“I don’t think about points too much, that leads to too much pressure. If you play well it’ll happen. Obviously, I want to do well and help the team the best I can. That’s the pressure. Other than that, I’m not thinking about that too much. Just trying to play my best.”–Valtteri Filppula
That’s what he told Khan(!)after yesterday’s friendly in which he scored a goal. Babcock thinks that Filppula is a 20 goal, 70 point guy – much like Babbles thinks of his man-crush, Jiri Hudler. Well, the coach expects him to double his point production from last season – which may seem like a Herculean task for the 26 year old Finn…but may not be as far off as it would seem at first glance.
Filppula, in all likelihood, would have posted career numbers last season. He had to sit out 27 games with a broken wrist suffered at the hands of Gilbert Brule during a game in Edmonton and still managed to post numbers just five points below his career best.
Filppula will likely improve on last year’s numbers playing between two towering wingers (at least to start the season). Filppula will be lining up with the Mule and Dirty Bert on either side of him.
“They’re big, they go to the net. I’ll try to get the puck to the net and go to the net. That’s the main thing. They both play hard defensively, too, so we should do well in that area as well.” –Valtteri Filppula
Franzen, according to Mickey Redmond, could be a 40 goal man – so hopefully Flip will be able to get in on that action. He’s also slated to play center on the second power play unit. Like I said with Hudler – 70 points is a lofty goal…but not out of the realm of possibility. Filppula should end up somewhere in the 50-60 point range at least – anything less would be disappointing. He thrived at wing on a line with Henrik Zetterberg, hopefully he can revert back to being the second line center we always hoped he would be.