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10-29-2013, 03:29 PM
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To me it sounds that because of the good performances the youngsters have put up lately, Erkka has been thrown into a new situation. It is easy to pick your old, seasoned favorites when you have no real competition. Sure, you would still have a bunch of decent KHL players vying for the spots, but now we have teenagers in the NHL. How many head coaches of the Finnish NT have been put into a situation like this before?

I think basically he had it all figured out in his head in the summer: use the old guys, nobody will crucify you if you leave out some younger KHL players. But leaving out players like a kid who made the Pittsburgh Penguins keep him on the team by playing himself into their top 6 D, although it would have been easier for them to send him back to his junior team (and has Jussi Jokinen lobbying him to the team), that might raise some eyebrows, so he is left with nothing but excuses. An experienced coach like Erkka should be able to adapt to this new turn of events and not hide behind excuses. Face the music and adjust your list. If he is unable to do this, then I am indeed very glad he will be gone after the season.

Perhaps all Erkka sees in the youngsters is the risk instead of the chance. Sad if true, because in our current situation we should not be that picky. Everyone deserves a fair chance if they are playing on a high level, teenager or not.

Take this with a big grain of salt, but I ran into Pekka Jalonen's column in today's IL and it made me feel even more uneasy. According to Jalonen, at the moment Erkka has his eye on 2 forwards in Europe and 6 defensemen. The only defensemen from the NHL Erkka would bring along currently are Salo and Timonen. Even Vatanen is not on the current team. These omens are not good. If Erkka is seriously thinking Vatanen does not belong on the team despite the awful state of the defense, assuming Nummelin is among the 6 European dmen, I do have to wonder if he can come up with an excuse to leave out MiG as well. Perhaps Hagman can take his place on the team.

Long shot or not, we just may have to put our faith in Kekäläinen (whose judgment I trust in this) and the authority of our core players instead of Erkka if we want any of the 90's born on the team. I hope JJ stands up for Määttä, Saku and Teemu for Vatanen, Mikko for MiG etc. Ignoring their opinions should be difficult.

Last edited by Gaps: 10-29-2013 at 03:48 PM.
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