No, not the man-pretty one, his older brother down in Grand Rapids.
Ilari Filppula is currently leading the Griffins in points with 19 in 22 games. He has nine goals with a ridiculous 23% shooting percentage. Looks like Daddy Filppula always made little brother pass it to big bro for those shots, because even today Val doesn’t shoot as much as he should.
I saw Ilari play a few weeks back and he looked like one of the best players on the ice. He plays a much more up and down game than Val and was very effective in the game.
Other notes from Grand Rapids:
Cory Emmerton is an amazing +14 on an average Griffins team and tied with the team lead with 19 points. That’s pretty amazing, considering nobody is within 6 +/- points of him.
There’s actually a four-way tie for the team lead in points: Fil, Emmerton, Tomas Tatar and Jan Mursek all have 19 on the year. Mursek also stood out in the game I saw, scoring two goals. He might be an underdog to eventually make the Wings, I liked what I saw from him.
Tatar will be a solid player for the Wings in the future, he’s got Pavel dangles. Head’s not there yet, but hopefully it comes together.
Our boy Brendan Smith seems to be having a solid start in the pro’s, leading the Griffins D in scoring with 15 points, two more than Derek Meech. Smith stood out in the game I saw with a great spin-o-rama at the blueline and other great offensive plays. Meech could not have blended in more. Proves he really is an AHL player.
The one downside I see from our boys in the A is in net; Thomas McCollum is only 5-8-1 and has a pretty piss poor .889 save percentage. I like his style and quickness but haven’t watched him enough to know where it is going wrong. Any GR locals care to comment?