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Filppula Drawing Rave Reviews In Tampa

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.’’


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


Primis's avatar

I don’t know if that speaks more to Filppula, or to how bare TB’s org apparently is of talent.

Posted by Primis on 09/25/13 at 09:50 AM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Are we talking about VALTTERI Filppula?

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 09/25/13 at 09:51 AM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

I don’t know if you can call TB bare of talent when they’ve got guys like Stamkos and St. Louis. There’s certainly a case to be made that the talent doesn’t run a lot deeper than that, though.

Filppula is a lot different than the guy he replaced. That’s for sure.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 09/25/13 at 09:59 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Two words:

Ville Leino.

Just give it a season.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 09/25/13 at 10:15 AM ET

gowings's avatar

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 09/25/13 at 10:15 AM ET

Perfect smile

Posted by gowings from MTL on 09/25/13 at 10:19 AM ET

gowings's avatar

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 09/25/13 at 10:15 AM ET

Perfect smile

Posted by gowings from MTL on 09/25/13 at 10:19 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Two words:

Ville Leino.

Just give it a season.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 09/25/13 at 10:15 AM ET


Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 09/25/13 at 10:20 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Nobody has ever denied Filppula’s talent, and certainly the main thing that sort of forced the Wings to be patient with his underachieving in the scoring department was that he was always very, very good defensively.

Tampa got themselves a very nice hockey player, and they should be pleased. The questionable part is, they are paying Filppula at a level where they are clearly expecting him to not just bring his defensive game, but average in the 60 points per season neighborhood for the life of the contract. And The biggest problem with Tampa paying for that expected production is that Filppula is 29, so not exactly at an age where guys typically start to trend upwards offensively.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and if you were going to look for a stereotypical player to have his offensive game bloom a bit later, Filppula fits the mold. But it is a big gamble, which is exactly why the Wings signed Weiss for slightly less money… he projects to be a more constant source of all-around play than Filppula, even if Filppula’s talent (at this stage in their careers) gives him a shot to be more productive if something clicks.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/25/13 at 10:27 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Filppula isn’t suddenly garbage and the stuff they’re saying about him right now makes sense.  Those were his positive attributes when he was in Detroit too.

Especially the hard worker part, which seems to have been forgotten.

What they’re likely going to learn in the regular season is that “you don’t have to be too close to him because he holds the puck well and makes space” stuff isn’t as consistent as you’d like a guy in his position to be.  They’ll start noticing Filppula’s maddening habit of crossing the blue line, skating to the half-boards, and getting swarmed by two defenders before his better-than-average vision can find an open teammate to set up for a great chance.

They’ll also begin to notice how hard back-checking skating all too often happens as a result of Filppula letting a guy skate past him while trying a fancy stick-lift or poke-check instead of stepping in front of his man to separate him from the puck.

Filppula is good and he’s going to be good in Tampa.  I don’t think he’ll be great unless he gets over those two tendencies.

It’s just that those tendencies don’t show up in the preseason.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/25/13 at 10:33 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I have nothing bad to say about flip. I think he is a solid player who tantalized with some brilliant offensive flashes and then stretches of not flashy, but solid two way play.

I’m not sure he is quite what Tampa is paying him, but much like when Boston gave Lapointe that crazy offer long ago…you shake his hand and say good luck.

Posted by Down River Dan on 09/25/13 at 11:22 AM ET


Filppula has the tools to be a special player but he doesn’t play with the grit needed to be Datsyukian.  It was obvious that he was too soft a player for Babcock and too perimeter, if he can get over that he can be the player the Wings had envisioned and that Tampa hopes to get.

Posted by bababooey on 09/25/13 at 11:50 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I think Filppula is a talented, above-average 3rd line center who will struggle as teams continue to make him an everyday 2nd line center.  And I think Fil himself needs to come to terms with that.  DET tried almost EVERYONE on his wing and it never helped.

He could be a FANTASTIC shutdown center but he can’t get over the idea of somehow working his way into a flashy #1 center role I guess.  He’s Darren Helm minus some speed and snarl, with better finishing.

Posted by Primis on 09/25/13 at 02:03 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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