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04-21-2013, 06:16 AM
  #143
FiLe
Mr. Know-It-Nothing
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Country: Finland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
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.
So it's 2009 all over again. Back then, Niko Kapanen was the only proven performer we had, yet the team ended up doing fine for itself.

I'm not saying the same can happen every time, and Viitaluoma's ceiling is very likely not on par with Jarkko Immonen's, but eh. Games can still be won if we have that one effective line and the rest manage to hold it together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
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.
Like I put it, my aversion towards Hytönen is mostly a personal one, so it's maybe not fully rational. Objectively thinking, he should be able to hold his own just as you put it - but that's about it. But if he would have been placed under a bit more rigorous scrutiny and competition instead of mostly making it due to being a coach's favorite, we could have maybe discovered someone else who could be able to do more. Or not. Eh, maybe I just hate seeing favoritism happen - even when the subject is a player who can technically pull his weight.

What comes to Lahti, he must have done SOMETHING better than averagely to make it this far. I think I heard somewhere being stated that he's a solid faceoffs guy, which is a nice quality for a 4th line C. Have to go see if I can find any stats to back it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
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.
I tried to point out that Jormakka is still quite young player. Which means he can be an overachiever, or still taking strides in development. It's hard to say which it is, but both are actually equally possible.

A guy like Haataja is clearly an overachiever. If he could maintain the level we saw him play on during the first week, we would have seen it already. I just hope him showing flashes of being somewhat good hasn't blinded Jalonen's judgment. It has happened at least once before, with Kalle Kerman in 2009. Janne Lahti in 2011 could count as well, but at least he had pretty solid club team stats as an excuse.

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Anyway, I still find this team mighty curious to look at as a whole, thanks to it having a large number of relatively young newcomers. Osala, Salminen, Jormakka, Melart, Jalasvaara (not that young, but could still be effective). They might never be superstars, but it's not like we'll ever have a full-blown NHL team for these games, which makes having a stable pool of European support guys a crucial thing. Our current core is rapidly aging, so if these games can help strengthen those ranks, it has not been all for nothing. And with the situation being what it is, some of those guys will feature in quite prominent roles instead of being mere filler.

Okay, despite them, the squad could maybe still use a bit of X-factor someone like Armia could bring, but it's not like he's been doing himself any favors statwise. I can't really blame Jalonen for refusing to take someone on pure prospect value alone. He didn't exactly take a leap of faith with Granlund either, as Mikke had a solid spring behind him - which is something Armia doesn't have.

A big reason why coaches play it safe is because they'd like to have their job come next season as well - but it's not like that should matter here, Jalonen and we all know he'll be gone once the last horn goes off for the Lions in these games. So there could be a little more room to try something new.

But it's probably a pipe dream that something like this could happen. And even the relatively young ones such as Salminen and Osala may end up finding themselves on the fringes. Jalonen's idea of wingers for the top two lines could be Pesonen, Aaltonen, Hagman and Haataja for all we know.

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