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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
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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89