Team Finland @ 2013 World Championships
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04-21-2013, 02:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Your memory fails you. Kontiola was the 2C in 2010 WHC, and clocked big minutes. Although arguably another year of a relatively no-name team given the proximity of the olympics, he was our best centre by far back then (out of foursome of Immonen-Kontiola-Hytönen-Santala).
I remember that, but with current knowledge Kontiola is the 1st line center right from the start this time and doesn't have a reliable, proven supporting cast. It became obvious in the games against the Swiss that this team is in need of a lot of help in the center department. I have no doubt Kontiola can help, but it may not be enough and if it's not, I can't blame him.
But all in all, your lack of faith on him is misplaced. He's very much a proven performer and well worth the nod. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the injury's going to hamper him or not -
but right now the team's far better off with him in it than without.
I think that goes without saying. Even if he's only like 75%, he'd still be an asset because of the poor center quality the team currently has.
But overall, the situation with the centres is far from ideal. Out of the current contenders, Kontiola-Viitaluoma-Wirtanen-Lahti would be my preferred picks, but given how prominently Hytönen has featured this far, he might just slink in there somewhere. I dunno what it is, but I've always had an aversion towards him. Objectively thinking, he was actually pretty reliable as 3C in both 2009 and 2010, but that also seems to be about the upper limit of what he can do. He just sort of hangs on in there, but never ups the ante, even a little bit. Maybe my dislike towards him comes from the fact that Dufva was in the coaching staff in both those years, and the pick of Hytönen stinks so much of favoritism, given his skillset is perfectly interchangeable with so many other guys out there.
Frankly, I haven't seen much of anything by either Wirtanen or Hytönen that would make me pick one over the other. They're both rather unremarkable. They can probably hold their own in their own end as 3rd line Cs, but that's about it.
Lahti is a Jarkko Ruutu-caliber diver, so he stands out that way. If Nieminen (doubtful) or Savinainen joins the team, does the team really need Lahti? All of these guys love to annoy the other team's players and I'd only take one of them on the team.
But I don't see what's the particular aversion towards him making it. A highly energetic forward is putting up a solid showing, and he's also a young one - born in the 90s. By all accounts we should be rooting for him instead of thinking he does not have what it takes. A good comparison, age and statuswise, could be Leo Komarov at this same time in the spring of 2009. Which should be enough to make us conclude that there's in fact far more room for improvement than with most of the contenders.
I'm not against him making it per se, especially if it's as an extra, but what I see is a player who's been overachieving during the camp. He had only 35 points in the league this season and I have a hard time believing he's not playing nearly solely on willpower right now. If he's just an extra, I'm fine with it, but I wouldn't choose him over anyone else except Sallinen, Anttila and maybe Haataja right now. He'd be left with a 4th line role at best and I don't know if he's suitable for that.
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