Teammates want to fire up Filppula
The coaching staff placed Filppula's locker next to Zetterberg's a few years ago in hopes of fostering a close relationship between the two, with Zetterberg the mentor. He's a few years older, and, being a Swede, had to go through the same process of adapting to North American hockey as his Finnish colleague.Zetterberg believes he has cracked how to get Filppula to break the 40-point barrier.
"I think it has to do with his personality," Zetterberg said. "He's too nice. It's OK to be nice off the ice, but he has to be a little more selfish on the ice, not passing all the time, or not always thinking about others. He has to think about himself and do it himself.
We've had this talk, and hopefully he will be more selfish this year."
Like Zetterberg, Kronwall said Filppula "is too nice. A lot of times he'd rather shoot than pass, so if he can just pick up a little of the mentality from Hank and Mule, that'd be great."
So how does one fire up a Finn? Easily, according to Zetterberg. "Oh," he said, "you just talk about all the good things about Sweden."
Ken Holland was probably the first to throw out that 70 point potential number for Filppula right after he signed him to his current contract. At the same time, he added a qualifier to it.
"We love everything about him because he's a complete player with great character, and we think he can get even better,'' Detroit general manager Ken Holland told The Associated Press. "He plays hard, he plays hurt. He's got great speed and talent along with versatility because he can play left wing or center. "The only thing no one knows is how good he can be. But even if he doesn't become a 70-point scorer we think he might be, we'll still love everything about him as a player and person.''
So I'd like to poll LGW and maybe create our own definition of what a breakout year for him would really be. I'd also like to see where people predict his point totals will be by the end of the year. It could be a fun little hindsight thread.