Hey, kids, guess what? Hockey's almost here. That means it's time for me to get back into this whole blogging thing that I've neglected during the off-season. Since I lack the creativity to come up with a new gimmick, I decided to continue the Player Profiles series I did last year leading up to the season. I'll be taking a look at a different player (almost) every day between now and when hockey starts. By my count, there are 20 days until the Wings open the regular season. Get excited. Today's subject:
2009-2010 Regular Season: 55 GP, 11-24-35, +/- -4, 24 PIM
2010 Playoffs: 12 GP, 4-5-9, +/- 1, 6 PIM
Season Highlight: Scoring this nice shorthanded goal on his birthday.
Season Lowlight: Breaking his wrist.
Last year was supposed to be Filppula's breakout year. Instead, he missed a good chunk of games due to a broken wrist suffered on a seemingly harmless play. He didn't exactly put up the point totals the Wings were expecting from him last year, but neither did most of the other guys on the team.
This season, he needs to finally come into the form that the Wings have been expecting from him. He has good hands and can serve as an excellent set-up man. He needs to find a way to put up the points that justify his contract this season. He's expected to center the second line with Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi, so there should be plenty of opportunities to put the puck in the net.
Aside from that, he's finally going to be challenged for the title of Best Hair in the Wings Organization by the arrival of his brother who is slated to play in Grand Rapids. It's going to be a battle out there.
What he needs to do to make me smile: Be a reliable scorer on the second line.