  He seemed like a guy who wore down in large minutes but was pretty good at coming off the bench and having some liveliness on the PP where his lack of size and only average skating were less of an issue and his offensive skill were more noticeable.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/19/10 at 04:09 PM ET

edillac's avatar

really hope a ‘Leastern’ conference wins the cup this year,so we can read about them not traveling as much as teams in West,or getting trough easy because of weak defense in eastern playoffs,and so on,
jealoussy sucks
go E-Ville

Posted by edillac from isolation on 05/19/10 at 04:20 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by edillac on 05/19/10 at 02:20 PM ET

Wait, are you actually saying that you don’t think those things are true?

Wait, you’re the guy who puts the entire 2009 Stanley Cup Finals loss on Brad Stuart, nevermind.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/19/10 at 04:32 PM ET

edillac's avatar

Wait, you’re the guy who puts the entire 2009 Stanley Cup Finals loss on Brad Stuart, nevermind.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/19/10 at 02:32 PM ET

you forgot Ozzie and Babs,
your memory deserting you?

Posted by edillac from isolation on 05/19/10 at 04:54 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Not my memory, my patience.

You didn’t answer my question.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/19/10 at 05:04 PM ET

edillac's avatar

Not my memory, my patience.

You didn’t answer my question.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/19/10 at 03:04 PM ET

trying bo be a litlle bossy today,lol

Posted by edillac from isolation on 05/19/10 at 06:21 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Just trying to figure out if you actually believe that defensive systems and talent between the East and the West is equal or if the dearth in travel distances between the conferences makes no difference.

I was just presupposing you would say yes, considering your habit of being demeaning, spiteful, and overly simplistic. 

If you don’t want to answer the question, I’ll just assume it’s actually the case and dismiss your opinion as either ill-informed or intentionally and unnecessarily contrarian.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/19/10 at 06:30 PM ET

edillac's avatar

you hit the nail to the head,cos it is I who calls our rookie goalie retarded,or a forward on our team who tries to make something out of his mistake tarnished career a serial killer,rapist,etc.


I am demeaning,spiteful and simplistic

Posted by edillac from isolation on 05/19/10 at 06:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Must be that language barrier again, huh?

Well, at least you didn’t call me a nazi this time.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/19/10 at 06:49 PM ET

edillac's avatar

sometimes a team should have couple days off after WCF,and definetly not play first two games of SCF back to back against younger,rested team,but sometimes fans just look for excuses everywhere else istead on their own team,
still,they have finer snipers in the eastern conference,
Leino shouldnt have been traded away,
Disco Stu sucks and so does Brad Stuart quite a lot of times when I watch games at 3 or 4AM

Posted by edillac from isolation on 05/19/10 at 07:07 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Leino shouldnt have been traded away,

I absolutely agree with this.  I think he needed to get to the offseason where it could be hammered into him that he needed to get bigger and stronger on the puck to work with the Red Wings.  I was sad to see him go when he did.

That said, I’m not jealous of his new success.  He plays for the Flyers now, on a team that I hate in a conference where I feel it’s easier to stand out offensively.

I thought he needed an attitude adjustment when he was in Detroit and I think he still does.  Maybe he’s right that a checking line role isn’t what’s right for him in the short-run, but that’s only really fine for him to say in my mind if he takes the checking line role and can be seen giving it the effort.  Telling us all that it isn’t good for him and then loafing on the ice isn’t a good attitude to have in a team sport where the kind of personal sacrifice that guys like Cleary and Eaves showed are more important to putting together a winning attitude than “I need more minutes with better teammates to perform”. 

He might get that through his head someday and, if he does, he’ll make a very good NHLer, I’m not going to be happy for him doing it unless he’s back in Detroit though.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/19/10 at 07:20 PM ET

edillac's avatar

dont really know what went on with Leino and the coaching staff,some days he worked hard,fought at the boards,drove the net,passed,tried shots,moves,
and then there were just lousy days,
he does need more offensivelly minded linemates and offensive roals to fullfill during games,not grind,
he was brought here as a best scorer in finnish league,it was all he knew to do,and if he had more time in Detroit he would have proven his offensive talent,just needed time to get used to pressure of a gigantic team,fiercelly aggressive defensemen,travel maybe

now my hopes are on Tatar,maybe Mursak,and I hope Wings draft Kiril Kabanov this year-if he is still available offcourse,he allready said that he wont bolt for Russia if someone drafts him,he will sign and try to make the NHL,could be something

Posted by edillac from isolation on 05/19/10 at 07:37 PM ET

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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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