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General Talk '12 — Finland

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Old
11-15-2011, 07:47 PM
  #1
Needles
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General Talk '12 — Finland

There's a lot of discussion about our 2012 WHC team at Jatkoaika, so I decided to start the speculation here as well.

We are the defending champions and the majority of our players were selected from Europe, so naturally many gold medalists will return this year. Our lineup at the 2011 Gold Medal game:

Quote:
15 Tuomo Ruutu (A) - 9 Mikko Koivu (C) - 37 Mika Pyörälä
71 Leo Komarov - 39 Niko Kapanen - 50 Juhamatti Aaltonen
20 Janne Pesonen - 26 Jarkko Immonen -64 Mikael Granlund
24 Jani Lajunen - 29 Petteri Nokelainen - 40 Antti Pihlström

28 Anssi Salmela - 18 Sami Lepistö
41 Pasi Puistola - 4 Ossi Väänänen
19 Jyrki Välivaara - 21 Janne Niskala
5 Lasse Kukkonen (A) - 6 Topi Jaakola

31 Petri Vehanen
35 Teemu Lassila
Karjala Tournament was played last weekend, and the best players were selected. Some notable players were missing, like Janne Lahti, Petteri Nummelin, Jori Lehterä, Niko Kapanen, Antti Miettinen, Ville Koistinen, Anssi Salmela, Petri Vehanen and Ari Ahonen. Our lines against Sweden were:

Quote:
Janne Pesonen - Jarkko Immonen - Mikael Granlund
Ville Peltonen - Petri Kontiola - Jonas Enlund
Juhamatti Aaltonen - Mika Pyörälä - Antti Pihlström
Leo Komarov - Matti Kuparinen - Jesse Joensuu
Petteri Wirtanen

Janne Niskala - Sami Vatanen
Jyrki Välivaara - Ville Lajunen
Pasi Puistola - Ossi Väänänen
Lasse Kukkonen - Topi Jaakola

Karri Rämö
(Niko Hovinen)
It's safe to say that 90-95% of those names above will form our European core next spring. Our defense and goalies could be be almost identical than last year (+Vatanen & possible #1 goalie, - Lepistö). The situation in NHL is wide open, but many people are eager to see if teams like Anaheim, Carolina and Minnesota can make it into playoffs. I don't want to make final fantasy rosters yet, but I hope that Jalonen keeps retooling the team. Especially if we can't find any secondary scoring at the following EHT tournaments.

Guys like Peltonen, Nummelin and Sami Kapanen have achieved great things, but I think it's time to move on. Vatanen & Granlund were among our top players at Karelia Tournament, hopefully another young player will make the team this year. There will be many NHL players eager to be part of the team, but it will be interesting to see how Jalonen reacts. The Olympics were a near disaster and last year we won gold with four NHL players...

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11-16-2011, 03:24 AM
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About time someone made a thread for this . How about we make fantasy team rosters and also a roster that is more likely to happen (no players whose teams are likely to go deep in the playoffs).

Fantasy team:
Selanne - Immonen - Granlund (Imagine those onetimers on the PP)
Leino - M.Koivu - T.Ruutu
V.Filppula - S.Koivu - Korpikoski
Bergenheim - Komarov - Petrell
J.Jokinen/Aaltonen

Timonen-Vatanen (#1 PP)
Pitkänen-Lydman
Väänänen-Välivaara
Niskala-Nummelin (#2 PP)

Rinne
Lehtonen


More realistic team:
Granlund - Immonen - Pesonen
Selanne - S.Koivu - Hagman
Pihlström-J.Lehterä-Aaltonen
J.Lajunen-Komarov-Peltonen
N.Kapanen

Lydman-Vatanen (PP#2)
Niskala-Nummelin (PP#1)
Väänänen-Välivaara
Kukkonen-V.Lajunen/I.Heikkinen

X NHL Goalie (there's always someone available, Kiprusoff,Backstrom,Lehtonen,Rinne,Rask 1 of these)
Rämö/Vehanen (whoever is in better shape at that moment)

As you can see, i'm almost sure Anaheim will be out of the playoffs already.


Last edited by Mestaruus: 11-16-2011 at 03:42 AM.
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Old
11-16-2011, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mestaruus View Post
Lydman-Vatanen (PP#2)
Lydman? For PP?

So much for realism.



Far too early for this (at least for any kind of complete lineups) anyway. Even Jalonen thinks so. At this stage the best we can do is to speculate which Euro players have a chance, apart from the obvious pair of Granlund and Immonen.

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11-16-2011, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
At this stage the best we can do is to speculate which Euro players have a chance, apart from the obvious pair of Granlund and Immonen.
I may go a little bit off the board here, but I don't want to see Aaltonen in the lineup. I understand that he has all the tools to be a good player even in the NHL. But he can't score to save his life... At least in the national team anyway. Since 2010 World Championships, Aaltonen has played 22 games with the national team and has scored three goals. And that's in a attacking role with good linemates and loads of PP minutes. And let's take a look at Aaltonen's "goal" at 2011 WHC:



Mikko Lehtonen was widely criticized for his lack of production last spring. Apparently Aaltonen's fancy moves are enough to hide the fact that he has the same problem.

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11-16-2011, 08:37 AM
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I don't want to see Aaltonen in the lineup.
Same here. He just can't score in national team.

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11-16-2011, 09:59 AM
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I may go a little bit off the board here, but I don't want to see Aaltonen in the lineup.
The only board that you are going off of is Jalonen's board.

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11-16-2011, 01:40 PM
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Aaltonen's main job is to get penalties for the opponent team. I can't prove it, i doubt there's a statistic for this but he probably gets 1-2 2min penalty for the opponent each game on an average. At least with team Finland it seems that way, i'm not sure does the same happen in KHL.

After that it's other players' job to score on the PP. So this is why Aaltonen fits well in line #3 or as a 13th forward. He's not good or bad defensively in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Lydman? For PP?

So much for realism.
.
Well this defensive pair would be #PP2, they don't have to play PP much when we would have Niskala+Nummelin available. This way we don't have to mix up the defensive pairings and it's a pretty balanced pair (they would get most playing time together 5on5). Not to forget they will most likely be teammates next season, so the will and interest to work together even before that might be there. So just saying they might be very motivated to try to play witch each other and because of this increase their level even little bit more.


Last edited by Mestaruus: 11-16-2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old
11-16-2011, 03:49 PM
  #8
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Originally Posted by Mestaruus View Post
Well this defensive pair would be #PP2, they don't have to play PP much when we would have Niskala+Nummelin available. This way we don't have to mix up the defensive pairings and it's a pretty balanced pair (they would get most playing time together 5on5). Not to forget they will most likely be teammates next season, so the will and interest to work together even before that might be there. So just saying they might be very motivated to try to play witch each other and because of this increase their level even little bit more.
Sure, they can, and probably will, play together on even strength. But Lydman isn't a puck-moving d-man, he's a solid stay-at-home type. Not to mention one of the best penalty killers available not only for Finland, but in the whole game. An extremely valuable player for pretty much any team, but the times he's been utilized on PP have been when the primary options are running thin.

In your lineup alone, Lajunen and Välivaara would take a preference over Lydman on PP. The latter of whom, btw, has tons of experience for playing the line together with Vatanen.

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11-16-2011, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Sure, they can, and probably will, play together on even strength. But Lydman isn't a puck-moving d-man, he's a solid stay-at-home type. Not to mention one of the best penalty killers available not only for Finland, but in the whole game. An extremely valuable player for pretty much any team, but the times he's been utilized on PP have been when the primary options are running thin.

In your lineup alone, Lajunen and Välivaara would take a preference over Lydman on PP. The latter of whom, btw, has tons of experience for playing the line together with Vatanen.
I'll admit, you have a point there. I didn't take into consideration the fact that Lydman is important on the penalty killing. So just split this duo for the PP#2 then and put Vatanen with X defender. Perhaps Heikkinen (leading goal scorer in SEL atm).

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11-16-2011, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mestaruus View Post
Aaltonen's main job is to get penalties for the opponent team. I can't prove it, i doubt there's a statistic for this but he probably gets 1-2 2min penalty for the opponent each game on an average. At least with team Finland it seems that way, i'm not sure does the same happen in KHL.
If Aaltonen plays in the top lines and gets PP time, his main job is to score goals. If he can't score, he has no business to play in the top6. And we have better bottom six forwards than Aaltonen.

If Aaltonen can't bring his scoring touch to the national team in upcoming tournaments, I wouldn't pick him to the World Championships.

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11-17-2011, 01:10 AM
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11-17-2011, 05:26 AM
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If Aaltonen plays in the top lines and gets PP time, his main job is to score goals. If he can't score, he has no business to play in the top6. And we have better bottom six forwards than Aaltonen.
In the words of Jukka Jalonen: "In all of my teams it is important that every player can somehow contribute to the special teams. They either have to know how to play on man advantage or short-handed."

Aaltonen is NOT a penalty killer, I think we can all agree to that. And if his contributions on PP are what we've seen so far, he has no role in that department either.

If you wish to mess up the opponent's game and hopefully draw someone into the box, you send Leo Komarov out there. Not Juhamatti Aaltonen.

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11-17-2011, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mestaruus View Post
Selanne - Immonen - Granlund (Imagine those onetimers on the PP)
Selänne ain't known for his onetimer.

Well I'll give a try for fantasy team.

Jokinen - M.Koivu - Ruutu
Ptkänen - Timonen
Korpikoski - Immonen - Granlund
Salo - Lydman
Peltonen - S.Koivu - Selänne
Vatanen - Karalahti
Komarov - Filppula - Joensuu
(Joensuu impressed me in Karjala EHT and I just like Karalahti)

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Old
11-17-2011, 08:04 AM
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Jokinen-M.Koivu-Ruutu
Granlund-Immonen-V Filppula
Bergenheim-Lehterä-Korpikoski
Philström-Nokelainen-Komarov



Lepistö - Vatanen
Salmela - Pitkänen
Laakso - Heikkinen


Last edited by landskronala: 11-17-2011 at 08:15 AM.
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11-17-2011, 06:54 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaunaCrew View Post
Selänne ain't known for his onetimer.

Well I'll give a try for fantasy team.

Jokinen - M.Koivu - Ruutu
Ptkänen - Timonen
Korpikoski - Immonen - Granlund
Salo - Lydman
Peltonen - S.Koivu - Selänne
Vatanen - Karalahti
Komarov - Filppula - Joensuu
(Joensuu impressed me in Karjala EHT and I just like Karalahti)
I like it, but please replace Peltonen with Bergenheim or kick Joensuu out and take Bergeinheim & Peltonen.

I truly see Granlund+Immonen as our #1 line nowadays (talking about fantasy team now). Regardless of the players we can have in the team, but well I guess if we have to put M.Koivu's/captain's line always as #1 then it's just a formality and Immonen & Grandlund can actually play more and maybe this removes some pressure from them and make them play better when it's 'hidden' like that.

I like M.Koivu a lot but his passing skills etc are little bit overrated in Finland. Very good defensively & physicality are his strengths and above average passer. So this is why i'd put him in line #2, but like I said it's just a formality i guess. Also don't like the M.Koivu+T.Ruutu, I don't think this duo works that well together and we wont get the full potential out of them both if we use them in same line, but that's just my opinion.


Last edited by Mestaruus: 11-17-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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11-17-2011, 07:13 PM
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In the words of Jukka Jalonen: "In all of my teams it is important that every player can somehow contribute to the special teams. They either have to know how to play on man advantage or short-handed."
Yep. That's why I'm eager to see Teemu Pulkkinen in the EHT with guys like Niko Kapanen and such. His overall game has improved since last year and he's great on man advantage. And let's not forget that he scored twice last year against (basically) the German WHC team.

But this year there will be a lot of competition for even those 2nd and 3rd line spots, thanks to the KHL. Pulkkinen has to compete against guys like Miettinen, Aaltonen, Enlund, Lehtonen, Lahti, Kapanen, Peltonen etc. And considering the NHL factor, it will be very difficult for European wingers to make the WHC team this year, if your name is not Mikael Granlund.

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11-17-2011, 08:34 PM
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Yep. That's why I'm eager to see Teemu Pulkkinen in the EHT with guys like Niko Kapanen and such. His overall game has improved since last year and he's great on man advantage. And let's not forget that he scored twice last year against (basically) the German WHC team.
Well, it wasn't actually the EHT but the preliminary games before that but otherwise I agree with everything you said about Pulkkinen. The guy got shafted hard after a showing like that when Jalonen didn't take him to the final round before the actual games. Making the final squad would have been something else of course, but in my book he definitely earnt a couple of extra games. Especially when we think (in retrospect, but still) that useless good-for-nothings like Lahti (who was already invisible in those preliminary games) and Aaltonen made it.

I would love to see what Pulkkinen could do in a line next to Granlund and Immonen. Here's hoping he and MIG really tear it up at WJCs so that Jalonen would get some kind of initiative to try 'em out in men's games also. While he's not exactly as highly ranked prospect as the Stamp, he's still one of our better future hopes. It's easy to forget in all the shine Granlund creates that he alone can't make a team that's going to keep winning us games and titles in the future, but also needs good linesmates. But oh right, Selänne will be going strong even at 50, so I guess we're set up for a long while after all...


Last edited by FiLe: 11-17-2011 at 08:41 PM.
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11-17-2011, 09:19 PM
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Well, it wasn't actually the EHT but the preliminary games before that but otherwise I agree with everything you said about Pulkkinen.
I never said that those were EHT games.

Fun fact: Juhamatti Aaltonen and Teemu Pulkkinen scored the same amount of goals with the national team last season (2). Pulkkinen had only one point less than Aaltonen, although he played 11 games less and didn't get to play on man advantage at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Here's hoping he and MIG really tear it up at WJCs so that Jalonen would get some kind of initiative to try 'em out in men's games also. While he's not exactly as highly ranked prospect as the Stamp, he's still one of our better future hopes.
I agree. And you can't understate Euro Hockey Tour's role in player development. Vatanen and Granlund have been able to develop their game based on EHT experiences, and now you can see the results. Time to put more of our young guns through the pipeline.

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11-18-2011, 05:47 AM
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I like M.Koivu a lot but his passing skills etc are little bit overrated in Finland. Very good defensively & physicality are his strengths and above average passer. So this is why i'd put him in line #2, but like I said it's just a formality i guess. Also don't like the M.Koivu+T.Ruutu, I don't think this duo works that well together and we wont get the full potential out of them both if we use them in same line, but that's just my opinion.
Well he is suited perfectly to shutting down oppositions first line. Also IMO Ruutu is a 3rd line player. You got some offense and good defense that can keep the pressure at the other end of the ice. Also create offense. Rather have Granlund in 2nd line and play against easier opponents.

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11-18-2011, 10:00 AM
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I would love to see what Pulkkinen could do in a line next to Granlund and Immonen.
I have to disagree. Pesonen has done well with those guys and the line needs his speed at EHT. However, at the World Championships I would replace Pesonen with a guy like Korpikoski/Bergenheim/Hagman if continues to suck at HIFK.

As far as Pulkkinen goes, I would put him in a line that resembles the Lahti-Kerälä-Pulkkinen line. After the WJC it would be interesting to see this kind of a top six.

Pesonen-Immonen-Granlund
Joensuu-Kapanen-Pulkkinen

Edit. BTW, it really sucks that Jalonen wants to bring in new faces at the EHT tournament in Russia. The tournament is right before World Junior Championships so all of our U20 players will be absent. Well, maybe Jalonen would give Toni Rajala a shot...


Last edited by Needles: 11-18-2011 at 10:13 AM.
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11-18-2011, 11:18 AM
  #21
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I have to disagree. Pesonen has done well with those guys and the line needs his speed at EHT. However, at the World Championships I would replace Pesonen with a guy like Korpikoski/Bergenheim/Hagman if continues to suck at HIFK.
Pesonen - Immonen - Granlund is such a staple line at this point that it's a good point to fall back to if nothing else works. Still, I'd like to see if that line could be made even more dangerous by replacing Pesonen with some other player. EHT is all about experimenting and finding good combos to me, good results are nice but secondary in the big picture. So I'd still love to see 'em together maybe just for a game or two. Rest assured, I'm definitely not a huge fan of "staple 'em together at WHC and pray it works" type of deals.

Though I have to agree, that Joensuu - Kapanen - Pulkkinen -line sounds pretty dynamite too. Definitely more promising than any of those they built around Kapanen last year.

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11-18-2011, 01:09 PM
  #22
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Well, it wasn't actually the EHT but the preliminary games before that but otherwise I agree with everything you said about Pulkkinen. The guy got shafted hard after a showing like that when Jalonen didn't take him to the final round before the actual games. Making the final squad would have been something else of course, but in my book he definitely earnt a couple of extra games. Especially when we think (in retrospect, but still) that useless good-for-nothings like Lahti (who was already invisible in those preliminary games) and Aaltonen made it.

I would love to see what Pulkkinen could do in a line next to Granlund and Immonen. Here's hoping he and MIG really tear it up at WJCs so that Jalonen would get some kind of initiative to try 'em out in men's games also. While he's not exactly as highly ranked prospect as the Stamp, he's still one of our better future hopes. It's easy to forget in all the shine Granlund creates that he alone can't make a team that's going to keep winning us games and titles in the future, but also needs good linesmates. But oh right, Selänne will be going strong even at 50, so I guess we're set up for a long while after all...
Lahti was really banged up so it was no wonder he couldn't perform at his best. He had at least one surgery (shoulder) in the off-season. It's the Aaltonen selection that really irked practically everyone. Never before has a player been that good at taking the puck behind the opposition's goal on scoring chances...

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11-18-2011, 01:24 PM
  #23
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Selänne ain't known for his onetimer.
Umm...Yes, he is. While it may not the hardest, it is more than accurate enough. Look at NHL all-time powerplay goal stats.

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11-18-2011, 03:06 PM
  #24
FiLe
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Lahti was really banged up so it was no wonder he couldn't perform at his best. He had at least one surgery (shoulder) in the off-season.
If that's true with Lahti then perhaps he deserves another chance. But it's still no excuse for a lackluster display at the previous appearance. If a player isn't up to it, he shouldn't go for it... though Lahti is a player from whom a chance to represent in WHC isn't an everyday occurence, so I guess it's human.

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11-18-2011, 04:21 PM
  #25
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I personally think Lahti's talent is a bit underrated even though he won the goal scoring race last year. He's really strong both ways and can be used in basically every situation. If Pulkkinen is chosen for national team duties(EHT etc.) then I don't see why Lahti shouldn't be. If they both are, they should definitely be on the same line.

But that's just my opinion.

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