Detroit Red Wings
RedWingsSeasonTickets.com Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Filppula gives Preds more to think about

Wings forward scored team-high four goals vs. Nashville

Wednesday, 04.11.2012 / 8:02 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Filppula gives Preds more to think about
Valtteri Filppula led the Red Wings with four goals this season against the Predators. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It used to be that when Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne prepared for the Red Wings, Public Enemy No. 1 was Tomas Holmstrom, the Swedish Demolition Man who has made a career out of pester opposing netminders.

“Obviously, Holmstrom has had a great, great career and that's his key thing, what he does,” said Rinne, who led the NHL with 43 wins this season. “You can't get rattled, can't get frustrated, whatever happens in front of the net my job is to focus on the puck and try to make the saves.

“You still have to keep that in the back of your mind when he's on the ice. You pretty much know he's going to park right in front of you. You're going to see that 96 all night long.”

But this season, Rinne had a new adversary in Wings forward Valtteri Filppula, a fellow countryman, who had a great six-game stretch against the Predators this season.

“Yes, he did, and I was mad about that,” said Rinne, about surrendered four of Filppula’s career-high 23 goals this season.

“I feel like he's shooting the puck way more, he's going to the net, going in those dirty areas, he's not afraid to get hit or take a hit,” Rinne said. “That's how you score. I don't know how you score goals, but I guess that's how you score goals.”

Beginning in training camp, the coaches challenged Filppula to score more. It started by moving him from center to the wing and putting him on a forward line with center Henrik Zetterberg and forward Jiri Hudler. And it just may have been the biggest move of the season, taking the 28-year-old Finnish-born star from a third line center to a top six forward.

Part of his transformation is that Filppula shot more pucks at the net this season, actually 25.2 percent more from last season. Wings coach Mike Babcock would now like to see Filppula build on his remarkable season and continue to be a problem for Rinne by being more active in front of the net in their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

“That's the chat we had at the morning skate, 'Fil, you had an unbelievable year, if you're going to be unbelievable in the playoffs you got to be on the inside,” Babcock said. “He's a dominant skater, he's strong as an ox, he can work the D. He's got to get on the inside.”

The two Fins have never played together back home, though they were opponents in the Finnish junior league. But besides to the goals he gave up, Rinne was very complimentary when talking about Filppula following Wednesday’s morning skate at Bridgestone Arena.

“Really nice guy,” Rinne said. “On the ice he looks a little bit like (Pavel) Datsyuk, he's so smooth with the puck, great skater, strong on the puck, protects the puck really well. He always seems to find his linemates, and this year he's also been scoring a lot more. That's a dangerous combination when you can dish the puck and also score some goals. That line has been going really well.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80