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07-26-2013, 01:35 PM
Mr. Know-It-Nothing
Join Date: Oct 2009
Country: Finland
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I don't remember seeing Kontiola play wing recently and I can't be certain how he'd adapt or perform playing that position. I didn't contradict myself, I simply went with the hypothesis I had of him, which was that he'd probably do better as a wing than Koivu bros or Barkov. And I don't think I wrote anything about giving time to adapt or to sort out chemistry.
You still speculated that Kontiola's inability to play wing could be due to bad line chemistry. And the thing is, if the issue actually is with that and one needs to sort it out, there are two avenues to go. Either shuffle the lines and try new ones, or let the current linemates work out the kinks. Both require precious time, something the olympics won't provide.

Kontiola wasn't very adaptive to wing position a year ago. And given how he's played exclusively center since that little experiment, I doubt he's gotten any better at it. And even if he has, actually realizing it would still require a pretty wild experiment - and the olympics are not the right place to experiment, unless one has his hand forced to it.

Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
All the existing evidence that I have of Konna's ability to play wing is your word, you have to take that into consideration. You gave me some reasoning in your previous post, but before that pretty much all I heard from you was "can't play" or "couldn't play", so it's not a surprise I wanted to hear more.
Fair enough. I initially assumed that you'd seen the same games I had (we are, after all, on a hockey-oriented forum and having a rather in-depth debate surrounding a team that is obviously very dear to both of us), so I thought that maybe stipulating your memory would be enough. Not so fair an assumption after all. My bad.

Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I have to emphasize again that the roster I posted "is roughly how I'd personally like to see it ATM". Meaning that I'd much rather see Aaltonen instead of Selänne, Kontiola instead of Leino, Barkov instead of O.Jokinen, and Ristolainen instead of someone like Laakso, Lepistö or Niskala. I simply picked the players I'd roughly like to see there without sacrificing too much quality in the process. People here can argue against my roster all they want, but it's probably not going stop me from trying to "fantasize".
There actually is a solid grounding to most of your fantasies, and most have a possible avenue open for them that can take them closer to reality. Aaltonen can have a solid fall pointwise, making him an option to elderly Selänne, especially if Teemu struggles. (Of course, mere "struggles" are probably not enough for Erkka to competely drop him, but at least they should make him consider other avenues.) Barkov seems slated to clock steady NHL minutes. Him outplaying OJ is again, possible. Ristolainen may break the Buffalo roster, and even if he doesn't, proving one's mettle in the AHL may be good enough, given how thin we are on defense. It requires a lot of gears falling into right positions, but at least there's a chance that they do.

If Kontiola was to play wing, we'd need a similar case of him doing good in that position before the roster is named. Which means he'd have to play wing in Traktor. Unfortunately, I don't see that having any kind of chance at all. It's simply not grounded in the same logic, which is why I picked on it.

Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Having Kontiola as a 2nd line wing was probably one of the more unrealistic things in my roster, but I wanted the top-2 lines to have a player with the ability to shoot from the right side. If we exclude Selänne, Aaltonen and Kontiola might be the most prominent forwards we have with that handedness.
If you want to have a righty shot on a line, it doesn't, you know, have to be the RW. Kontiola can still utilize that quality he has while being on a lane far more familiar to him. Of course, that'd mean having Barkov somewhere lower or out altogether, but such choices are the bread and butter when putting together a lineup.

You know, since we're fantasizing, there's always Armia. Him developing to an olympic caliber scoring winger in mere months of time is of course a long shot, but it's still shorter than Konna turning into one.

It might be a difference in philosophy, but to me building a lineup that has all the textbook theory in place never beats one that displays some existing chemistry and players in their natural habitat, even if that occasionally leads to solutions that overlooks handednesses and other minutiae. Because it's exactly the formula that has brought us pretty nice results from the last few best-on-best tournaments...

Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Would be nice to go to the Olympics with a line-up without too many question marks, but with the way our player pool is at the moment, that's probably not going to happen. We have a lot of aging players, some guys returning from long injuries, a few unproven youngsters and so on.

We've seen Sami Kapanen play centre for the Finnish national team and I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of a somewhat similar surprise-solution with this team either. As an example, if we end up having 6 good centres and 7 good wingers with a clear drop-off in quality after that, one of the C's is probably going to be playing wing even if he's not accustomed to it.
We've seen Sami Kapanen play centre at a WHC. With the olympics, the initial assumption while building lineup should always stem from the ideal situation. The reality has a nasty tendency to throw some spanners into the works of course, but going with an assumption that something happens while something does not is not exactly the right way to go either, since that tends out to be a jumbling mess of illogicalities, all in one's head.

Besides, last I checked I thought we had a deep enough pool of players we can slot into rather natural positions in our olympic roster without noticeable drop in quality even if some of the question marks turn out to be busts. And there's still even a buffer for an injury or two.

Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I edited my previous reply after reading your posts for the 2nd time last night. It remains to be seen what the role or style of the 3rd and 4th line with Erkka, and how well Granlund might fit there if he's not a top-6 forward. For what it's worth, at the previous Olympics our only hardnosed wingers were the Ruutu brothers and we had guys like Niko Kapanen, Ville Peltonen, Antti Miettinen and Niklas Hagman in our lower lines. At least Granlund wouldn't differentiate that radically from these players when it comes to grinding.
Last olympics, our initial 4th line was Peltonen - Kapanen - J.Ruutu, which is very typical sort of line to me. Two forwards for whom playing the reliable defense-first two-way game comes as a natural occurence and doesn't require any adaptivity, and then the resident bonehead. So yeah, very much roled according to the formula, which btw, usually only applies as a staple to the 4th only. 3rd is either defensive, offensive or a mix of both, bit depending on players at your disposal. Best-on-best, it's usually been little more offensive than defensive. So bringing Hagman, Miettinen and such into this discussion is a moot point, since they were not roled out of their natural habitat last time around.

And even if they were, they are still not exactly players I'd compare to Granlund. Hagman is your very typical power forward and while Miettinen is a more or less an all-around guy. They have far less natural abilities to zone out from than Granlund does should they find the need to grind. So no, not comparable at all.

If you want to have a 4th line with offensive flair, why don't you just place Barkov there? He's a far more natural fit than MiG is, and you don't have to come up with any kind of frivolous arguments to justify it.

Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
At Erkka's last Olympics in 2006 he had Jarkko Ruutu and Ville Nieminen in his disposal, so he had the option to go with a "grinding" 4th line. Whether or not a similar line ends up being a good option with the current player pool is of course anyone's guess at this point.
Komarov, Joensuu, Bergenheim, Hartikainen, Petrell, Pihlström... and they're just the tip of the iceberg. Only reason for having the 4th roled differently is if we suddenly had a shortage of reliable two-way guys - and well... we actually have far more of them battling it out for those remaining two slots than we'll ever have for the three lines above 'em. Lady Fortuna would need to pull a double shift and hire some extra help to sideline 'em all.

Last edited by FiLe: 07-26-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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