Wings coach Mike Babcock on Teemu Pulkkinen: “Hopefully he shoots it every time he touches it.”

TAYLOR >> Teemu Pulkkinen is known for one thing … his shot.

“It’s amazing,” Riley Sheahan said of Pulkkinen’s shot. “It’s almost like every time he shoots the puck it’s either going in or the goalie’s not going to know where it’s going and it’ll hit off him and create another scoring chance. It’s hard. It’s accurate. He gets it’s off pretty quick. Not many guys have a shot like him.”

Sheahan will center a line with Pulkkinen and Drew Miller on Saturday at Washington.

“Hopefully he shoots it every time he touches it,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said Friday after the team finished practice at the Taylor Sportsplex.

Pulkkinen, who was recalled from Grand Rapids after the Wings placed Johan Franzen on short-term injured reserve, leads the AHL in scoring with 20 goals and is tied for second with 39 points.

On Wednesday, he equaled a Griffins franchise record with a goal that extended his goal scoring streak to eight consecutive games. The mark was set by Donald MacLean in the 2005-06 season.

“Obviously he has a real good shot,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “But also he’s good at finding the open ice to be able to receive passes. He doesn’t need much.

“It’s almost like Brett Hull in a way,” Zetterberg added. “He doesn’t need a lot of room to get a shot off. It’s going to be interesting to see what he can do. Obviously he’s done a real good job down in Grand Rapids and looking forward to having him around with us.”

“I’ve heard them,” Pulkkinen laughed nervously when asked about the comparisons with Hull. “Since I was a little kid I had fun with my friends going out to shoot pucks, play different games. I enjoy shooting and I’ve been practicing that since I was a little kid.”

Pulkkinen was also see time on the Wings’ second power play unit.

“Play a good two-way game and they want me to shoot,” Pulkkinen said when asked what’s expected of him. “Of course I want to score goals and I’m feeling good right now. If I get the chance to shoot I will shoot for sure.”

Pulkkinen played three games last season with the Wings and didn’t register a point while averaging less than eight minutes of ice time per game.

“He just didn’t earn a spot,” Babcock said of Pulkkinen. “I’m just in the winning business. Can you help us or not.

“All players think they need more ice time to play better,” Babcock continued. “Coach thinks play better and you get more ice time.”

Pulkkinen also had just four shots on goal in those three games last season.

“It’s like the guys have played here so many years and they’ve been around and scored so many goals,” Pulkkinen said when asked if it was tough not to give the puck to established NHL players to shoot. “I haven’t scored any goals. So of course you sometimes think ‘Should I shoot or pass to the guys.’ I just try to shoot it and put it away and play your own game.”


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