Team Finland @ 2013 World Junior Championships
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11-11-2012, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Originally Posted by
I'd be willing to cut Haapala (in addition to Ikonen) if we could find someone with a little less skill but way more size and grit. Yes, it is what it is, but I believe Barkov is our biggest asset and putting him in a line with no power forward would make things much more difficult for him.
Last year, our first line was MaG - MiG - Pulkkinen and it didn't struggle too much even if none of those guys was a physical powerhouse. Neither was Rajala when he mostly played in place of Markus earlier years (even though that RGP line never actually got together on WJC).
In fact, the one time they had a proper PWF in 2010 when Pulkkinen was out with an injury and they subbed him with Hartikainen, the whole line was just out of sync all the time. I still think Härski was great on individual level, but he never connected with the other two.
As a whole, it's of course never good if you have a whole squad's worth of lil' mickeys, and having a good PWF with Barkov could certainly click given how he does so great with Nieminen in Tappara. But if he connects with Lehkonen as well as he seems to do, I wouldn't be too worried. It's just one line out of four - and good enough chemistry can overcome some shortcomings. And like I mentioned, the reasonably-sized D is there to help.
Last edited by FiLe: 11-11-2012 at
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