Valtteri Filppula Q&A: “We’ve Dug Ourselves into a Hole”

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Given the rebuild mode, Valtteri Filppula hardly expected a glorious homecoming when he signed with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer.

What he surely didn’t expect was the Red Wings would be league-worst after seven weeks of play.

But that’s where they are. There is little light at the end of the tunnel–the Wings have lost six games in a row. After the 5-1 loss in New Jersey on Saturday, the veteran forward had this to say…

The team is obviously a work in progress, but do you see any positives?

We have indeed dug ourselves into a deep hole. We must improve soon, win a lot, and climb in the standings. Luckily, there are a lot of games left. It’s not easy to catch other teams, because the winning team gets only two points (in Europe, max 3).

Yes, there are some positives, too. The young guys on this team gather some valuable experience all the time. Problems can make us all stronger.

Actually, we are not playing that badly. But eventually we start making bad mistakes, and they result in breakaways and stuff. If I only knew why this happens.


Both your wingers (Robby Fabbri and Andreas Athanasiou) are first-round picks. Surely some potential there?

Fabbri’s been good (was recently acquired from the St. Louis Blues). He’s good with the puck, can pass, can score. Athanasiou also, he’s real speedy. Nice to have such wingers.

I think our line doesn’t spend too much time in our own end but respectively, we don’t create enough chances in the o-zone. We get a lot of ice time, so we should deliver. It’s a mystery, but it feels we allow too many goals all the time.


This is your second stint in Detroit. Did you seek a return to Motor City?

I didn’t take the initiative, actually, but when opportunity knocked, I was instantly interested. After that, it all happened quite fast. It was nice to return to Detroit. The club feels familiar, although the team has changed almost completely. Everything’s fine, I just hope we will win more hockey games…

“The Joe” was a great home arena for us. But the new one (Little Caesars Arena) is really nice. We probably have five times the room we had previously. Great building!

The Detroit Red Wings lost to the Carolina Hurricanes on the road on Sunday, 2-0. The result marked the Wings’ sixth straight loss. They sit at the bottom of the NHL with seven wins and 17 points.

PASI TUOMINEN, NEW YORK
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