And when Babcock tapped Filppula on the shoulder to move from his normal line with Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson to play with Hossa and Holmstrom, he cited Valtteri's speed and playmaking ability as what he wanted from him in this situation.
"The Red Wings don't put you on any situation that might put you in over your head, in answer to your question about playing on the No. 1 line now," Filppula said. "And they make sure you have another player who acts as a sounding-board for you."
"Exactly," he smiled.
And who's your mentor?
"Pav," he said, smiling again.
And how does Datsyuk help you out?
"He tells me to be comfortable and confident. Enjoy myself," Filppula said of his time on the ice and off the ice watching movies like The Usual Suspects, the Die Hard series and James Bond action flicks, plus listening to his favorite Metallica songs, playing tennis or working on his golf game.
But there's no time for leisure activities now, just one win away from making it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight year.
"Oh yeah, I forgot," Filppula said with his biggest smile of the day. "Pav always tells me to shoot more."
When you see Valtteri Filppula dangle the way he did Sunday, it's clear he is getting closer and closer to being that Finn-ished product the Red Wings are looking for.