For our third chapter of early season reviews of our new additions, we're focusing on a "rookie" who's experiencing his first full time stint with the Wings...
Ville Leino so far this season:
What started as the third line for Detroit, the "Two Finns and a Williams" line has been the best line for Detroit this year. Once Franzen went down, this line was promoted to the second line. Everyone looked at Filppula (and his perfect hair) and then looked at Leino (and inexplicable hair) and said, "oh...they're both Finnish, they HAVE to work well together". Well...lucky for us, that is exactly the case. Putting the slightly underachieving Val Filppula with Leino and repatriated Jason Williams has turned into a great success early on in the season. As promised, Leino worked on his skating and strength training over the summer and looks to be much improved for it. He battles along the boards and goes to the high traffic areas (as can be seen in yesterday's clip that was posted...totally unintentional).
Season Total Projections:
Now, I beleived from the start that Leino was the perfect substitution for Jiri Hudler...it would have been interesting to see them both in the lineup, but it's out of my hands. Hudler's best year was last season in which he had 23 goals and 57 points. Can we expect that from Leino right away? Can we? The fact that he recognized a weakness in his game, and committed himself to working at it, shows that Dr. eVille is committed to being a mainstay on this team. You may or may not have noticed it, but Leino's line seems to spend little time in the defensive zone when they're on the ice. What they lack in size, they are making up for in speed, tenacity, and talent. Leino's heavy wrister could see him easily pot 20 goals this year. If Filppula keeps playing the way that he is, and Williams can start netting even strength goals, Leino's point totals will sore and he'll make a bid for rookie of the year.
The Nightmare on Helm Street is a fledgeling blog overwhelmingly dedicated to the Detroit Red Wings and the destruction of their enemies. Drew started a non-partisan blog in 2008 which failed miserably and he eventually created N.O.H.S. on the scorched Earth thereafter in July 2009. Chris was added as an author three months later. Both are washed up college hockey players, except Chris is a stupid goalie.