Update (3:33 PM): Thought I should clarify what I meant by the horribly-worded “Even with Filppula back, he’s a non-factor.”
Way back at the start of the season, Leino and Filppula had some great chemistry, as you might remember. I assume Babcock remembers that as well. So, to me it’s telling that he’s sitting Leino despite Filppula’s return. You’d think he’d at least give Ville another game to try to regain the magic with Fil, but he’s not.
It doesn’t mean Leino will sit Thursday night as well, but it does tell me he’s majorly deep in Babcock’s doghouse.
If Leino is still the guy who was basically saying “I’d better in the NHL next year or else,” I wonder if he has the mental fortitude to find his way back out into the yard. – Matt
You have to wonder where Ville Leino’s NHL career is headed when he’s being replaced in a depleted, starved-for-offense Red Wings lineup by a minor league call-up. The fact that it’s come to this is a pretty clear indicator that maybe he doesn’t have what it takes. Even with Filppula back, he’s a non-factor.
Is he going to take this as a challenge and actually be better or is he going Axelsson his way back to Finland (either after being sent down to Grand Rapids or after a couple of weeks of sitting)?