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The Book On: Valtterri Filppula

An idea that probably should’ve felt played out after the second entry, weirdly stayed relevant. Now we’re on to someone who is generally shooter No. 4 (or five. Or six.): Valterri Filppula. The reserve.

Filppula gets to shoot when things go into extras or when one of the Big Three (or Four, or Five) is missing. This makes info on Filppula’s shootout exploits is a lot more limited. But when you’re 29, and you’re still willing bleach and/or highlight your hair, you deserve an entry.

Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s the opposite, but we’ve already made is this far. We’re a massive 99 words in. There’s no turning back now. Let’s just get on with it.

The Basics: Filppula is 2-of-10 in shootouts.

Goals: 1/21/10 @ Minnesota (Niklas Backstrom), 1/21/12 vs. Columbus (Curtis Sanford)

Misses: 3/6/07 vs. Nashville (Tomas Vokoun), 3/22/07 vs. St. Louis  (Jason Bacashihua), 1/16/10 @ Dallas (Alex Auld), 3/19/10 @ Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk), 3/27/10 @ Nashville (Pekka Rinne), 1/12/12 @ Phoenix (Mike Smith), 2/5/12 @ Edmonton (Devin Dubnyk), 1/21/13 @ Columbus (Sergei Bobrovsky)

Fippula shootout chart. (Black = goal. Red = miss.)

Fippula shootout chart. (Black = goal. Red = miss.)

The Strategy: Filppula is going to go straight in with speed. He’s going to deke. He’ll end up on his forehand. He’ll go low.  With two exceptions, that’s about all there is to Filppula’s shootout attempt. How he gets to his forehand varies. Sometimes he’ll fake a shot before pushing it to his forehand. Sometimes he’ll give backhand fake, before coming back to the forehand.

The question is, why doesn’t he do put it under the crossbar more often?

He tries. He just has a problem with spacing. Filppula tends to get too close to the goalie, leaving no room to get any height on the shot.

The Takeaway: The scouting report is pretty concrete (so far): straight on, deke, left side, low. Goalies can sit back in their net a little further and be a little more patient. I’m telling mine to get ready cheat to the right because, we know he’s returning to his forehand eventually. The predictableness makes Filppula stoppable, as evidenced by Dubnyk reading the move and making the pokecheck. But if Filppula develops a back hand move, he could have a future in the shootout.

Shootout Deadliness: 2 “OHHH BA-BY“s out of 5

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