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10-01-2012, 02:24 AM
Mr. Know-It-Nothing
Join Date: Oct 2009
Country: Finland
Posts: 2,895
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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Teräväinen - Barkov - Haapala
Lehkonen - Aaltonen - Ikonen
Salminen - Kulmala/Leino - Lamberg
I like this one, actually.

But then again, I can't really say I haven't liked any of the variations I've seen. They all have their highs and lows, but they all also look as if they could work - at least if compared between themselves.

Which gets us to the point of this post. You see, well, they do have one persistent low. The lack of grit and physicality. And the thought that's been ticking in the back of my brain finally found a coherent form.

We're all going nuts over these kids who have emerged in force and are now tearing up SM-liiga. But does that mean we have to find them all a roster spot in this particular squad? Because, simply put, I don't see anymore how we're going to get the best possible team that way.

The way I see it, we currently have six skaters we can consider locks for the top-9. Salomäki, Armia, Granlund, Aaltonen, Barkov and despite his struggles, Teräväinen. Now, out of those only Salomäki and to some extent, Aaltonen can bring the physical edge. Well, Barkov and Armia could too, if they wanted, but that would really hamper their natural game.

Two forwards stretched over three lines, among seven other skaters is, simply put, far too little, no matter how you twist it. These lineups we've had up here so far kinda remind me more of those Russian all-star squads we saw a few years back, where could see a guy like Ovechkin play in the 4th line. It never ended well for them.

The squad currently with locks inserted:

Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Teräväinen - Aaltonen - X
Z - Barkov - X

Now, we seem to have four forwards in contention for those remaining three slots. J.Ikonen, Haapala, Lehkonen and Kallela. All skilled, know their scoring... but are not very physical. So here's the thing, we really only have two places where they feel good fits for the team overall. That 'Z' slot needs a wholly different kind of player. And when I look at our depth, two with necessary parameters pop up. Hännikäinen and H.Ikonen.

Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Teräväinen - Aaltonen - J.Ikonen/Lehkonen/Kallela
Hännikäinen/H.Ikonen - Barkov - Haapala/Lehkonen/Kallela

Bottom line, bring some physical edge to the squad and snuff one of the skill kids. One may remain as 13th forward, but one needs to snuffed altogether. My pick for the not-so-lucky loser? It would actually be Lehkonen. Yes yes, the golden helmet in KalPa and all that, but it is also most difficult to find him a "chemistry" slot in the squad. Besides, the kid's a '95 born. He'll get his chance.

And, therefore, my updated lottery:

Ullberg (93)
Juvonen (94)
Korpisalo (94)

Määttä (94) - Ristolainen (94)
Riikola (93) - Pokka (94)
Parkkonen (93) - Vainonen (94)
Lindell (94)

Salomäki (93) - Granlund (93) - Armia (93)
Teräväinen (94) - Aaltonen (93) - J.Ikonen (95)
H.Ikonen (94) - Barkov (95) - Haapala (94)
Lamberg (93) - Salminen (94) - Leino (93)
Kallela (93)

Now that is essentially a Team Finland, not a Team Russia.

And, oh, after last two games for KalPa, I think Juuso Riikola added himself to defense contention with a rumble. Really liked what little I saw.

Last edited by FiLe: 10-01-2012 at 02:31 AM.
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