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11-14-2012, 06:01 AM
Mr. Know-It-Nothing
Join Date: Oct 2009
Country: Finland
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
HPK has had some roster problems, so Vainio has probably been more of a makeshift solution than anything else. He could very well make the WJC team, I’m just not expecting him to have much of an impact at that level. In my opinion he’s rather average in every aspect of the game.
The thing is, I'm not giving my assessment based on what I've seen from him playing for HPK, but for the tournament in Sundsvall. He gave a good showing, there's no other way of saying it.

Sure, the opposition will still get tougher from that, but this has to account for something in Rindell's eyes. And even if HPK does have some roster problems and he might not have played as much as he has were their deck more stacked, it still doesn't change the fact that he has been getting regular SM-liiga minutes lately and has more than held onto his own. Though I have to say, HPK's recent showings and results don't exactly befit a team that has "roster problems", unless you were referring to their rather nameless squad as it is. I know Jokerit for example has an injury list far longer than HPK does.

In the end though, I don't think Vainio should be a lock for the final puck-moving D behind Määttä, Ristolainen and Pokka (though he could also make it in an utility role), there are several other good options. But I do think he deserves a little more credit than what you're currently giving him. No need to rip it out of Lindell's checkbook either.

Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Would be nice to know what Rindell thinks about Vainonen and whether there’s any chance that he sends him an invite to the last camp before the WJC’s. Joonas Valkonen has been better than “so-so at best” this season.
Vainonen is no Pronger nor even Ossi Väänänen so he's definitely nothing the team badly requires. Still, like I said, he's been a regular on U18 level and has even shown some leadership abilities (even carrying the C in more than one occasion), so yeah, it'd be curious to know Rindell's thoughts about him.

And Valkonen... if he's been that good, I wonder why he skated with the challenger squad instead of the main one. Not questioning your assessment, just wondering. Would have been far easier to rate his prowess, both for us armchair coaches and Rindell alike, I reckon. Having some depth this year could be one explanation, but I still don't think we're that well set on able-bodied DD as we are on OD.

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