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10-26-2012, 08:28 AM
  #90
espo*
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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I agree it will be interesting to see what the new guard of players will bring in terms of playing style if indeed it turns out they are slightly more skilled as a group then the old.

but I don't feel the gap in skill from the old crop will be that large (if at all, time will tell) I expect more of what you mentioned.........a gritty, physical game where each player is expected to remember his 2 way duties.

Considering the amount of skill the Finns will face against teams like Russia, Canada and Sweden I don't think there is much room for them to change a whole lot.


IMO this is what will still give them the best chance of success going forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
In a general sense, I tend to agree. The Finns will very likely still play a gritty, physical game where every player remembers his two-way duties.

But despite that, there might also be some shifts coming, and not so much due to coaching, but due to the player crop changing.

See, one of the key things to Finns being able to play certain style of game comes due to the fact that the core of the NT has been pretty much the same for the past 10-15 years. During that time, Finland's entry list has probably been the easiest to predict whenever a major tournament rolls around. It's always Koivu, Lehtinen, Selšnne, Timonen... all the way down to 4th liners, ending with Jarkko Ruutu.

I've no doubt that in the future, we'll be seeing Granlund, Vatanen, and handful of others become similar staples. But it's changing the whole crop in one major stroke that might bring some changes. Not least because this new guard is expected to be maybe tad more skilled overall than the old one.

While the coach may have little to do with it, I guess the shift still sort of personifies with him. Especially in the case of Jukka Jalonen, who's been having the thankless job of operating during a time when the old guard is on decline and the new one not quite there yet. And despite this, the man managed to whip one of these transitionary squads to a world title. All the more power to him.

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