Mike Babcock's message to Valtteri Filppula has been relentless: Go to the inside, and watch what happens. The Red Wings hold Filppula in high regard because he's about as all-around utilitarian as they come: penalty killer, power-play guy, speedy, great vision, outstanding passes. Could stand to shoot more, but overall, a very good and very efficient player. Also a player that this season, finally, is poised to reach closer to 60 points than the 40 points he has maxed out at since entering the NHL in 2006-07. Filppula scored by going to the net and tapping in Henrik Zetterberg's shot at 14:52 of the third period, scoring the final goal as the Wings beat Edmonton, 3-0, Friday at Joe Louis Arena. It was Filppula's fourth point in the past three games and 11th in 14. "I thought Fil had another strong game," Babcock said. "It's always the same with Fil: The more he gets on the inside, the more he shoots the puck, the better player he is. He can always transport the puck and be on the outside, but if he wants to be on the inside, that's where the high-end players play." Filppula has been a center most of his career but has thrived offensively since being used mostly on the wing.
Babcock: Valtteri Filppula has the inside track
Detroit Free Press | Nov 12