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The All-Around Game Of Valtteri Filppula

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

“I remember his first training camp with us last year. It’s pretty magical what he can do with the puck,” Tyler Johnson said. “You can tell he’s been working with (Pavel) Datsyuk pretty much all his entire career. For him to come over here and kind of teach us the little things about puck control, how you can slow down the tempo of the game a bit and play his style, I think a lot of guys learned from that.”

While Filppula has been pushed down in the pecking order by players such as Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Killorn, his defensive play still has given the Lightning value.

The two-way centre, who learned how to play the right way from Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg under coach Mike Babcock, allowed a struggling Stamkos to move over to the wing in these playoffs. And whether it is taking an important faceoff (his 52.8 per cent success rate is second only to Jonathan Toews’ 55.2 per cent), killing a penalty or protecting a lead in the final minute of a one-goal game, Filppula has Cooper’s trust in big moments.

“You look at the minutes and the situations he plays for us,” Cooper said. “He kills penalties, he takes the big draws, he plays in the power play, he plays in our top six. That goes down as one of those sneaky signings that people have already probably forgotten about.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: valtteri+filppula

Comments

Red Winger's avatar

I think Filppula is one of the greatest natural passers the game has ever had. By that I mean he has an instinct to get the puck to open spaces that is rarely duplicated. He not only finds seams, he makes them at times, too.

He’s an under-the-radar guy whose contributions to this Lightning team are under-appreciated.

Other than losing Hossa, this is the second-worst loss for the Wings in recent history (TPH is not a “loss” in the sense he did not go to another franchise).

I know we Wings fans grew impatient with Fil, but maybe he was never going to be a 25-30 goal scorer. Maybe his true value is in being a set-up man. And, he can be thrown off his game by physical play, but over time he seems to have learned there are creative ways to avoid the physical nature of most teams with this ability to escape.

Very underrated player, IMO

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 06/13/15 at 11:11 AM 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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