At this rate, however, I am of the belief Hank and Pavel will still end up on different lines come playoff time.
It's funny because the past 4 years, the playoffs have always ended with Zetterberg and Datsyuk on the same line, with Filppula centering the second line. In fact, what was that one year in 2008 when we one the Stanley Cup with Filppula centering the second line completely shutting down Malkin? Oh yeah, 2008. 3 years ago. One season removed from his rookie season.
Or how about when Filppula put up a 57 point pace during the 09 playoffs when he barely played half the games on the second line.
Or how about last playoffs when he put up 9 points in 12 games (62 point pace) when, for half the games, he had a broken rib and probably was hurting to breathe, let alone score?
Or the first 7 games of this season when he had 7 points. Obviously he hasn't kept near that pace since then, but it's not that Filppula isn't playing consistently, Franzen and Bert have just done s***. How many goals has Franzen scored this year that weren't perfect setups from Fil or Pav that were on an open net?
And you don't get 8 points in 3 games without being skilled offensively, period. Obviously he's never going to match anything close to that pace, but it happened nevertheless. It wasn't an accident that it happened.
Or when he put up 16 points in 20 games after he came back from injury last year playing with Miller, Abdelkader, Leino and Cleary? A wrist injury, no less. I've never played hockey since I was really young, so I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure having strong wrists are pretty important.
Seriously, if you want to argue that he isn't going to reach his potential and skill level consistently, that is one thing. But to say that he doesn't have offensive talent or the potential, it's just absolutely stupid. And when gcom says that he doesn't even know where to be in the offensive zone, it's completely retarded.
Edited by Z and D for the C, 14 December 2010 - 09:13 AM.