Valtteri Filppula wasn’t supposed to be good this year for the New York Islanders. And he hasn’t. He’s been great. And he added an outstanding highlight reel goal to his season against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Valtteri Filppula was brought in as a free agent by New York Islanders President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello. Bringing in a 34-year-old center after losing John Tavares wasn’t exactly a good one-for-one swap.
Nothing much was expected of the Finn. Sure he could play the “right way” but at 34-years-old his better days were clearly behind him.
From July till puck drop in October that was the though. And then Valtteri Filppula proved us all wrong. And he continues to prove us all wrong with his sixth goal of the season on a beautiful solo effort.
Highlight Reel Goal
Filppula picks up the puck basically at the center ice position and takes on four Hurricane defenders before eventually beating Scott Darling on the backhand.
If your jaw didn’t drop after seeing that goal you need to watch it again, and again, until you do. This goal would go on any player’s highlight reel, even Connor McDavid’s. But it was Valtteri Filppula who was putting on the show.
Again, this is a player that wasn’t expected to do much. Best case scenario for him was to not be a negative player on the ice. But Filppula has defied those expectations.
Through 21 games (before tonight against the Hurricanes) Filppula has 14 points. That puts him on pace for 55 points.
That would be his best return since the 2013-14 season where he scored 58 points for Tampa Bay Lightning.
With a point tonight, (and assuming he doesn’t get more) that ups Filppula’s pace to 56 points.
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It’s clear that Valtteri Filppula will exceed expectations for the 2018-19 season. The question now is what happens when he becomes a free agent? Do the Islanders re-sign him? Or do they let him walk?