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Team Finland @ 2013 World Junior Championships

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Old
09-29-2012, 02:24 PM
  #101
Tormentor
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Salminen is a centre forward despite playing wing in SM-liiga. He's strong in face-offs and plays a responsible two-way game, so at least in principle he could fill the 4th line C role. Will be interesting to see how much SM-liiga games Salminen and Lamberg get once Jokerit has all their top players available, especially if they sign more lock-out players.

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09-29-2012, 11:06 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by Ihmeilja View Post
Here is the big picture, I believe that only few underagers should be chosen, because teams with more experienced players have been the most succesful in this tournament
Thanks for the elaboration. You've obviously put plenty of thought into this. Not a lot I'd feel compelled to argue, beyond semantics and matters of taste.

Save for one general point, however. You say that there shouldn't be too many "underagers" in the team, and while I generally agree, I don't agree with your interpretation that anything below '93 is one.

While there is in most cases a visible gap between U18 and U20, the class in the middle, the 94s, are NOT underagers. After all, they're only a year younger and will be the maximum class come next year. Their physical capability should be right there, which leaves only skill issues to contend with. And in said case, staring too hardly at that extra year of maturity is turning a small issue into a big one. It may tip the scale in case of two players of equal level, but it is not a gamechanger. There is a reason why there is no level for U19 competition.

Besides, while it is true that teams with more experience seem to fare better, it is worth noting that in most cases the experience has come from playing in the competition as an underager. A team that has fared well might have had a leap year last time, but it has not been in vain. Now, apart from a very few no-brainers, the 93s in contention for the depth roles would be first-time entrants to this level in same vein as the 94-borns vying for same roles. So arguing their inclusion is with the "experience edge" is in fact a major logic error. The only experience they have is an extra year of hockey in general, which makes a little difference when you start comparing raw ability.

What comes to the class of '95 and younger, I agree, they are clearly underagers and only special cases should contend.


Last edited by FiLe: 09-30-2012 at 02:33 PM.
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09-30-2012, 05:39 AM
  #103
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What position did Teräväinen play at Lake placid and U-18 WJCs? I think we should put him at wing, I think he would be more useful there than playing 3rd line C.

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09-30-2012, 09:13 AM
  #104
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Originally Posted by kemisti View Post
What position did Teräväinen play at Lake placid and U-18 WJCs? I think we should put him at wing, I think he would be more useful there than playing 3rd line C.
Teräväinen played mostly C in both tournaments. In his current form Teräväinen might be better utilized at wing, he seems to be struggling the same way Armia did at the start of last season. Barkov, Granlund, Aaltonen, Salomäki and Teräväinen can all play C in a top-6 role, so coaches have surprisingly many alternatives.

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09-30-2012, 09:36 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Teräväinen played mostly C in both tournaments. In his current form Teräväinen might be better utilized at wing, he seems to be struggling the same way Armia did at the start of last season. Barkov, Granlund, Aaltonen, Salomäki and Teräväinen can all play C in a top-6 role, so coaches have surprisingly many alternatives.
Thanks.

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09-30-2012, 02:40 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Teräväinen played mostly C in both tournaments. In his current form Teräväinen might be better utilized at wing, he seems to be struggling the same way Armia did at the start of last season. Barkov, Granlund, Aaltonen, Salomäki and Teräväinen can all play C in a top-6 role, so coaches have surprisingly many alternatives.
If the lines are going to be set up according to past chemistry (which isn't a given by any means of course), and Teräväinen will be put together with the Blues pair, it becomes pretty much a semantical technicality which one, Aaltonen or TT, is the actual center of the line.

Similar thing also applies to Salomäki and MaG with the presumed '93 top line.

But of course it is just the beginning of all the possibilities. In fact, with the options available it feels even a bit overwhelming, when you call back to what it used to be...

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09-30-2012, 07:14 PM
  #107
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I went to see Erik Karlsson's debut in saturday and I have to say Lamberg & Salminen looked very good. Karlsson was OK...

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
If the lines are going to be set up according to past chemistry (which isn't a given by any means of course), and Teräväinen will be put together with the Blues pair, it becomes pretty much a semantical technicality which one, Aaltonen or TT, is the actual center of the line.
It shouldn't be. Let's see how they have played as centers so far this year.

Aaltonen: 8. 6+1=7 +3
Teräväinen: 6. 0+0=0 -3

To be fair, Teräväinen has looked better since Jokerit shuffled their lines a while back. But Aaltonen has been far better. And when you add the fact that Aaltonen has previous WJC experience and Aaltonen (C) has been great with Ikonen (RW), Teräväinen should be more "expendable". That being said, if we keep the 93's together, I'd rather see Lehkonen with Blues Brothers.

Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Teräväinen - Barkov - Haapala
Lehkonen - Aaltonen - Ikonen
Salminen - Kulmala/Leino - Lamberg

As you can see, we have many good tandems to build around. But if I had it my way, I would probably move Salomäki lower in the lineup. IMO both 2nd and 3rd line could use some grit and experience. But you can leave the lines as they are, they look good nevertheless.


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10-01-2012, 01:25 AM
  #108
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What line Teräväinen is now regullary playing? With who, in jokerit.


Binoculars going this far must mean bottom 6.

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10-01-2012, 01:40 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by QnebO View Post
What line Teräväinen is now regullary playing? With who, in jokerit.


Binoculars going this far must mean bottom 6.
He's been the staple 2nd line C actually, with somewhat rotating wingers.

For the first few games, he had Pulkkinen and Rask as his wingers. But they were both switched out two games ago, and replaced with Ruutu and Rita.


Average TOI around 16 minutes a game. So I guess the kid's struggling all his own, not because he's being shafted by coaching.

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10-01-2012, 02:24 AM
  #110
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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Teräväinen - Barkov - Haapala
Lehkonen - Aaltonen - Ikonen
Salminen - Kulmala/Leino - Lamberg
I like this one, actually.

But then again, I can't really say I haven't liked any of the variations I've seen. They all have their highs and lows, but they all also look as if they could work - at least if compared between themselves.

Which gets us to the point of this post. You see, well, they do have one persistent low. The lack of grit and physicality. And the thought that's been ticking in the back of my brain finally found a coherent form.

We're all going nuts over these kids who have emerged in force and are now tearing up SM-liiga. But does that mean we have to find them all a roster spot in this particular squad? Because, simply put, I don't see anymore how we're going to get the best possible team that way.


The way I see it, we currently have six skaters we can consider locks for the top-9. Salomäki, Armia, Granlund, Aaltonen, Barkov and despite his struggles, Teräväinen. Now, out of those only Salomäki and to some extent, Aaltonen can bring the physical edge. Well, Barkov and Armia could too, if they wanted, but that would really hamper their natural game.

Two forwards stretched over three lines, among seven other skaters is, simply put, far too little, no matter how you twist it. These lineups we've had up here so far kinda remind me more of those Russian all-star squads we saw a few years back, where could see a guy like Ovechkin play in the 4th line. It never ended well for them.


The squad currently with locks inserted:

Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Teräväinen - Aaltonen - X
Z - Barkov - X

Now, we seem to have four forwards in contention for those remaining three slots. J.Ikonen, Haapala, Lehkonen and Kallela. All skilled, know their scoring... but are not very physical. So here's the thing, we really only have two places where they feel good fits for the team overall. That 'Z' slot needs a wholly different kind of player. And when I look at our depth, two with necessary parameters pop up. Hännikäinen and H.Ikonen.

Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Teräväinen - Aaltonen - J.Ikonen/Lehkonen/Kallela
Hännikäinen/H.Ikonen - Barkov - Haapala/Lehkonen/Kallela

Bottom line, bring some physical edge to the squad and snuff one of the skill kids. One may remain as 13th forward, but one needs to snuffed altogether. My pick for the not-so-lucky loser? It would actually be Lehkonen. Yes yes, the golden helmet in KalPa and all that, but it is also most difficult to find him a "chemistry" slot in the squad. Besides, the kid's a '95 born. He'll get his chance.


And, therefore, my updated lottery:


Ullberg (93)
Juvonen (94)
Korpisalo (94)

Määttä (94) - Ristolainen (94)
Riikola (93) - Pokka (94)
Parkkonen (93) - Vainonen (94)
Lindell (94)

Salomäki (93) - Granlund (93) - Armia (93)
Teräväinen (94) - Aaltonen (93) - J.Ikonen (95)
H.Ikonen (94) - Barkov (95) - Haapala (94)
Lamberg (93) - Salminen (94) - Leino (93)
Kallela (93)

Now that is essentially a Team Finland, not a Team Russia.


And, oh, after last two games for KalPa, I think Juuso Riikola added himself to defense contention with a rumble. Really liked what little I saw.


Last edited by FiLe: 10-01-2012 at 02:31 AM.
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10-01-2012, 11:17 AM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Salomäki (93) - Granlund (93) - Armia (93)
Teräväinen (94) - Aaltonen (93) - J.Ikonen (95)
H.Ikonen (94) - Barkov (95) - Haapala (94)
Lamberg (93) - Salminen (94) - Leino (93)
Kallela (93)
I like that. That could actually be it, seems to work. I made a few other lineups, to see different solutions.


Barkov and Haapala connected with Aaltonen, giving two pairs, Aaltonen-Barkov and Barkov-Haapala united:

Markus Granlund - Miikka Salomäki - Joel Armia
Miro Aaltonen - Aleksander Barkov - Henrik Haapala
Henri Ikonen - Teuvo Teräväinen - Artturi Lehkonen
Matti Lamberg - Robert Leino - Markus Hännikäinen

Extra forward: Toni Kallela


And then a variation of that, with Leino replacing Henri Ikonen and Saku Salminen replacing Leino:

Markus Granlund - Miikka Salomäki - Joel Armia
Artturi Lehkonen - Robert Leino - Teuvo Teräväinen
Miro Aaltonen - Aleksander Barkov - Henrik Haapala
Matti Lamberg - Saku Salminen - Markus Hännikäinen

Extra forward: Juuso Ikonen


And then one with the Blues brothers connected with Teräväinen and breaking the 1st:

Artturi Lehkonen - Markus Granlund - Miikka Salomäki
Joel Armia - Aleksander Barkov - Henrik Haapala
Miro Aaltonen - Teuvo Teräväinen - Juuso Ikonen
Matti Lamberg - Robert Leino - Markus Hännikäinen

Extra forward: Saku Salminen

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10-01-2012, 12:46 PM
  #112
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Bottom line, bring some physical edge to the squad and snuff one of the skill kids. One may remain as 13th forward, but one needs to snuffed altogether. My pick for the not-so-lucky loser? It would actually be Lehkonen. Yes yes, the golden helmet in KalPa and all that, but it is also most difficult to find him a "chemistry" slot in the squad. Besides, the kid's a '95 born. He'll get his chance.
Dropping a player like that is insanity!

The way he's playing right now he should be a lock for the team. And hopefully the concussion doesnt affect his play.

You simply cant leave a first line SM-Liiga forward out of u20 team..

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10-01-2012, 01:21 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Ihmeilja View Post
Artturi Lehkonen - Markus Granlund - Miikka Salomäki
Joel Armia - Aleksander Barkov - Henrik Haapala
Miro Aaltonen - Teuvo Teräväinen - Juuso Ikonen
Matti Lamberg - Robert Leino - Markus Hännikäinen
I can say from the boot that this one doesn't really fly, thanks to that second line.

The physical edge we've been after disappears with those three together. Armia and Barkov do have big bodies, but their gamestyle isn't really based on using 'em. Also, it sort of breaks the natural order of things, considering both Armia and Haapala's styles seem to depend heavily on being the go-to-guy. One would have to transition their game to something else, which sort of defeats the purpose of having him there in the first place. It might work if Barkov was Mikko Koivu, but even with all promise that resides in Sasha, that could be too much to ask. Right now, at least.

The other two variations do look good. I see you're trying hard to work Lehkonen into the squad, which I can't really hold against you. Ultimately, I put it down between cutting one of the two small 95s, either him or J.Ikonen. I gave the edge to Ikonen mostly due to chemistry, but Lehkonen does appear to be the better individual in head-to-head comparison. I guess I'd find little to complain if he was to be inserted in lieu of J.Ikonen or Haapala in my newest lottery.

While I like to make a case for Haapala thanks to the Barkov connection, I have to admit that I do wonder how much his recent showings are due to simply being in a favorable element, with being fed by Sasha and mentored by Nemo. Take Kallela for example, who is supposed to be a scorer, but this far his totals in 13 men's games played are 0+1. However, if you could put him in Tappara's 2nd line and Haapala to KalPa's 2nd/3rd, would you see his game take whole new strides while Haapala's would slink. Something to consider.

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Originally Posted by edd1e View Post
You simply cant leave a first line SM-Liiga forward out of u20 team..
Well, if he's destined to be a third liner in the target squad - yes you can. In the words of Jukka Jalonen, "It's all about building a team, not a dream team." It's far more insane to bring more skill in when you've got that base covered and what you really need is grit.


Still, if I was to work Lehkonen in, maybe I'd put it somehow like this...

Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Aaltonen - Barkov - Haapala
H.Ikonen - Teräväinen - Lehkonen
Lamberg - Salminen - Leino
Kallela

Re-establishing the Aaltonen-Barkov connection from last year while making the 3rd a bit of a mix'n'match, albeit a properly roled one. Though if Teräväinen continues to struggle, maybe it would be better to have him as a winger and therefore...

Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Teräväinen - Aaltonen - Lehkonen
H.Ikonen - Barkov - Haapala
Lamberg - Salminen - Leino
Kallela

Pretty much how I put it in the last post, only now Lehkonen pretty much directly replaces J.Ikonen. Perhaps I like this one better out of these two. Still, I'd ultimately likely stick to the one in the first post. When you've got these pairings that seem to produce, it does put a tad higher threshold to build all kinds of fantasy rosters.

Oh, my poor head. Give me back the good old days when we didn't have this many options to contend with.


Last edited by FiLe: 10-01-2012 at 01:46 PM.
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10-01-2012, 03:06 PM
  #114
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I'm becoming more and more convinced that Aaltonen should center a line of his own, with J. Ikonen on his right wing. Right now Aaltonen is outplaying Teräväinen at center.

Lehkonen - Granlund - Armia
- I'd rather have Lehkonen here who brings top line skill, and 2-way play. Lack of physicality is a problem with this line, but I think Aaltonen - Ikonen need Salomäki more than Granlund - Armia

Teräväinen - Barkov - Haapala
- Teräväinen and Barkov have played together in NT's with good chemistry, same thing with B and Haapala in Tappara

Salomäki - Aaltonen - Ikonen
- Salomäki replaces SM-liiga linemate Kristian Kuusela as the tenacious banger. This line works wonderfully right now in the SM-liiga.

Salminen - Leino - Lamberg
- Salminen - Lamberg have looked awesome in Jokerit 4th line, Leino is the best possible option for center, unless they want to play Salminen at center, in which case Hännikäinen or H. Ikonen could be an option

13th forward Kallela/Hännikäinen/H. Ikonen

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10-01-2012, 04:27 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by YARR123 View Post
Lack of physicality is a problem with this line, but I think Aaltonen - Ikonen need Salomäki more than Granlund - Armia
Have to disagree. Aaltonen, despite his size, is one of the few in the projected roster who can naturally bring a physical edge to his game if required. The physicality is strecthed thin as it is, and you wish to make the issue even more difficult by putting two of the better contributors in the same line?

Still, I suppose if we are to have all these small speedster types in the squad, that's a pretty good way to go at it. Despite the fact that one should pay attention to the fact that all these kids are playing in their club teams as part of a line that has at least one player that can bang heads and make room if necessary. As you pointed out, Aaltonen and Ikonen have Kuusela. Barkov and Haapala have Nieminen. Lehkonen plays with Kuparinen.

One thing that does seem to support this HC Mickey Mouse All Stars though is the fact that it's a squad I can totally envision suiting Kiva-Harri's coaching style. But then again, his assistant is Tomek, so... *shrug*

Though now I can totally envision Tomek shooing J.Ikonen (170cm/73kg) to go after that select young teethless Canuck (192cm/95kg) with the order to "Kill that p*sshead!"

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10-01-2012, 05:07 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Have to disagree. Aaltonen, despite his size, is one of the few in the projected roster who can naturally bring a physical edge to his game if required. The physicality is strecthed thin as it is, and you wish to make the issue even more difficult by putting two of the better contributors in the same line?

Still, I suppose if we are to have all these small speedster types in the squad, that's a pretty good way to go at it. Despite the fact that one should pay attention to the fact that all these kids are playing in their club teams as part of a line that has at least one player that can bang heads and make room if necessary. As you pointed out, Aaltonen and Ikonen have Kuusela. Barkov and Haapala have Nieminen. Lehkonen plays with Kuparinen.

One thing that does seem to support this HC Mickey Mouse All Stars though is the fact that it's a squad I can totally envision suiting Kiva-Harri's coaching style. But then again, his assistant is Tomek, so... *shrug*

Though now I can totally envision Tomek shooing J.Ikonen (170cm/73kg) to go after that select young teethless Canuck (192cm/95kg) with the order to "Kill that p*sshead!"
I think you're overvaluing Aaltonen's ability for physical play. He plays a straightforward and energetic game, and he sure doesn't shy from contact, but he's still quite easy to knock him off the puck. I feel that he and especially Ikonen need a banger, while Armia doesn't really, he can do quite a bit of dirty work himself.

Luckily this is a very energetic and well skating team, which should do ok in a big rink.

Just for an idea, what do you think of having Lamberg for example working as a speedster/banger next to Barkov - Haapala or Aaltonen - Ikonen?

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10-01-2012, 05:28 PM
  #117
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I think you're overvaluing Aaltonen's ability for physical play. He plays a straightforward and energetic game, and he sure doesn't shy from contact, but he's still quite easy to knock him off the puck. I feel that he and especially Ikonen need a banger, while Armia doesn't really, he can do quite a bit of dirty work himself.
It's not overvaluing, just placing things in context. There are tons more of names who beat Aaltonen in physical game, but with this particular squad, he's from the upper end of the spectrum. Which in itself should be a dead giveaway that we need more of it. And that sadly means snubbing one or two of these guys whose game relies on movement and skill.

So I don't wish to belittle or overvalue anybody. It's just we have certain slots that should be filled with particular type. Some players are definitely skilled enough and would deserve to make it and more, but simply don't have enough room in a team that caters to proper roles.

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Just for an idea, what do you think of having Lamberg for example working as a speedster/banger next to Barkov - Haapala or Aaltonen - Ikonen?
Yeah, that might work. But the 4th line slot left empty should be filled with similar type, such as H.Ikonen or Hännikäinen, which still means cutting one of Ikonen/Lehkonen/Haapala etc.

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10-01-2012, 09:51 PM
  #118
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Salminen is a centre forward despite playing wing in SM-liiga. He's strong in face-offs and plays a responsible two-way game, so at least in principle he could fill the 4th line C role. Will be interesting to see how much SM-liiga games Salminen and Lamberg get once Jokerit has all their top players available, especially if they sign more lock-out players.
how about the other Salminen?

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=25267

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10-02-2012, 08:43 AM
  #119
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I don´t think that he will make the team. Good hands, has some vision but is a poor skater. He has not played with men either. But Saku Salminen has instead been very good in the FEL. His skating has improved, and he could bring some size to the WJC team.

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10-02-2012, 02:57 PM
  #120
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The older Salminen is taller and has better puck skills, but unlike his younger brother he’s not the hardest worker on ice and that makes a big difference.

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10-02-2012, 03:06 PM
  #121
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I was watching HIFK-Tappara after Kärpät-Jokerit tonight and the commentator mentioned something about Markus Granlund not fitting to HIFK line-up. Slightly worrying, the same thing happened at the end of last season as well. Would be nice to see Granlund play for a team like KalPa for example, their style of play might suit him better?

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10-02-2012, 03:55 PM
  #122
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MaG was aside from tonight's game? Huh. Don't really see a reason for it, since he hasn't been out of place in HIFK's lineup at all, IMO. Good chemistry with Eriksson. Average TOI 17min per game, somewhat regular PP minutes and 2+2 in seven games. So nothing stellar, but far from struggling either. Decent is the word.

I suppose either he has some kind of minor injury or doesn't simply possess enough prestige in HIFK's lockout juggle now that they've added Petrell and Bergenheim - even though he hasn't really done anything to deserve any kind of shafting.

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10-03-2012, 02:21 AM
  #123
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Granlund was getting better game by game from what i've heard. And HIFK is always really secretive about their players health.

My guess is that he has some kind of small injury.

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10-03-2012, 10:04 AM
  #124
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I was watching HIFK-Tappara after Kärpät-Jokerit tonight and the commentator mentioned something about Markus Granlund not fitting to HIFK line-up. Slightly worrying, the same thing happened at the end of last season as well. Would be nice to see Granlund play for a team like KalPa for example, their style of play might suit him better?
IMO Granlund has been best player in HIFK last games. IFK just has too many forwards and guys like Somervuori and Peltonen has played poorly but are still in line-up cause old merits.

Shortly: Coaches don't have balls

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10-04-2012, 10:14 AM
  #125
edd1e
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Salomäki now out of the Kärpät lineup. But this time certainly injury related. Kärpät homepage confirmed that.

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