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04-19-2013, 10:37 AM
  #126
TheFeistyFinn
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I can't even listen to that song. Oh God, they really used Juti?!




Timonen has strongly implied that he's not coming, thinking he is coming is more like fantasizing at this point. He said these tournaments are for younger players. He will also not be captain in Sochi, that's like 100% certain. He will be alternate captain, but that's it.
ye i know that he won't be captain at Sochi but i would want him to be. such an epic player who has respect of younger finnish NHL'ers

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04-19-2013, 11:06 AM
  #127
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ye i know that he won't be captain at Sochi but i would want him to be. such an epic player who has respect of younger finnish NHL'ers
He's a great guy that deserves all our respect for sure. Unfortunately his time's running out, just like many of our other best players.

Tonight's FIN-SUI 1-1. The Swiss goalie vacuumed in Pihlström's shot at first, but late in the 1st period our favorite defender Laakso took a stupid penalty, during which Kukkonen was late once more, allowing the Swiss to tie the game. Still, Finland's looking much better tonight than last night. Melart has to make the final roster.

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04-19-2013, 11:52 AM
  #128
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2-2 after the 2nd. Finland's 2nd goal was a beauty, but otherwise this period was awful from us. Lazy plays from everyone, a billion turnovers, no interest in defending.

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04-19-2013, 12:47 PM
  #129
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4-4 in the OT. Noticed the game was available on HD Player via Katsomo.

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04-19-2013, 01:01 PM
  #130
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4-5 loss after shootout.

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04-19-2013, 02:19 PM
  #131
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These week's games were far from pretty or decisive, but I still wouldn't be overly worried.

Why? Because despite about 2/3 of the current camp roster making the team, they've yet to play a single game with all the most prospective candidates in a single lineup - let alone having them properly roled in the most effective lines and d-pairs.

And while some of the guys in the current roster are the kind of weaklings who shouldn't really be WHC candidates, at least most of them will be cut, leaving us a bunch of mainly better-than-average performers.

Even if we are struggling down the middle, I'd still say that overall, we have a pretty decent group of forwards. Out of wingers, Salminen and Osala are in a good form, and Aaltonen could be slotted into top-six as well. And we also have Pesonen, who is... well, Pesonen. He's not exactly a top-notch guy, but not really dead weight either. Pihlström and Hagman are able support guys. Yes, Pikku-Hakki has not been what he's been at best, but let's keep in mind that this guy is a very reliable major tournament performer. I'm not saying he's going to magically bounce back all of a sudden, but I'd still consider him a reliable enough solution for 3rd line.

Centres are more of an issue, but if the docs clear Kontiola we should be somewhat fine. Viitaluoma is a name who should not really be up there for these kind of considerations, but he has actually been quite good. I'm still hoping that we'd get a guy from across the pond, but with Viitaluoma in place, the huge hole is currently leaking far less than expected.

Defense is pretty much what it has been for the past five years or so. We haven't really had one we wouldn't have cussed at and called it garbage over that time. To sum it up, it'll take a little luck for them to play like they did in 2011 - but not a lot of it.

And even if I hate ragging against the goaltenders, I'll have to say that today's game would have been won on regulation with better netminding. Järvinen was far from convincing. At least two of the Swiss goals were of the kind that he would have, could have and should have taken. And there will be a better guy manning the net when the actual tournament begins, whether he comes from ole' Europe or overseas.

Hockey is a game of small margins, especially in international tournaments, and our squad still has room to improve by a quite notable margin. So here's hoping.


EDIT: Konna cleared. Thank god.


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04-19-2013, 02:30 PM
  #132
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Roster for the Czech EHT:

Atte Engren
Mika Järvinen
Joni Ortio

Juuso Hietanen, Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod
Janne Jalasvaara, Dynamo Moskova
Mikko Kousa, MoDo
Lasse Kukkonen, Rögle BK
Teemu Laakso, Severstal Cherepovets
Ville Lajunen, Färjestads BK
Sami Lepistö, HC Lev Praha
Ilari Melart, HIFK
Mikko Mäenpää, Lev Praha
Ossi Väänänen, Jokerit

Juhamatti Aaltonen, Rögle BK
Marko Anttila, TPS
Juha-Pekka Haataja, Kärpät
Niklas Hagman, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
Juha-Pekka Hytönen, Amur Khabarovsk
Pekka Jormakka, Pelicans
Petri Kontiola, Traktor Chelyabinsk, KHL
Miika Lahti, JYP
Oskar Osala, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk
Janne Pesonen, Ak Bars Kazan
Antti Pihlström, Salavat Yulaev Ufa
Jere Sallinen, HPK
Sakari Salminen, KalPa
Ville Viitaluoma, HPK
Petteri Wirtanen, Donbass Donetsk

Ramstedt and Ristolainen cut, Jalasvaara and Kontiola added.


Well... looks like we're better at center than we all predicted, if they could afford to cut Ramstedt. Didn't see that coming.

Also, I bet most of us would have cut Kousa instead of Ristolainen, but not that the margins were that huge to really complain.

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04-19-2013, 04:10 PM
  #133
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Also, I bet most of us would have cut Kousa instead of Ristolainen, but not that the margins were that huge to really complain.
can you explain this? Kousa was best d-men after Vatanen in sm-liiga last two seasons.

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04-19-2013, 04:17 PM
  #134
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Ramstedt and Ristolainen cut, Jalasvaara and Kontiola added.
There goes the only reason to watch Team Finland in this tournament. And I bet Armia isn't getting picked so no interesting players to watch this year. Well, I guess there's always Team Canada if Stamkos, Giroux & co are coming.

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04-19-2013, 04:47 PM
  #135
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can you explain this? Kousa was best d-men after Vatanen in sm-liiga last two seasons.
Are you seriously telling me that because Kousa was a good SM-liiga d-man a whole whoppin' season ago, he should be judged by that instead of the fact that he's had a less-than-flattering club season this year, and been so-so over the camp and previous EHT?

For what it's worth, I thought Kousa was good in last year's preliminary games, and back then I thought he'd make it over Hietanen. But yeah, that was then. This is now.

Best note though that Ristolainen has been nothing special either. Yes, he had a solid showing that gives away a ton of promise, but in the end, he was no rainmaker. Though if his development persists, he'll likely be a stud this time next year. While seeing him make the final cut would have made this tournament that much more interesting, seeing him go now was by no means a disappointment.


Anyway, I'd like to know more what's going on in Jalonen's head concerning the center department. Yes, Ramstedt was being kinda lax and looked lazy at times, but while Kontiola and Viitaluoma (apparently) can handle the playmaking duties, just having them two is still awfully thin. Hytönen, Wirtanen or Lahti are really no solutions here. Maybe he's looking to add someone from SM-liiga finals? Koskiranta comes to mind as first (as he has EHT experience from this season, no matter how meager), Mika Niemi (who has none) as second.


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04-19-2013, 06:15 PM
  #136
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There goes the only reason to watch Team Finland in this tournament. And I bet Armia isn't getting picked so no interesting players to watch this year. Well, I guess there's always Team Canada if Stamkos, Giroux & co are coming.
Looks like just about as uninteresting line-up as you can get. Oh well, at least the Wild are looking to make a playoff push.

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04-19-2013, 06:46 PM
  #137
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Are you seriously telling me that because Kousa was a good SM-liiga d-man a whole whoppin' season ago, he should be judged by that instead of the fact that he's a less-than-flattering club season this year, and been so-so over the camp and previous EHT?
I didn't know how he has been played this season... that's what i was really asking. EP don't tell me anything else than points.

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04-19-2013, 08:28 PM
  #138
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Looks like just about as uninteresting line-up as you can get. Oh well, at least the Wild are looking to make a playoff push.
You know, there are slated to quite a number of "new guys" in the roster. They may not be highly-touted prospects anymore, but it should still be quite curious to watch how they'll do. Some of them are in pretty good form, after all, not just trying to scrape by. Or are they only interesting when barely out of puberty?

Besides, let's face it... Ristolainen didn't do anything special. He was really good with the basic stuff, but didn't exactly look like anybody whose skillset couldn't be interchangeable with most other guys on the camp. It's not like it was a huge letdown to see him go. At least more justified than the shafting Pulkkinen got in 2011.

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I didn't know how he has been played this season... that's what i was really asking. EP don't tell me anything else than points.
Ah, I see. In that case, I apologize my harsh tone. The way you put it made did make it appear quite obnoxious.

Anyway, yeah, Kousa's season hasn't exactly been a hit. And he hasn't exactly picked it up during these preliminary games either. Would be quite surprised if he makes it.

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04-20-2013, 01:42 AM
  #139
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I expected Ristolainen to get cut. He wasn't the worst defenseman in the camp roster and honestly, I thought his problems in his own end weren't as bad as I originally thought they would be. He looks every bit like a promising young defender who still has lots of room to improve. In deciding to cut him instead of a poorly performing Kousa, Jalonen made a Jalonen choice. He chose to keep the older, more experienced one for another while longer and to see if he can find his game. Ristolainen made it a lot further this season than I expected him to, and I think he has every chance in the world to make the team next season. Jalonen wouldn't have kept him in this long if he didn't see promise in this kid. I hope to see him on EHT next season.

I certainly hope Kousa does not make the final cut if he plays the way he has so far this season. I'm also not convinced by Laakso at all and he seems to be prone to stupid penalties, but he's getting another chance too.

It's good that Kontiola's injury isn't a serious one, but he's probably not 100%. We also have yet to see if he can handle the job he's going to get. He's never had a big role in the NT before. Last year he was the 4th line center who had no pressure, making it easier for him to exceed expectations. He's not going to have that luxury this year. He's in better shape this year, but I'm still skeptical. Then we have Viitaluoma who I don't think is capable of being a good 2nd line center on this level. Ramstedt wasn't a better choice. It's looking like Jalonen will go for two offensive and two defensive centers. That is a bit of a strange choice because he has at least three lines worth of offensive wingers.

Sounds like Jormakka thinks he should make the team. I don't think he's skilled enough despite his good skating and I certainly don't know where he'd even fit. Maybe as an extra forward?


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04-20-2013, 05:40 AM
  #140
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I certainly hope Kousa does not make the final cut if he plays the way he has so far this season. I'm also not convinced by Laakso at all and he seems to be prone to stupid penalties, but he's getting another chance too.
Agreed, on both counts. Unless both improve drastically on EHT, Mäenpää-Hietanen-Lepistö-Lajunen should be the OD foursome, and Väänänen-Kukkonen-Jalasvaara-Melart the DD corps.

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It's good that Kontiola's injury isn't a serious one, but he's probably not 100%. We also have yet to see if he can handle the job he's going to get. He's never had a big role in the NT before. Last year he was the 4th line center who had no pressure, making it easier for him to exceed expectations. He's not going to have that luxury this year. He's in better shape this year, but I'm still skeptical.
Your memory fails you. Kontiola was the 2C in 2010 WHC, and clocked big minutes. Although arguably another year of a relatively no-name team given the proximity of the olympics, he was our best centre by far back then (out of foursome of Immonen-Kontiola-Hytönen-Santala).

He couldn't contend for 2011 team due to injury. In last year's preliminaries he was again putting out the best performance, but because we had the luxury of seeing the wholesome of the gold-winning trio of Koivu-Immonen-Kapanen return, he had no realistic means of surpassing any of them. Picking him for 4C despite not being the archetypal player for the role was obviously due to Jalonen realizing that he'd be shafting the guy royally if he just cut him, despite clearly being slated to favor the guys from the golden spring.

But all in all, your lack of faith on him is misplaced. He's very much a proven performer and well worth the nod. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the injury's going to hamper him or not - but right now the team's far better off with him in it than without.

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Then we have Viitaluoma who I don't think is capable of being a good 2nd line center on this level. Ramstedt wasn't a better choice. It's looking like Jalonen will go for two offensive and two defensive centers. That is a bit of a strange choice because he has at least three lines worth of offensive wingers.
Yeah, it's highly unusual to see a guy like Viitaluoma contend for 2C. He should really be nowhere near the job. But this is simply if we consider the fact he isn't a very high-profile player and measure it against our expectations.

The thing is, he has drastically overperformed for someone who was slated to be a filler guy. The true test still lies ahead of course, but he has managed to up the expectations somewhat. As of right now, I'm not expecting him to be anything flashy, but given what I've seen this far, I think doing a somewhat reliable job isn't out of his ballpark.

But overall, the situation with the centres is far from ideal. Out of the current contenders, Kontiola-Viitaluoma-Wirtanen-Lahti would be my preferred picks, but given how prominently Hytönen has featured this far, he might just slink in there somewhere. I dunno what it is, but I've always had an aversion towards him. Objectively thinking, he was actually pretty reliable as 3C in both 2009 and 2010, but that also seems to be about the upper limit of what he can do. He just sort of hangs on in there, but never ups the ante, even a little bit. Maybe my dislike towards him comes from the fact that Dufva was in the coaching staff in both those years, and the pick of Hytönen stinks so much of favoritism, given his skillset is perfectly interchangeable with so many other guys out there.

While Ramstedt was doing no favors for himself, I do feel that by cutting him, Jalonen deliberately made the ice he's currently skating on even thinner than it already was. Viitaluoma, regardless of his decent performance this far is an unproven one, and Kontiola may or may not be 100%. Either Jalonen's really going for one hell of a hail mary here, or he must have some kind of contingency plan. I still hold on to my prediction that we see a centre added from the finals. Koskiranta is the main suspect, but Niemi might come to question as well. Not that either of them are going to be any kind of upgrades over what we currently have, but adding one will still give him more options going forward.

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Sounds like Jormakka thinks he should make the team. I don't think he's skilled enough despite his good skating and I certainly don't know where he'd even fit. Maybe as an extra forward?
I take it you refer to this story: http://www.mtv3.fi/urheilu/mmjaakiek...yttoni-antanut

C'mon, there's nothing there but usual jargon you'd expect from a player when he's being interviewed. What should he say? "Yeah, no way in hell I'll make the cut. Too many guys ahead of me who are more prominent." It might be true, but no way you're going to hear any player say it out loud.

But I agree, it's hard to see where he features. Pesonen and Aaltonen have not been abysmal - far from it, in fact - and have more experience. Salminen and Osala are relative newcomers but still appear more slated to make it. Pihlström's a no-brainer at this point and despite Hagman's struggles, he still comes up as a reliable depth pick. Then there's Savinainen whom the consensus seems to agree upon on being the one pick from the finals. Any NHLer is of course going to add to the depth. Though if none show up, there is arguably still at least one slot open. After all, I only listed seven guys who might be higher up in the contention and there are at least eight regular wingers in any given team as we well know.

But I don't see what's the particular aversion towards him making it. A highly energetic forward is putting up a solid showing, and he's also a young one - born in the 90s. By all accounts we should be rooting for him instead of thinking he does not have what it takes. A good comparison, age and statuswise, could be Leo Komarov at this same time in the spring of 2009. Which should be enough to make us conclude that there's in fact far more room for improvement than with most of the contenders.

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04-21-2013, 02:22 AM
  #141
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Your memory fails you. Kontiola was the 2C in 2010 WHC, and clocked big minutes. Although arguably another year of a relatively no-name team given the proximity of the olympics, he was our best centre by far back then (out of foursome of Immonen-Kontiola-Hytönen-Santala).
I remember that, but with current knowledge Kontiola is the 1st line center right from the start this time and doesn't have a reliable, proven supporting cast. It became obvious in the games against the Swiss that this team is in need of a lot of help in the center department. I have no doubt Kontiola can help, but it may not be enough and if it's not, I can't blame him.


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But all in all, your lack of faith on him is misplaced. He's very much a proven performer and well worth the nod. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the injury's going to hamper him or not - but right now the team's far better off with him in it than without.
I think that goes without saying. Even if he's only like 75%, he'd still be an asset because of the poor center quality the team currently has.

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But overall, the situation with the centres is far from ideal. Out of the current contenders, Kontiola-Viitaluoma-Wirtanen-Lahti would be my preferred picks, but given how prominently Hytönen has featured this far, he might just slink in there somewhere. I dunno what it is, but I've always had an aversion towards him. Objectively thinking, he was actually pretty reliable as 3C in both 2009 and 2010, but that also seems to be about the upper limit of what he can do. He just sort of hangs on in there, but never ups the ante, even a little bit. Maybe my dislike towards him comes from the fact that Dufva was in the coaching staff in both those years, and the pick of Hytönen stinks so much of favoritism, given his skillset is perfectly interchangeable with so many other guys out there.
Frankly, I haven't seen much of anything by either Wirtanen or Hytönen that would make me pick one over the other. They're both rather unremarkable. They can probably hold their own in their own end as 3rd line Cs, but that's about it.

Lahti is a Jarkko Ruutu-caliber diver, so he stands out that way. If Nieminen (doubtful) or Savinainen joins the team, does the team really need Lahti? All of these guys love to annoy the other team's players and I'd only take one of them on the team.

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But I don't see what's the particular aversion towards him making it. A highly energetic forward is putting up a solid showing, and he's also a young one - born in the 90s. By all accounts we should be rooting for him instead of thinking he does not have what it takes. A good comparison, age and statuswise, could be Leo Komarov at this same time in the spring of 2009. Which should be enough to make us conclude that there's in fact far more room for improvement than with most of the contenders.
I'm not against him making it per se, especially if it's as an extra, but what I see is a player who's been overachieving during the camp. He had only 35 points in the league this season and I have a hard time believing he's not playing nearly solely on willpower right now. If he's just an extra, I'm fine with it, but I wouldn't choose him over anyone else except Sallinen, Anttila and maybe Haataja right now. He'd be left with a 4th line role at best and I don't know if he's suitable for that.

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04-21-2013, 02:46 AM
  #142
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Looks like just about as uninteresting line-up as you can get. Oh well, at least the Wild are looking to make a playoff push.
This. What a boring team. Nothing is as boring as Finland's ice hockey national team under this kind of circumstances. You can't come up with no ****ing reason to follow this ****** boring team. Boring, boring, boring. Yeah, boring.

Well, Armia could make a difference here but knowing Jalonen he won't give the kid a chance - he prefers boring hockey and boring players. How boring this team can get! So boring you cannot watch them without falling in sleep.

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04-21-2013, 06:16 AM
  #143
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I remember that, but with current knowledge Kontiola is the 1st line center right from the start this time and doesn't have a reliable, proven supporting cast. It became obvious in the games against the Swiss that this team is in need of a lot of help in the center department. I have no doubt Kontiola can help, but it may not be enough and if it's not, I can't blame him.
So it's 2009 all over again. Back then, Niko Kapanen was the only proven performer we had, yet the team ended up doing fine for itself.

I'm not saying the same can happen every time, and Viitaluoma's ceiling is very likely not on par with Jarkko Immonen's, but eh. Games can still be won if we have that one effective line and the rest manage to hold it together.

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Frankly, I haven't seen much of anything by either Wirtanen or Hytönen that would make me pick one over the other. They're both rather unremarkable. They can probably hold their own in their own end as 3rd line Cs, but that's about it.

Lahti is a Jarkko Ruutu-caliber diver, so he stands out that way. If Nieminen (doubtful) or Savinainen joins the team, does the team really need Lahti? All of these guys love to annoy the other team's players and I'd only take one of them on the team.
Like I put it, my aversion towards Hytönen is mostly a personal one, so it's maybe not fully rational. Objectively thinking, he should be able to hold his own just as you put it - but that's about it. But if he would have been placed under a bit more rigorous scrutiny and competition instead of mostly making it due to being a coach's favorite, we could have maybe discovered someone else who could be able to do more. Or not. Eh, maybe I just hate seeing favoritism happen - even when the subject is a player who can technically pull his weight.

What comes to Lahti, he must have done SOMETHING better than averagely to make it this far. I think I heard somewhere being stated that he's a solid faceoffs guy, which is a nice quality for a 4th line C. Have to go see if I can find any stats to back it up.

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I'm not against him making it per se, especially if it's as an extra, but what I see is a player who's been overachieving during the camp. He had only 35 points in the league this season and I have a hard time believing he's not playing nearly solely on willpower right now. If he's just an extra, I'm fine with it, but I wouldn't choose him over anyone else except Sallinen, Anttila and maybe Haataja right now. He'd be left with a 4th line role at best and I don't know if he's suitable for that.
I tried to point out that Jormakka is still quite young player. Which means he can be an overachiever, or still taking strides in development. It's hard to say which it is, but both are actually equally possible.

A guy like Haataja is clearly an overachiever. If he could maintain the level we saw him play on during the first week, we would have seen it already. I just hope him showing flashes of being somewhat good hasn't blinded Jalonen's judgment. It has happened at least once before, with Kalle Kerman in 2009. Janne Lahti in 2011 could count as well, but at least he had pretty solid club team stats as an excuse.

---

Anyway, I still find this team mighty curious to look at as a whole, thanks to it having a large number of relatively young newcomers. Osala, Salminen, Jormakka, Melart, Jalasvaara (not that young, but could still be effective). They might never be superstars, but it's not like we'll ever have a full-blown NHL team for these games, which makes having a stable pool of European support guys a crucial thing. Our current core is rapidly aging, so if these games can help strengthen those ranks, it has not been all for nothing. And with the situation being what it is, some of those guys will feature in quite prominent roles instead of being mere filler.

Okay, despite them, the squad could maybe still use a bit of X-factor someone like Armia could bring, but it's not like he's been doing himself any favors statwise. I can't really blame Jalonen for refusing to take someone on pure prospect value alone. He didn't exactly take a leap of faith with Granlund either, as Mikke had a solid spring behind him - which is something Armia doesn't have.

A big reason why coaches play it safe is because they'd like to have their job come next season as well - but it's not like that should matter here, Jalonen and we all know he'll be gone once the last horn goes off for the Lions in these games. So there could be a little more room to try something new.

But it's probably a pipe dream that something like this could happen. And even the relatively young ones such as Salminen and Osala may end up finding themselves on the fringes. Jalonen's idea of wingers for the top two lines could be Pesonen, Aaltonen, Hagman and Haataja for all we know.

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04-21-2013, 09:49 AM
  #144
Loffer
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This. What a boring team. Nothing is as boring as Finland's ice hockey national team under this kind of circumstances. You can't come up with no ****ing reason to follow this ****** boring team. Boring, boring, boring. Yeah, boring.

Well, Armia could make a difference here but knowing Jalonen he won't give the kid a chance - he prefers boring hockey and boring players. How boring this team can get! So boring you cannot watch them without falling in sleep.
I must correct myself. There are admittedly a couple of interesting names in the roster for now: Aaltonen and Salminen are fun to watch. So, even if Armia didn't make the team there are still these two players who can help one not to fall asleep during Finland's game...

Too bad Barkov is out.

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04-22-2013, 08:03 AM
  #145
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Should Jalonen consider Teemu Aalto to blueline? We don´t have any good PP-defender with a blast in this roster.

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04-22-2013, 08:12 AM
  #146
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Should Jalonen consider Teemu Aalto to blueline? We don´t have any good PP-defender with a blast in this roster.
Hell no. Shot is his only good attribute.

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04-22-2013, 08:20 AM
  #147
FiLe
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Hietanen has a decent shot and is a better skater. Of course, he's not much of a physical presence, but Aalto isn't that much better despite having a bigger frame.

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04-22-2013, 08:40 AM
  #148
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What if giving him role to play only PP? Like Niskala in some games

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04-22-2013, 08:50 AM
  #149
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What if giving him role to play only PP? Like Niskala in some games
hell no, id rather go with 4 forwards and have aaltonen/salminen on the point like in 2011.

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04-22-2013, 10:41 AM
  #150
FiLe
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Jalonen prefers to use a full four D pair rotation on even strength, so he probably won't even consider having Aalto on a role like that. It probably also played a part to why he didn't bother calling Nummelin.

Only time I recall Niskala has been used as mostly a PP specialist was in Vancouver, but we only had 7 d-men there.



Best keep in mind that despite his shot, there are still plenty of d-men on the camp who otherwise have the same general qualities as Aalto. Hietanen, Lajunen and Kousa are all right-hooked ODs. So unless two of them suck donkey's nuts, I doubt Jalonen is going to pass 'em and take a shot at Aalto who is far from a proven performer in NT.

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