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Team Finland @ 2013 World Junior Championships

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Old
12-01-2012, 07:58 AM
  #201
The Saw Is the Law
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Before season center depth seemed brilliant in Teräväinen-Granlund-Barkov-Salomäki. But Granlund and Teräväinen have been playing LW lately. Will either of them move back to C or should we take a "bottom-3" player to center the third line?

My vote: move Granlund to center.

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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Ville Järveläinen was more visible at the latest U20 tournament than Juuso Ikonen.
Heck. I didn't even know he moved back to Finland. But damn he is the midget of all midget hockey players. 164cm. Even Messi is 5cm taller than him. And Theo Fleury is one inch taller.

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12-01-2012, 01:00 PM
  #202
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I think Finland should have a clear 1st line (if Armia recovers in time):

Teravainen - Barkov - Armia

And then the 2nd line would be

Granlund - Salomaki - Lehkonen.


and the rest.

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12-01-2012, 03:00 PM
  #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
I think Finland should have a clear 1st line (if Armia recovers in time):

Teravainen - Barkov - Armia

And then the 2nd line would be

Granlund - Salomaki - Lehkonen.


and the rest.
Depending on how chemistry develops, I'd switch Lehkonen and Armia. The second line would have someone to shoot the puck and gets some size, too. First line would get more grit and good, skilled grinder.

Just my opinion, though.

Thoughts?

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12-01-2012, 03:54 PM
  #204
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Originally Posted by kemisti View Post
Depending on how chemistry develops, I'd switch Lehkonen and Armia. The second line would have someone to shoot the puck and gets some size, too. First line would get more grit and good, skilled grinder.

Just my opinion, though.

Thoughts?
Armia needs a play-maker that passes so he gets chances to shoot the puck. Salomäki should not even be a center, he is better as a winger in 2nd or 3rd line. Granlund should be the center of second.

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12-01-2012, 11:25 PM
  #205
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I think it's pretty clear how the chips are going to fall what comes to centre forwards.

Barkov is a no-brainer for one top-six role. The other one, based on performance, will be either Granlund or Teräväinen. As for third... you guys forgotten all about Miro Aaltonen? He's a very likely name to anchor down our 3rd unit.

4th line, someone with solid two-way game. My bet is Rindell is looking at either Salminen or Leino. Too bad Teemu Henritius got so badly sidelined. He would have been ideal.


But I'm saying again, what comes this whole top-six centerman issue beyond Barkov, you guys are arguing semantics. Salomäki will very likely play together with either Granlund or Teräväinen. When there're two semi-centre/wing-mixed-bag forwards in one line, the roles are definitely not so clear cut and can switch back and forth within the game based on situation. Who's marked for center and who for wing in the roster report is nothing more than what it is - words on paper.


What comes to actual line combos... if Armia gets healthy in time, it should be pretty clear that the 93-borns should at least start together. They have earlier chemistry, and will be out after this round. The following classes need to learn how to play together the upcoming year anyway.

Salomäki - Granlund - Armia
Lehkonen/Teräväinen - Barkov - Haapala/Lehkonen
X - Aaltonen - Y
Lamberg - Salminen/Leino - Hännikäinen

X = leftover winger from top-six. Y = Kallela/Nykopp/J.Ikonen/H.Ikonen/Kulmala/whoever plays the best/Rindell picks with eeny-meeny-miny-moe.


Last edited by FiLe: 12-01-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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12-02-2012, 12:32 PM
  #206
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Why to keep the 93 born guys together just for their age??

I don't like this line Salomaki-Granlund- Armia at all. Just put the best offensive players to the top line and keep them there no matter what.

Teravainen - Barkov - Armia is the legit first line for Finland, it's obvious, and should be firm and fixed. They are simply the best three forwards in the roster.

The second line has all it needs in Granlund (passing), Salomaki (physicality) and Lehkonen (scoring). Salomaki's been playing center lately if im correct so keep him there. Granlund should stay on the wing, he has no strength to play center.

So, it is as I said

Granlund - Salomaki - Lehkonen. Just keep it like that, and it will work just fine.


Third line is simply:

J. Ikonen - Aaltonen - X.

I don't know if Haapala should be cut or not. But there is no other place but that X were he could be put but then again that line would be tiny and weak if Haapala takes that slot.

The rest is simple and easy.

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12-02-2012, 12:44 PM
  #207
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Granlund and Teräväinen are capable of dishing the puck better than Salomäki, but that’s just one area of the game. Salomäki has been playing as a 2nd line C lately and I’m sure he could fill that role at the WJC’s as well, if required. Interesting to see what Rindell decides, he has a good amount of alternatives if all are healthy.

Some possible roles for forwards;

Barkov (1st/2nd line C)
Armia (1st/2nd line RW)
Teräväinen (1st/2nd line LW or C)
Lehkonen (1st/2nd line RW seems likeliest)
Granlund (1st/2nd/3rd line LW or C)
Haapala (1st/2nd/3rd line LW seems likeliest, depends on whether he's lined-up with Barkov or not)
Salomäki (2nd/3rd line C or W)
Aaltonen (2nd/3rd line C or W)
J.Ikonen (2nd/3rd line RW)
Järveläinen (2nd/3rd line LW or RW)
Nykopp (3rd line W, 4th line C or W)
Leino (3rd line C, 4th line C or W)
Lamberg (4th line RW)
Salminen (4th line C or W)
Hännikäinen (4th line W)
+ possible surprises

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12-02-2012, 01:34 PM
  #208
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I don't like the idea of putting Teräväinen, Barkov and Armia all on the same line. We'd effectively be placing all our eggs in the same basket, and while that would probably work fine when facing much weaker opponents, I think we'd be screwed once the real games started. We'd be making it easier for teams like USA, Canada, Sweden and Russia to stop our team if we placed all our best players on the same line. Our best guys are good, but they aren't that good.

Sure, it's tempting to give our best sniper the best center we have, but we have the potential to dish out three at least decent offensive lines and a good 4th line (by our standards, anyway) and I don't think we should pass on that chance to make a clear-cut first line. There's also the issue of chemistry; has Barkov ever played on the same line with Armia, for example?

As for who should play center; I could see both Granlund and Salomäki being able to fill the role, and I don't really have a personal preference on which one of them should do it. Teräväinen has been terrible at center this season, so he should stay on the wing. Granlund hasn't played center lately, but he did fine when he did. Not excellent, but fine, especially compared to Teräväinen.

My top9 would turn out like this:

Salomäki/Granlund-Salomäki/Granlund-Armia
Haapala/Teräväinen-Barkov-Lehkonen
Haapala/Teräväinen/J. Ikonen-Aaltonen-Nykopp

I can only see one possible slot for J. Ikonen, and that's with Aaltonen. I don't want the 3rd line to be an all-midget line, which is why I have Nykopp there. I'm also not sure how effective Haapala would be with Aaltonen, which is why I have Teräväinen as the 3rd option for 3rd line LW. Based on his performances lately, he definitely deserves a place in the top6, but Haapala has chemistry with Barkov. I know Teräväinen would get kind of shafted in this scenario.

I think that in the end at least either J. Ikonen or Haapala will get cut.

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12-02-2012, 01:48 PM
  #209
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my top 9:

Teräväinen - Granlund - Armia
Haapala - Barkov - Lehkonen
M.Aaltonen - Salomäki - J.Ikonen

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12-02-2012, 02:17 PM
  #210
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TBH I have no clue about those 4th line players, not seen them playing or anything, so I cannot say this or that about that combo. However, should one of these bigger bodies find his way to the 3rd line which seems otherwise to be a real midget line... I donno. Someone who knows about these players could tell.

But if i were to cut either Ikonen or Haapala i would cut Haapala. He seems to have lost his scoring touch altogether after he got moved away from Barkov line.

So, my guess is that Haapala will get cut and the 3rd line will be something like

J. Ikonen - Aaltonen - "H. Ikonen"--- But who is this "H. Ikonen" really, that remains to be seen.

Anyways, Finland has a relatively strong team this year and in big rink they could get something done even. It's quite rare to see this much regular FEL players in the roster. Thinking about it, they should be playing in much tougher league than e.g. Canadian players who come from CHL (except RNH). Following this line of reasoning one should think that Finland does stand a chance for GOLD. NA teams are just junior hockey players, what do they know about real hockey...

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12-02-2012, 02:40 PM
  #211
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Any chance of Henri Ikonen of the Kingston Frontenacs?

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12-02-2012, 04:53 PM
  #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
But if i were to cut either Ikonen or Haapala i would cut Haapala. He seems to have lost his scoring touch altogether after he got moved away from Barkov line.
My belief is that Haapala makes the team, and I prefer him over J.Ikonen.

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Any chance of Henri Ikonen of the Kingston Frontenacs?
The 15 forwards I listed above have all played under head coach Rindell's command in at least one tournament this season. Henri Ikonen hasn't. So all in all it doesn't seem that likely, but we should know more tomorrow.

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12-02-2012, 05:11 PM
  #213
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
My belief is that Haapala makes the team, and I prefer him over J.Ikonen.
Haapala better than J. Ikonen...? What makes you think that? J. Ikonen is much more talented of these two. Haapala is a year (?) older but that's about it. He was productive in the start of the season but Barkov was the real contributor behind those points, it seems.

I find it hard to believe that Haapala would make the team if J. Ikonen didn't. Furthermore, Aaltonen has played with Ikonen so, it's only natrual to keep them together.

There seems to be no free slot for Haapala in the WJC squad? Maybe 13th forward.

Anyways, As I said if this team won't take a medal it's a disappointment and disgrace---. Only Canada has a stronger team on paper.


Last edited by Loffer: 12-02-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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12-02-2012, 07:20 PM
  #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
Haapala better than J. Ikonen...? What makes you think that?
Watching the latest U20 tournament, Haapala played quite well while J.Ikonen was close to a non-factor. He had 2 shots in 3 games, and it’s not like he was bringing that much to the table in other areas of the game either. Like I stated earlier, even Järveläinen stood out more than him. Haapala has been struggling a bit in SM-liiga lately, but from what I've seen so has J.Ikonen, no difference there.

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Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
J. Ikonen is much more talented of these two. Haapala is a year (?) older but that's about it. He was productive in the start of the season but Barkov was the real contributor behind those points, it seems.
J.Ikonen has a higher offensive upside, but as of now Haapala seems to be bringing slightly more to the table overall. That's my subjective view based on seeing how these two have performed lately. Barkov is a huge factor in Haapala’s offensive success in SM-liiga, no denying it.

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I find it hard to believe that Haapala would make the team if J. Ikonen didn't.
Both might make the team, and it's possible that I'm wrong, but it certainly wouldn't be a surprise for me if Haapala makes the team ahead of J.Ikonen. I guess we see things a bit differently in this issue.

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Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
Furthermore, Aaltonen has played with Ikonen so, it's only natrual to keep them together.
Aaltonen and J.Ikonen haven’t been playing that much together lately, at least in comparison to start of the season. And, It's not like Barkov and Haapala are unfamiliar with each other either.

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Anyways, As I said if this team won't take a medal it's a disappointment and disgrace---. Only Canada has a stronger team on paper.
Don't agree with this. Russia, Sweden and USA should have good teams as well (possibly better than Finland), and Czechs have a chance of surprising in a single game with guys like Hertl, Faksa and Frk among others.

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12-02-2012, 09:29 PM
  #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helicecopter View Post
my top 9:

Teräväinen - Granlund - Armia
Haapala - Barkov - Lehkonen
M.Aaltonen - Salomäki - J.Ikonen
I think this looks pretty good

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12-02-2012, 10:46 PM
  #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
Why to keep the 93 born guys together just for their age??
Not for their age... for their chemistry. Those guys have been playing together from time to time before since the U16 level and have been putting up good showings. An argument, which, by the way, applies to the younger classes too somewhat.

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Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
I don't like this line Salomaki-Granlund- Armia at all. Just put the best offensive players to the top line and keep them there no matter what.

Teravainen - Barkov - Armia is the legit first line for Finland, it's obvious, and should be firm and fixed. They are simply the best three forwards in the roster.
And this is exactly the kind of thinking that would get you an earful from any professional coach. Three best individuals do NOT make the best possible line in most cases. Even if one can try 'em together, no coach won't ever think about keeping 'em together "no matter what". In a regular season grind it sometimes can work if given enough time, but in a short tournament when your game has to look somewhat complete from the get-go? Surest way to doom.

I'd give you a virtual dunce cap now, but I seem to be all out.

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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Watching the latest U20 tournament, Haapala played quite well while J.Ikonen was close to a non-factor. He had 2 shots in 3 games, and it’s not like he was bringing that much to the table in other areas of the game either. Like I stated earlier, even Järveläinen stood out more than him. Haapala has been struggling a bit in SM-liiga lately, but from what I've seen so has J.Ikonen, no difference there.

J.Ikonen has a higher offensive upside, but as of now Haapala seems to be bringing slightly more to the table overall. That's my subjective view based on seeing how these two have performed lately. Barkov is a huge factor in Haapala’s offensive success in SM-liiga, no denying it.
Haapala is a rare case of being consistent with his struggles. They pretty much began when he was separated from Barkov in favor of Jannik Hansen. He immediately seemed to get his step back when he got shifts with Sasha in Sundsvall. Those two click, I'd say it's pretty evident.

Barkov, of course, seems to be doing fine no matter who he plays with so it's not a complete argument for keeping 'em together. There could always be a guy out there who might do even better than Haapala on his wing.


Salomäki and Armia are the only wingers with big bodies we have currently slated for an offensive role. Teräväinen, Lehkonen, Haapala and J.Ikonen are the next candidates (in that order of prestige), but they're all a bit on the small side. If two lines are built out of them, the physicality will very likely become a liability given how essentially all of our main opponents will have more size and no shyness to use it. At least one more headbanger should be inserted, even if it means cutting a guy who should otherwise deserve to be there. Currently the hammer lands on J.Ikonen. He's a '95 born anyway, so he'll get his chance in the coming years, there's no doubt about that.

Same happened last year too, by the way. TT was cut, and it caused quite the outrage. It's of course hard to say in retrospect whether it was a good call or not, but that's just what coaches have to do sometimes. They're in market of building the best possible team, not in gathering the best possible individuals.

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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Don't agree with this. Russia, Sweden and USA should have good teams as well (possibly better than Finland), and Czechs have a chance of surprising in a single game with guys like Hertl, Faksa and Frk among others.
Yeah. Bit of myopia going on with our friend there. It is a very strong Team Finland, definitely one for the books and rivaling squads of -98 and -01, but in comparison to other countries, nowhere near being head and shoulders above the rest of the entrants. A medal - even the championship - is definitely within reach, but by no means a failure if not achieved.

Besides, even if the skaters look good, the most important single position, netminding, is something of a question mark right now. Hoping it sorts out of course, but this little notion alone makes Finland far from being a clear-cut favorite as of right now.

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Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
As for who should play center; I could see both Granlund and Salomäki being able to fill the role, and I don't really have a personal preference on which one of them should do it. Teräväinen has been terrible at center this season, so he should stay on the wing. Granlund hasn't played center lately, but he did fine when he did. Not excellent, but fine, especially compared to Teräväinen.
And I'm really wondering now why this talking point keeps popping up since it doesn't make much difference when you place two C/W's in one line who will be its namely centre. Pretty much the only way to make the distinction if to look who is the preferred choice for faceoffs. When the clock is running, their namely position in the lineup report becomes nothing more than a footnote in history.


Last edited by FiLe: 12-02-2012 at 11:06 PM.
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12-03-2012, 12:45 AM
  #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
The 15 forwards I listed above have all played under head coach Rindell's command in at least one tournament this season. Henri Ikonen hasn't. So all in all it doesn't seem that likely, but we should know more tomorrow.
But then again performance of Ikonen has been pleasant surprise but of course he couldn't participate in the last tournament. His season in North America has been pretty impressive and I think that he could and probably also should be in the camp. If he manages to play well before the WJC, I personally would find Ikonen pretty interesting piece to the team since I personally feel that Ikonen could perform well in 3rd-4th line.

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12-03-2012, 02:53 AM
  #218
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Same happened last year too, by the way. TT was cut, and it caused quite the outrage. It's of course hard to say in retrospect whether it was a good call or not,
actually, i think it's easy to say it was a bad call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quethas
I personally would find Ikonen pretty interesting piece to the team since I personally feel that Ikonen could perform well in 3rd-4th line.
doesn't seem likely he will be called, but i agree there would be nothing wrong with Henri on the 4th line.

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12-03-2012, 03:06 AM
  #219
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Anyways, As I said if this team won't take a medal it's a disappointment and disgrace---. Only Canada has a stronger team on paper.
That's a bit of an exaggeration. While I think Canada's the only team that may not be winnable even if everything clicked, Finland is not the 2nd strongest on paper. If goaltending doesn't fail us and our best players stay on their regular level, a medal is a definite possibility, but not getting it would not be a disgrace.

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12-03-2012, 04:20 AM
  #220
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The first camp roster

So, Henri Ikonen, Mikko Vainonen and Eetu Laurikainen have a chance of proving themselves after all. The roster looks nice. Edit: All the top guys are there. Niklas Tikkinen is the only player I'm missing a bit, but I guess his omission isn't a big deal considering the depth we have at D.

Goalies:
Janne Juvonen, Pelicans
Joonas Korpisalo, Jokerit
Eetu Laurikainen, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

Defensemen
Henri Auvinen, JYP-Akatemia
Petteri Lindbohm, Jokerit
Esa Lindell, Jokerit
Olli Määttä, London Knights (OHL)
Ville Pokka, Kärpät
Juuso Riikola, KalPa
Rasmus Ristolainen, TPS
Juuso Vainio, HPK
Mikko Vainonen, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Joonas Valkonen, Blues

Forwards:
Miro Aaltonen, Blues
Joel Armia, Ässät
Aleksander Barkov, Tappara
Markus Granlund, HIFK
Henrik Haapala, Tappara
Markus Hännikäinen, Jokerit
Juuso Ikonen, Blues
Henri Ikonen, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Ville Järveläinen, Peliitat
Matti Lamberg, Jokerit
Artturi Lehkonen, KalPa
Robert Leino, HPK
Thomas Nykopp, HIFK
Saku Salminen, Jokerit
Miikka Salomäki, Kärpät
Teuvo Teräväinen, Jokerit


Last edited by Tormentor: 12-03-2012 at 04:53 AM.
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12-03-2012, 04:48 AM
  #221
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All in all, not many surprises on that list. Good that they decided to give Laurikainen a chance. How likely is it that Ullberg will even make the team at this point?

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12-03-2012, 04:52 AM
  #222
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
So, Henri Ikonen, Mikko Vainonen and Eetu Laurikainen have a chance of proving themselves after all. The roster looks nice, it has all the top players.
Laurikainen, Vainonen and H.Ikonen making it also means that Rindell was not sloppy with scouting. My hat's off to him for that.

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How likely is it that Ullberg will even make the team at this point?
None. Barring a freak injury, they won't be adding or replacing players, only cutting the roster. It means our goalie trio is set. I admit, I'm surprised. Laurikainen making it is admittedly a nice call, even if it's for reserve goalie.

Also, while Ullberg had no business being there with his recent showings, I'm a bit surprised Perhonen didn't get a nod. Some kind of injury perhaps?


EDIT: Good news. Just read from Ässät homesite that Armia is now healthy and skating.


Last edited by FiLe: 12-03-2012 at 05:01 AM.
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12-03-2012, 05:23 AM
  #223
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im scared of you guys...great team....but lacks little bit grit. that top 9 is butter soft.

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12-03-2012, 05:30 AM
  #224
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Originally Posted by landskronala View Post
that top 9 is butter soft.
Bit early to say, given how we don't even know yet what it's going to be.

If our coach goes all in with skill and takes guys like Haapala, J.Ikonen or Järveläinen to fill the remaining non-locked spots, then yes, the lack of grit is troublesome.

But if some of them get cut and instead H.Ikonen or Nykopp get added into the mix, things suddenly look much better in the physical department. Guess we'll have to wait and see, but given how there are some guys we thought would be nice to see but didn't really give 'em high chances to make it even this far, perhaps Rindell & co actually are concerned about the same things.

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12-03-2012, 05:46 AM
  #225
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Originally Posted by landskronala View Post
im scared of you guys... that top 9 is butter soft.
Feels a bit contradictory?

But I hear you, and to an extent I agree. This team is filled with speed and skill but lacks size and physicality. Luckily we're playing on an airport-sized rink.

I wouldn't call it butter soft though. Out of the top-9, Salomäki is as tough and physical as they get. Armia and Barkov, while not physical, will have no problems whatsoever with physical game and corner battles. The rest, well... Small, fast, skilled, not very strong.
Also we'll be able to ice a pretty rough n' tumble 4th line. Lamberg might not be very big but my god that kid is scary to watch. He's a human torpedo and he is completely lacking in the self-defense instinct compartment.

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