You guys are right about Willie's interview with Ville. That was awkward radio. the best part was that even after Willie knew that Ville wasn't working with a full English dictionary, he continued to ask vague, meandering questions. typical willie though. good guy but he's not really going to add a lot to a broadcast. He's the Vern Fiddler of radio personalities. he performs admirably when asked to play key roles but always leaves you wishing you had more talent at his position.
What will happen when the Predators regain complete health on the blueline remains to be seen, but Coach Barry Trotz said he now considers Koistinen one of the team's top six defensemen.
"I would clearly say he's not seventh anymore — as of today,'' Trotz said Friday as the Predators prepared for tonight's game against the Wild. "If his performance doesn't fall off … this is his opportunity to stabilize a spot in the top six roster positions, no question.''
Wow. Who sits? I'd say it rotates as I can't come up with one clear loser in our current top 6 that he would replace. I could make arguments for DeVries and Zids but I don't see Trotz doing that. Hamhuis has been bad at times but very good recently- I'd count him among our top D. Ditto for Suter notwithstanding his recent healthy scratch. Weber probably is our to Dman when healthy. Zanon might be the most likely candidate on talent alone, except he is a shot blocking machine and seems to rarely make a mistake.
Honestly, I think I'd trade DeVries and stay with 7 younger guys or trade Zids and let Koistenen run the PP. If he needs to play then Klein needs to be the 7th d-man, not one of our current top 6.
There was a story about Koistinen in last week´s "IS Veikkaaja" (a sports & betting magazine in Finland):
Chicago´s Lang had admired Koistinen´s great skating during the game against Nashville while sitting in the bench. Fellow Finns Tuomo Ruutu and Petri Kontiola had said that he is a Finn, so of course he has a great movement.
- What went wrong with you two then, Lang had asked.
And some people still believe that when a guy who plays 10 minutes a game makes 2 mistakes per game, he's going to make 4 or more mistakes if he plays 20 minutes, when in fact it's quite the opposite with many players. Not all (maybe not even most), but many. Still haven't seen Koistinen in action, so I don't know if it's the case with him but it certainly seems like it.
And then there's guys who make no mistakes playing 10 minutes, but give him 20 and he's the worst player you've ever seen.
Also, the length of the shift is a big factor as well. You can play over 20 minutes, but if your shifts are too short it's practically the same thing as playing less minutes with longer shifts when it comes to getting in the game. I've seen that in Finland this year with HIFK... guys go to take a face off, win it, play for 20-40 seconds, get a shot on goal, a new face off and they're off the ice... I hate it and I know for a fact a lot of the players do too. The only time some players get to play close to or over 1 minute shifts is on the PP/PK. (For example, Nashville prospect Teemu Laakso has played 63:30 combined in his last 3 games. He has 100 shifts in those three games. That makes his average shift length around 38 seconds. I arranged the NHL stats TOI/Shift, and you had to go down to 711. on that list to have the same shift average. And most of those guys average less than 20 shifts per game, almost all of them average less than 25 shifts, compared to Laakso's 33.3 shifts. The also average mostly less than 15 minutes per game, some less than 10 minutes, compared to Laakso's 21 minutes. So they're not really key players on their team, unlike Laakso, who is currently their assistant captain as well by the way, and who gets ice time in all situations, especially on the PK... he's on the second PP unit and they usually get 30-50 seconds of PP only, if it lasts that far)
******* I drifted on a bit there... Sorry about that. But, I made a point, sort of. I could've made it shorter and not involve other leagues, teams and players, but what's done is done. I could erase most of that, but then it would feel like the time I just wasted was even more for nothing than it is now
I felt Koistinen was the better "offensive" d-man in Milwaukee last year. Contrary to Stranger's post from Dec 24th (bear with me, been a few months since I've posted) I think his skating is one of his strongest attributes but, that was AHL. I just never thought he'd be the right guy in Nashville given the offense that the team has on the blueline and his size. I figured he'd have had a stint in the NHL and/or be back in Finland by now (my post history about Ville around here should back that up), so I'll pass on the crow until March. Not that I'd turn down crow. There is still time for me to get my helping.
By the way, that game-winning reaction... reminds me of a few MilAds moments where he has this Leonard DiCaprio-looking reaction.
The thing that has changed is his willingness to shoot the puck. We all know he is an offensive defenseman, but he has held back/been conservative most of the year. This is likely due to Trotz hammering in smart/conservative defensive zone coverage. Still, once he started getting more involved, getting PP time, and started shooting the puck....his confidence level has went through the roof. He is playing better defensively, and his offensive game has completely revived Marek Zidlicky.....something that we have drastically needed.