Team Finland @ 2013 World Championships
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04-19-2013, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
These week's games were far from pretty or decisive, but I still wouldn't be overly worried.
Why? Because despite about 2/3 of the current camp roster making the team, they've yet to play a single game with all the most prospective candidates in a single lineup - let alone having them properly roled in the most effective lines and d-pairs.
And while some of the guys in the current roster are the kind of weaklings who shouldn't really be WHC candidates, at least most of them will be cut, leaving us a bunch of mainly better-than-average performers.
Even if we are struggling down the middle, I'd still say that overall, we have a pretty decent group of forwards. Out of wingers, Salminen and Osala are in a good form, and Aaltonen could be slotted into top-six as well. And we also have Pesonen, who is... well, Pesonen. He's not exactly a top-notch guy, but not really dead weight either. Pihlström and Hagman are able support guys. Yes, Pikku-Hakki has not been what he's been at best, but let's keep in mind that this guy is a very reliable major tournament performer. I'm not saying he's going to magically bounce back all of a sudden, but I'd still consider him a reliable enough solution for 3rd line.
Centres are more of an issue, but if the docs clear Kontiola we should be somewhat fine. Viitaluoma is a name who should not really be up there for these kind of considerations, but he has actually been quite good. I'm still hoping that we'd get a guy from across the pond, but with Viitaluoma in place, the huge hole is currently leaking far less than expected.
Defense is pretty much what it has been for the past five years or so. We haven't really had one we wouldn't have cussed at and called it garbage over that time. To sum it up, it'll take a little luck for them to play like they did in 2011 - but not a lot of it.
And even if I hate ragging against the goaltenders, I'll have to say that today's game would have been won on regulation with better netminding. Järvinen was far from convincing. At least two of the Swiss goals were of the kind that he would have, could have and should have taken. And there will be a better guy manning the net when the actual tournament begins, whether he comes from ole' Europe or overseas.
Hockey is a game of small margins, especially in international tournaments, and our squad still has room to improve by a quite notable margin. So here's hoping.
. Thank god.
Last edited by FiLe: 04-19-2013 at
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