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Notes: Sheahan's value measured in more than numbers

Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds flattered by admiration of Wings prospect Givani Smith

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

PHILADELPHIA - For players like Riley Sheahan, the truth does not always lie in the numbers.

In the first 10 games, Sheahan has two assists and is minus-5.

"I talked to Riley about not judging his game by his points 100 percent," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I think he's a player that absolutely can't judge his game on his points. I think he brings so much more to the table. We talk about possession, the possessions when you have the puck on your stick, so sometimes you don't get any shots but you hold onto it, you hold onto it, you hold onto it, you hold onto it, and that is a very good defense just by holding onto it. He does a very good job of that so he adds lots of things to the table, regardless of points, he's very good defensively. I think he's played well. Would he like to point more? Everybody wants to point more but I think if his process is the same, similar to (Tomas Tatar) and (Justin Abdelkader), he'll get his points."

Sheahan, 24, established himself in college at Notre Dame a player who focused on strong defense, something he continues to focus on.

"We have guys that fill different roles, just like every other team," Sheahan said. "Obviously it's nice to score points and everything, but when you're getting ice time and you feel like you're doing well and contributing, even if it's not on the scoreboard, it's fun to play."

Last season Sheahan had a career-high 14 goals, half before the All-Star break and half after.

With his size, 6-foot-3, 226 pounds, Sheahan can be effective going to the net.

"Obviously there's so many goalies that are so good when they see the puck, so if you can create a little chaos, create a little havoc in front of them, you got to create rebounds and try to bang away at their pads," Sheahan said. "It's not fun for them and usually a puck squirts out and you can get a dirty goal."

FLYERS AT HOME: The Flyers have some good memories of the last time the Wings visited Wells Fargo Center.

In that game, last March 15, the Flyers took a 2-0 lead in the first, outshooting the Wings 22-3 in the opening period.

Of course, the Wings have not beaten the Flyers in Philadelphia since the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals and not in the regular season since January, 1997, a span of 11 games.

Claude Giroux is only 28 so he didn't know how long the streak was.

"No. Let's try to keep it that way then," Giroux said. "Guys that I talk to, they say it's one of the toughest buildings to play. The fans are nuts here and they're on our side so we like it that way."

Wayne Simmonds did know a little bit about the streak. "I think it goes back to 1990-something. That's a long time," Simmonds said. "Ever since I've been here, this is my sixth season here, we've had a really strong home record. I don't know exactly what it is but sometimes you just get to where you go into another team's building and you can't win. I think we had that problem with New York for probably about three-four years 'till the last couple years and then we started winning there. It changes around a little bit. Hopefully we can keep that streak going for our sake."

GIVANI'S IDOL: When the Wings drafted Givani Smith in the second round, 46th overall, this past summer, Smith said his hockey idol was Simmonds.

Simmonds said he met Smith over the summer in Toronto.

"We're from the same hometown, so we got connected there," Simmonds said. "I did a couple skates with him. We were both doing a kind of mentoring role at a youth hockey camp and we met up there. It was pretty good. He's a great kid, he's got a good head on his shoulders and he's going to be a heck of a player, the way he plays the game. He plays the game the right way. I actually really love the way he plays."

At the draft, Smith said he loved the way Simmonds plays. "The way he just plays his game out there, he's a force on the ice and he's scoring goals right in front of the net and that's where I'm going to score goals," Smith said at the draft. "He's a good skater, likes to finish checks. He's not scared to fight and that's something I admire about Wayne."

Simmonds, who is tied for second in the league in goals with six (Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Chicago's Artem Anisimov both have seven), was flattered to hear of Smith's admiration.

"That's an honor to hear someone say that," Simmonds said. "I guess I don't really realize how long I've actually played in this league. This is my ninth year now. To have kids growing up saying that they want to play like me, I think it's really cool. It's really humbling and just makes me want to keep going."

Smith has seven goals, seven assists and 34 penalty minutes in 14 games for the Guelph Storm this season.

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