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Filppula moves from center to wing

Forward hopes that moves brings increased offense

Friday, 09.23.2011 / 2:50 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Filppula moves from center to wing
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DETROIT – Moving from one line to another is almost common place for Red Wings’ forwards. But shifting positions – from center to a wing – is altogether different, yet a welcome change for Valtteri Filppula.

With one glaring exception though. The Finnish forward must now put up with two Swedes – center Henrik Zetterberg and power forward Johan Franzen.

“Yeah, that’s tough,” said Filppula, with a laugh.

All kidding aside, for Filppula, he understands that there’s an opportunity this season to product more points from a forward position by playing up with Zetterberg and Franzen.

“I think we have a good line and that we should be able to play real well, and do a lot of good things out there,” said Filppula, who had a goal in Thursday’s 4-3 shootout win over Philadelphia. “So hopefully, as the preseason goes on and into the season, we can be a good line for us.”

Used greatly as a third line center in the past, Filppula sees great potential in playing with Zetterberg, who has averaged 29 goals a season, and Franzen, who is known for scoring goals in bunches.

“Playing with those guys, I expect a lot of myself if I get to play there,” Filppula said. “I definitely should have a lot of opportunities to get to play a lot. And when you play more you expect more of yourself, too. If that’s going to be our line, I’d hope that I would do well.”

However, don’t expect Filppula to predict a goal total for himself this season.

“I obviously want to do better than I did last year, but that’s kind of the mindset that I’ll go through every season,” said Filppula, who scored 16 goals last season. “I want to do better. But if I start thinking about it too much, it’s only going to hurt you, I think.”

So then, if not statistically, how does Filppula gauge on-ice performance?

“There are a lot of things on the ice that you can do better, like play better defensively,” he said. “And of course, if I get to play on the power-play, and play a lot of minutes then I expect more offense from myself.

“If you play well and you get to play in different situations, then the points will come. I think that’s kind of extra pressure on myself to think about points. I always think if I play well, then the points will come. … You see the guys who normally play well, they’re the guys who get the points. I think that kind of goes hand-and-hand.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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