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10-28-2013, 08:09 AM
Mr. Know-It-Nothing
Join Date: Oct 2009
Country: Finland
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Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
This entire Lehterä vs. Kontiola debate may end up being meaningless if Erkka doesn't have the heart to leave OJ off the team.
Apart from letting those two make their case right under Erkka's eyes, there is another thing that kinda makes me hope he's not as infatuated with OJ as it would appear. I mean, many people recall him being a sentimental fool who often picked players who had been there before, just like Ara did. But there was actually a difference between their sentimentality. Ara had his full-blown favorites he always cut some extra slack, no matter what. But Erkka actually made conservative picks because he liked to play on existing chemistries. A good example from the days past is Jukka Hentunen. He wouldn't have made half the squads he did if N.Kapanen wouldn't have been there.

Now, if a ton of guys whom OJ played with back in the day were making the team, there'd be a decent chance he could ride in too on their coattails. But the thing is, most of old OJ's familiars will be off the team. Peltonen's obviously not going to make it, Hagman looks slim too, etc. And what remains of the younger breed left from those days will be heavily linked to Mikko in this squad. And the brand new candidates like Granlund, Aaltonen and who else are far more familiar with Lehterä and Konna than they are with OJ.

Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
From what I have gathered, Jalonen hardly got along with any NHL player in Vancouver. It was not just the old guard that had problems with him. I think the difference after Vancouver ended up being that Jalonen did not see the oldies worth trying to get along with, and instead focused on the players who he saw as important. If he had not managed to gain the trust of the younger NHL players, there would have been no gold medal party in Bratislava for Finland.
Agreed. As a matter of fact, Jalonen's career was pretty much hanging on a very thin thread, saved in the end by the fact that he was able to befriend just one player. I don't have to say who that is. The old guard was pretty much lost to Jalonen, but he was able to salvage the trust of the key guy of the younger generation. And when said player followed, the rest of the new guard fell in line as well. It was by means no simple sweet talk when Jalonen was singing praises to him after the Bratislava beatdown.

Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
Well, at least Erkka had the good sense not to bring Karalahti.
You know, part of me hopes that Jere would have been there. Because now, people will keep guessing his worth based on Lüga performance alone. For the same reason it's good that Nummelin made it too. Would have been best to just write him off, but at least Erkka won't have completely rosy picture of his adequacy. And since it's a squad where technically every d-man is a candidate, his past performances won't help, if enough of 'em end up doing better than him. In other words, you couldn't be hoping for better grounds for a relatively fair assessment of his current shape.

Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
Erkka believes there will be 7-8 players from Europe on the final team. I would guess 3 forwards & 4-5 defensemen. Komarov, Kontiola/Lehterä (or possibly both, depending on Saku/OJ) for the forwards and then Väänänen, Kukkonen and Lord knows who else for defensemen. I think the dmen from NA are Salo, Timonen, Vatanen and possibly Määttä. I do have to say that if we leave out legit NHL defensemen, regardless of their age, I will not be a happy camper.
Let's see... Komarov's a lock. That's one. Probably he's eyeing at least one of Kontiola and Lehterä. Maybe both. Two, maybe three. Finally, some winger might slink in as well - even if everyone else is healthy. Aaltonen's probably the guy whom most would guess, but let's keep in mind that there's almost always someone who blindsides completely. It could be that someone like Salminen or Osala - who have both done good - is a far stronger candidate in Erkka's mind than he is in ours. So that's 3-4 forwards.

Defense. I wonder if Erkka's already written off our AHLers, Järvinen and Melart. If he has, that means the wholesome of bottom four will be from Europe. That means Väänänen, Kukkonen, Lepistö and Laakso/Jaakola. I want to believe that the top-4 is not breakable without injuries on the NHL side. Our eyes are now on Määttä, but looks like Ristolainen is going to stick too. In any case, the squad will very like have around four Euro d-men - simply because we don't have any better available. Add those 3-4 forwards to it, and you've got 7-8 players.

Finally, the goalies. I'd say it's pretty much a given that the playing tandem will be two of Rask-Rinne-Niemi-Lehtonen. But out of them, only Andy has presented willingness to be 3rd string. So what happens if Niemi is deemed as one that should be playing? Of course, there are still the likes of Bäcks, Rämö and Raanta, but I guess it's not so far-fetched that our third goalie will be from this side of the pond.

So there. While seven alone arguably sounds like a tall number, I could actually see us having as much as nine players - even in a scenario where everyone is healthy.

Last edited by FiLe: 10-28-2013 at 08:39 AM.
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