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Team Finland @ 2013 World Junior Championships

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11-11-2012, 12:25 PM
  #176
FiLe
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Originally Posted by thomast View Post
But i've noticed that finland lacks high-end power foward type of players into top lines.
Which is exactly why I cut Ikonen and added Nykopp. I'd say everyone else in that top-9, if healthy, is pretty much a lock to make it at this point.

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Korpisalo is probably a lock in this situation, but I'm not feeling very confident about having him be our starter. Sure, he played well this week, but he hasn't played all that much otherwise this season.
Moot point. NONE of them have played all that much. Korpisalo, Juvonen both sit at 10 games played in Mestis. Perhonen has slightly more, 15. Ullberg, no need to start about him. Has played in three with SaiPa. Then there's of course Laurikainen (18), but something tells me they're just going to pass on him.

Besides, given his showing here, I expect Korpisalo to get more starts before the games begin. He should sit around ~20 games played by then, which means he'll be by no means cold.

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This is problem #2. IIRC, Barkov played with Lehkonen and Haapala for two games in this tournament and it worked just fine, but I can't imagine it working out in the WJC. Barkov's fantastic, as everyone and their brother knows, but we can't give him two small wingers and expect them to produce like a decent 1st line when we're up against big, physical teams.
It is what it is. I've been worried about physicality before, but there's only so little talent I expect Rindell be willing to cut in favor of some grit. Currently, we're looking at perhaps two lines out three in top-9 with the necessary physicality. The third unit will just have to make do, maybe get some help from D. They're not small.

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11-11-2012, 02:03 PM
  #177
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Besides, given his showing here, I expect Korpisalo to get more starts before the games begin. He should sit around ~20 games played by then, which means he'll be by no means cold.
If they indeed let him play more now (and he plays well), I'll be a lot less worried come December. But as you said, right now none of them have all that many games under their belt.

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It is what it is. I've been worried about physicality before, but there's only so little talent I expect Rindell be willing to cut in favor of some grit. Currently, we're looking at perhaps two lines out three in top-9 with the necessary physicality. The third unit will just have to make do, maybe get some help from D. They're not small.
I'd be willing to cut Haapala (in addition to Ikonen) if we could find someone with a little less skill but way more size and grit. Yes, it is what it is, but I believe Barkov is our biggest asset and putting him in a line with no power forward would make things much more difficult for him. Anyway, hopefully Rindell will figure things out during training camp.

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11-11-2012, 03:49 PM
  #178
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Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
I'd be willing to cut Haapala (in addition to Ikonen) if we could find someone with a little less skill but way more size and grit. Yes, it is what it is, but I believe Barkov is our biggest asset and putting him in a line with no power forward would make things much more difficult for him.
Last year, our first line was MaG - MiG - Pulkkinen and it didn't struggle too much even if none of those guys was a physical powerhouse. Neither was Rajala when he mostly played in place of Markus earlier years (even though that RGP line never actually got together on WJC).

In fact, the one time they had a proper PWF in 2010 when Pulkkinen was out with an injury and they subbed him with Hartikainen, the whole line was just out of sync all the time. I still think Härski was great on individual level, but he never connected with the other two.

As a whole, it's of course never good if you have a whole squad's worth of lil' mickeys, and having a good PWF with Barkov could certainly click given how he does so great with Nieminen in Tappara. But if he connects with Lehkonen as well as he seems to do, I wouldn't be too worried. It's just one line out of four - and good enough chemistry can overcome some shortcomings. And like I mentioned, the reasonably-sized D is there to help.


Last edited by FiLe: 11-11-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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11-12-2012, 02:03 PM
  #179
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If i would make my own team for Finland it would be this.
Lehkonen-Granlund-Armia
Ristolainen-Pokka (Armia is a a big guy who score the goals. Ristolainen is a big guy with a good shot, Pokka is more like Nummelin or Timonen, his passing ability is world class as his age.)
Teräväinen-Barkov-Haapala
Tikkinen-Määttä (Teräväinen is not ready to play as a center, Barkov-Haapala is a good pair. I think Tikkinen is very underrated and Määttä is 1st rounder world class player.)
Salomäki-Aaltonen-Ikonen
Lindbohm-Vainonen (Aaltonen and Ikonen plays well together in Blues, Lindbohm and Vainonen are strong playing players and they should be able to play good on shorthanded.
Lamberg-Saku Salminen-Hännikäinen
(Saku and Lamberg have played great on jokerit and Hännikäinen is the energypackage.)
goalkeepers: Korpisalo, Ullberg and Juvonen
I hope i didn't forget anyone


Last edited by en1103: 11-13-2012 at 10:53 AM. Reason: forgot Salomäki
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11-12-2012, 02:29 PM
  #180
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I hope i didn't forget anyone
Salomäki. My attorney will contact you.

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11-13-2012, 06:24 AM
  #181
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
The roll now, given what we've seen...

Määttä - Ristolainen
Lindbohm - Vainio
Vainonen - Pokka
Parkkonen
Lindell will be in the WJC team if healthy, I’m 99.873% certain of it . Vainonen hasn’t played a single official game under Rindell’s coaching. Parkkonen I don’t like, lacks tools to be truly effective in board battles and doesn’t bring extra value to offensive side of the game. Vainio is a decent D, but I don’t think he’ll be a 2nd paring guy at the WJC’s.

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Nykopp was another pleasant surprise. Brings some much-needed size as well.
Nykopp has some good attributes for a utility player, I think he has a good chance of making the WJC team. On the other hand the Sweden game didn’t display him in the best light, with better play he could have prevented Sweden’s first 4 goals. Sweden’s first goal was a result of Nykopp giving a bad pass on the defensive blue line, Emil Molin takes the puck, moves in and scores. On Sweden’s second goal Nykopp gives way too much room for Molin who gets a free whack to a rebound, which in turn leads to another rebound that Lindholm cashes in. On Sweden’s third goal Nykopp could have prevented Boyce-Rotevall's initial shot with better gap control. On Sweden’s 4th goal Nykopp lacks awareness and leaves the slot open, this forces Rekonen to continue with his coverage of Boyce-Rotevall and as a result the weak side becomes unattended. Hopefully Nykopp gets more experience from tougher games, playing in Jr.A isn’t going to prepare him for the WJC’s.

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We have to remember that Ikonen was best player from Finland at lake placid at much better competition than this was and Finland had better team.
From what I remember Ristolainen, Aaltonen and Määttä were the top Finns at Lake Placid. Ikonen had his moments, but excluding his scoring he wasn’t that indispensable.

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I'd be willing to cut Haapala (in addition to Ikonen) if we could find someone with a little less skill but way more size and grit. Yes, it is what it is, but I believe Barkov is our biggest asset and putting him in a line with no power forward would make things much more difficult for him. Anyway, hopefully Rindell will figure things out during training camp.
I think Haapala is too good to be dropped out of the final team, looking at the available alternatives doesn’t offer enough justification for cutting him. Barkov and Haapala find each other on the ice, breaking that duo might not make the team better as a whole.

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11-13-2012, 06:44 AM
  #182
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Lindell will be in the WJC team if healthy, I’m 99.873% certain of it . Vainonen hasn’t played a single official game under Rindell’s coaching. Parkkonen I don’t like, lacks tools to be truly effective in board battles and doesn’t bring extra value to offensive side of the game. Vainio is a decent D, but I don’t think he’ll be a 2nd paring guy at the WJC’s.
Lindell might make it, true. I just didn't think he was all that impressive here. And he's been making some rookie mistakes in those Jokerit games I've seen as well, but some of those might be overly emphasized because of natural comparisons to Lindbohm, who's looked more mature. Maybe they shouldn't be compared, given how Lindbohm is a solid DD and Lindell more of an OD type of guy... but we don't have too many slots for the latter left, so what we really need is someone who's a good utility player. Parkkonen somehow just seemed to meet that requirement better, but I've got no issue with Lindell either. He seems to have the size edge, I give him that.

In any case, we have plenty of interchangeable talent in the lower echelons (Lindell, Tikkinen, Parkkonen, Riikola... etc) who should all do what is asked of them. Whichever ones of them end up making the cut over those that don't shouldn't cause a lot hubbub.

You're definitely belittling Vainio. He's now a fixture for top-4 in HPK which should make him more than capable of handling same duties at WJC. While still not facing the ultimate top opposition, he still gave one of the more solid showings in both ends. Sort of reminded me of Konsta Mäkinen from last year, who looked like some random Mestis pick by Raipe, but ended up being the go-to-guy after that Määttä injury.

Vainonen might not make it, agreed. But all of the DD talent apart from Lindbohm have been so-so at best so I've sort of resorted to dragging him along, given how he's been a fixture in U18 teams. But if Auvinen, Valkonen or someone of that ilk ends up getting that ticket in the end, I won't be throwing any temper tantrums.

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11-14-2012, 04:32 AM
  #183
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Lindell might make it, true. I just didn't think he was all that impressive here. And he's been making some rookie mistakes in those Jokerit games I've seen as well, but some of those might be overly emphasized because of natural comparisons to Lindbohm, who's looked more mature. Maybe they shouldn't be compared, given how Lindbohm is a solid DD and Lindell more of an OD type of guy... but we don't have too many slots for the latter left, so what we really need is someone who's a good utility player. Parkkonen somehow just seemed to meet that requirement better, but I've got no issue with Lindell either. He seems to have the size edge, I give him that.

In any case, we have plenty of interchangeable talent in the lower echelons (Lindell, Tikkinen, Parkkonen, Riikola... etc) who should all do what is asked of them. Whichever ones of them end up making the cut over those that don't shouldn't cause a lot hubbub.

You're definitely belittling Vainio. He's now a fixture for top-4 in HPK which should make him more than capable of handling same duties at WJC. While still not facing the ultimate top opposition, he still gave one of the more solid showings in both ends. Sort of reminded me of Konsta Mäkinen from last year, who looked like some random Mestis pick by Raipe, but ended up being the go-to-guy after that Määttä injury.

Vainonen might not make it, agreed. But all of the DD talent apart from Lindbohm have been so-so at best so I've sort of resorted to dragging him along, given how he's been a fixture in U18 teams. But if Auvinen, Valkonen or someone of that ilk ends up getting that ticket in the end, I won't be throwing any temper tantrums.
My view is that Määttä and Ristolainen are the top D’s. Next echelon consists of Pokka, Lindbohm and Lindell, they all bring something to the table that the next group of guys can’t match. Therefore I see them as an irreplaceable part of the team. It won’t make a huge difference who the two remaining D’s are, talent in the 3rd echelon is interchangeable to some degree, I can agree on that.

HPK has had some roster problems, so Vainio has probably been more of a makeshift solution than anything else. He could very well make the WJC team, I’m just not expecting him to have much of an impact at that level. In my opinion he’s rather average in every aspect of the game.

Would be nice to know what Rindell thinks about Vainonen and whether there’s any chance that he sends him an invite to the last camp before the WJC’s. Joonas Valkonen has been better than “so-so at best” this season.

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11-14-2012, 06:01 AM
  #184
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
HPK has had some roster problems, so Vainio has probably been more of a makeshift solution than anything else. He could very well make the WJC team, I’m just not expecting him to have much of an impact at that level. In my opinion he’s rather average in every aspect of the game.
The thing is, I'm not giving my assessment based on what I've seen from him playing for HPK, but for the tournament in Sundsvall. He gave a good showing, there's no other way of saying it.

Sure, the opposition will still get tougher from that, but this has to account for something in Rindell's eyes. And even if HPK does have some roster problems and he might not have played as much as he has were their deck more stacked, it still doesn't change the fact that he has been getting regular SM-liiga minutes lately and has more than held onto his own. Though I have to say, HPK's recent showings and results don't exactly befit a team that has "roster problems", unless you were referring to their rather nameless squad as it is. I know Jokerit for example has an injury list far longer than HPK does.

In the end though, I don't think Vainio should be a lock for the final puck-moving D behind Määttä, Ristolainen and Pokka (though he could also make it in an utility role), there are several other good options. But I do think he deserves a little more credit than what you're currently giving him. No need to rip it out of Lindell's checkbook either.

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Would be nice to know what Rindell thinks about Vainonen and whether there’s any chance that he sends him an invite to the last camp before the WJC’s. Joonas Valkonen has been better than “so-so at best” this season.
Vainonen is no Pronger nor even Ossi Väänänen so he's definitely nothing the team badly requires. Still, like I said, he's been a regular on U18 level and has even shown some leadership abilities (even carrying the C in more than one occasion), so yeah, it'd be curious to know Rindell's thoughts about him.

And Valkonen... if he's been that good, I wonder why he skated with the challenger squad instead of the main one. Not questioning your assessment, just wondering. Would have been far easier to rate his prowess, both for us armchair coaches and Rindell alike, I reckon. Having some depth this year could be one explanation, but I still don't think we're that well set on able-bodied DD as we are on OD.

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11-14-2012, 03:28 PM
  #185
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The thing is, I'm not giving my assessment based on what I've seen from him playing for HPK, but for the tournament in Sundsvall. He gave a good showing, there's no other way of saying it.
Vainio had his moments, I’m not denying it, and I prefer him over Parkkonen and Auvinen.

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In the end though, I don't think Vainio should be a lock for the final puck-moving D behind Määttä, Ristolainen and Pokka (though he could also make it in an utility role), there are several other good options. But I do think he deserves a little more credit than what you're currently giving him. No need to rip it out of Lindell's checkbook either.
I’ve seen Vainio play several times during the last year and a half, and I think he’s a decent all-around D. Thinking purely from a puck-moving perspective, guys like Tikkinen and Lindell have more to offer IMO. They are also better on power play.

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And Valkonen... if he's been that good, I wonder why he skated with the challenger squad instead of the main one. Not questioning your assessment, just wondering. Would have been far easier to rate his prowess, both for us armchair coaches and Rindell alike, I reckon. Having some depth this year could be one explanation, but I still don't think we're that well set on able-bodied DD as we are on OD.
All I’m going to say is that it was a surprise that Auvinen made the team in front of Valkonen. For me Valkonen is a relatively reliable shut-down D, whereas Auvinen is less so.

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11-14-2012, 05:34 PM
  #186
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I’ve seen Vainio play several times during the last year and a half, and I think he’s a decent all-around D. Thinking purely from a puck-moving perspective, guys like Tikkinen and Lindell have more to offer IMO. They are also better on power play.
I think I've been so eager to jump on Vainio's case is because out of all our candidates who are not considered top-shelf talent as it is, he's shown the most steady gradual improvement to me. Every time I see him, he just seems a little better than last time. It's never a major chance when compared back-to-back, but it all adds up.

In other words, he's a guy who appears to learn from every little mistake he makes. I don't know if he has the overall raw talent to be a truly great D, but he does appear to have the right mindset for it.

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All I’m going to say is that it was a surprise that Auvinen made the team in front of Valkonen. For me Valkonen is a relatively reliable shut-down D, whereas Auvinen is less so.
Could be elite level myopia. Auvinen has, after all, played some SM-liiga games, while Valkonen has been stuck in Mestis. I admit that it might have clouded my judgment as well when I casually placed him in the so-so group. It's still lesser opposition, but his stats appear nothing short of impressive.

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11-16-2012, 03:34 PM
  #187
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Kalle Kossila is playing extremely well in NCAA hockey right now. Any chance he gets called up as a late addition?

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11-16-2012, 04:43 PM
  #188
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Kalle Kossila is playing extremely well in NCAA hockey right now. Any chance he gets called up as a late addition?
Doubt it. The top lines are pretty much locked up, and there are more than enough candidates vying for the final spots in Europe as it is, most of whom are SM-liiga regulars.

One should never say never of course, but I don't think he has any kind of realistic chance.

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11-19-2012, 07:16 PM
  #189
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Any chance he makes the roster?

http://www.goterriers.com/sports/m-h...en_ahti00.html

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11-19-2012, 10:08 PM
  #190
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Same answer as to the previous query. Slim to none, at least without a load of injuries.

It's definitely a better-than-average year for Finland. There are plenty of guys who play pro-level hockey in SM-liiga night in night out to pick from, no need to resort to any distant league longshots.

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11-20-2012, 12:03 PM
  #191
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Doubt it. The top lines are pretty much locked up, and there are more than enough candidates vying for the final spots in Europe as it is, most of whom are SM-liiga regulars.

One should never say never of course, but I don't think he has any kind of realistic chance.
His stats are looking very impressive for now, with this production we should definately try him out at some exhibition games and see how he does. NCAA is a good league, he plays in a strong conference. Scoring there at a good clip at a young age like Kossila is impressive.

Besides it might be that he's taken some huge strides in his game over the summer. Same goes for Ahti Oksanen. If players with good stats in Mestis get invites to camps, so should players with good stats in NCAA.

Btw Kossila was one of the best players on the challenger squad last year already.

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11-20-2012, 02:13 PM
  #192
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His stats are looking very impressive for now, with this production we should definately try him out at some exhibition games and see how he does. NCAA is a good league, he plays in a strong conference. Scoring there at a good clip at a young age like Kossila is impressive.
Even if he seems to be at comfortable 1ppg pace, his game sample is far less than some of the more prominent names vying for those spots. And I'm not really referring to actual production, rather than pro league conditioning.

An eligible player with ~20 games in SM-liiga, no matter the production, has put up a lot better display than a player with 8 games in NCAA. And this year there are a handful of guys who have to get cut even if their description fits the former to a tee.

Besides, the U20 camp is not as with full-grown men where there's constant rotation as better players keep coming in. Last year for example, Raipe picked 4 goalies, 9 d-men and 14 forwards to the first camp, with all the big names there as it was. It's really all about honing teamplay and trying to figure out who gets cut in the end.

Besides, it's not like there's a real lack of smallish centre forwards in the first place. Granlund, Teräväinen, Aaltonen and Leino all fit that bill, and all apart from Leino are pretty much locks if healthy. And then there's of course Barkov who is the surest lock of 'em all. And with wingers there is even more to pick from after slotting in the certain ones.

I'm not saying Kossila couldn't possibly put up a good showing if he were to get a chance. What I'm saying is that he is unlikely to get it because Rindell is going to have his hands full trying to figure out who to cut even without bringing in any blindside picks.

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11-27-2012, 04:24 AM
  #193
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Armia may not be able to play in the tournament, although it's still a bit too early to say that for sure as concussions are so unpredictable. I really hope he recovers by the WJC. I'm no Ässät fan, but man, what Abid did to Armia was idiotic. One of the ugliest incidents I've seen in the league this season.

http://www.iltasanomat.fi/sm-liiga/a...519614008.html

Armia's not feeling too good at the moment. Doesn't the first camp start around December 10th?

Despite all his inconsistency and surfing he's still got the capability to score the important goals for us and not having him on the team would be a huge loss. There are no players with the same skill set available. Who's going to take his place if he can't play?

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11-27-2012, 04:49 AM
  #194
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Who's going to take his place if he can't play?
Lehkonen.

Salomäki - Granlund - Lehkonen
Teräväinen - Barkov - Haapala

In third line, to place in the wings of Aaltonen, we still have guys like Kallela, Leino, J.Ikonen, Kulmala, Hännikäinen, Nykopp, etc.


I don't mean to imply that Armia's absence wouldn't show or not hurt the team. But our depth can help mellow the impact. Top-six wouldn't be affected much, if at all. The effects would cumulate down to the 3rd line, which would be a little weaker.

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11-27-2012, 05:05 AM
  #195
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Yeah, you're right. Fortunately it looks like Teräväinen's finally getting into shape for real, so I expect more from him now than I did a month or so ago. But still, we don't have too many snipers to begin with and Armia's the only one of them with size.

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11-29-2012, 10:52 AM
  #196
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Armia would definitely be a big loss.

TT is looking solid again, nice.

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11-30-2012, 07:13 AM
  #197
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Granlund-Salomäki-Armia
Lehkonen-Barkov-Haapala
Aaltonen-Teräväinen-Ikonen
Lamberg-Salminen-Hännikäinen

Määttä-Pokka
Ristolainen-Lindell
Lindbohm-Valkonen/Riikola

PP1:

Lehkonen/Salomäki-Granlund-Armia
Ristolainen-Lindell

PP2:

Aaltonen/Lehkonen-Barkov-Teräväinen
Pokka-Määttä

PK1:

Salomäki-Lehkonen
Ristolainen-Lindbohm

PK 2

Barkov-Haapala/Aaltonen
Pokka-Määttä

Starting goalie

Joonas Korpisalo

Back up

Richard Ullberg

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11-30-2012, 09:04 AM
  #198
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Personally, I would put Teräväinen at wing. And to start, give him top 6 minutes.

Lehkonen can do the grinding game, if necesseary. Or Haapala on the third line if we can find kids who click with Barkov.

TT has been so good at wing and played so bad at C when the season started, so I don't see reason to change that.

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11-30-2012, 03:40 PM
  #199
FiLe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemisti View Post
Personally, I would put Teräväinen at wing. And to start, give him top 6 minutes.
Given how TT is very likely to play with at least one of Granlund, Barkov, Salomäki or Aaltonen, this becomes something of a semantical issue really. They can all switch back and forth within the slot based on the state of the game, regardless of what's being put in the roster report.

What concerns me far more with thomast's lineup is again the much-debated size issue. It'll be curious to see how Rindell handles that, or whether he'll just to hope he can compensate the lack of physicality with speed and skill.

The good news is that just before the games, we'll be facing both USA and Canada on our home ice with both of them essentially having their final squad. It should give Rindell a clear look on where we are with plenty of issues and the initiative to make the appropiate adjustments.


Last edited by FiLe: 11-30-2012 at 03:46 PM.
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Old
11-30-2012, 05:23 PM
  #200
Tormentor
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Ville Järveläinen was more visible at the latest U20 tournament than Juuso Ikonen. That doesn't necessarily mean that he was the better player, but he certainly stood out more on the ice. It's only one tournament and Järveläinen is even smaller than Ikonen, but I guess we can't rule him out entirely. Salminen, Lamberg, Leino, Nykopp and Hännikäinen seem like the top candidates for lesser offensive roles, but it's hard to predict how Rindell ranks them individually. Perhaps we know more on Monday, FIHA will apparently have their usual press conference then.

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