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2014 - Finland Roster Discussion

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Old
07-24-2013, 03:46 AM
  #326
RorschachWJK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caracal87 View Post
This in not provocation but i feel quite stunned how people welcomes OJ and Leino to team. Cmon one did -22!!!!!!! Rating last season in nhl and other has played hes last successful NHL game allmost 2years ago being mostly injured after that. Totally medal suicide material. If these 2 make it to team i would happily be wrong but oh my gosh this possibility freighters me hell uv a lot!
Regardless of what was the original meaning of that, it is pure gold, another instant classic of the HFboards

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07-24-2013, 04:45 AM
  #327
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Perhaps a bit unrealistic, but this is roughly how I'd personally like to see it ATM:

T.Ruutu - M.Koivu - J.Aaltonen
V.Filppula - A.Barkov - P.Kontiola
J.Jokinen - S.Koivu - L.Korpikoski
Mi.Granlund - L.Komarov - S.Bergenheim
J. Joensuu

J.Pitkänen - S.Vatanen
K.Timonen - S.Salo
O.Väänänen - R.Ristolainen
T.Lydman

T.Rask/P.Rinne/K.Lehtonen/A.Niemi

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07-24-2013, 05:09 AM
  #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Perhaps a bit unrealistic, but this is roughly how I'd personally like to see it ATM:

T.Ruutu - M.Koivu - J.Aaltonen
V.Filppula - A.Barkov - P.Kontiola
J.Jokinen - S.Koivu - L.Korpikoski
Mi.Granlund - L.Komarov - S.Bergenheim
J. Joensuu

J.Pitkänen - S.Vatanen
K.Timonen - S.Salo
O.Väänänen - R.Ristolainen
T.Lydman

T.Rask/P.Rinne/K.Lehtonen/A.Niemi
Good choice, would swap some names, but me like!

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Old
07-24-2013, 07:36 AM
  #329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Perhaps a bit unrealistic, but this is roughly how I'd personally like to see it ATM:

T.Ruutu - M.Koivu - J.Aaltonen
V.Filppula - A.Barkov - P.Kontiola
J.Jokinen - S.Koivu - L.Korpikoski
Mi.Granlund - L.Komarov - S.Bergenheim
J. Joensuu

J.Pitkänen - S.Vatanen
K.Timonen - S.Salo
O.Väänänen - R.Ristolainen
T.Lydman

T.Rask/P.Rinne/K.Lehtonen/A.Niemi
Yeah...no. Guaranteed odd-man rushes to the opponent. Väänänen-Vatanen is the more likely choice. Not sold on Aaltonen either on the team, since it's not even clear where he will play next season.

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07-24-2013, 08:54 AM
  #330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caracal87 View Post
This in not provocation but i feel quite stunned how people welcomes OJ and Leino to team. Cmon one did -22!!!!!!! Rating last season in nhl and other has played hes last successful NHL game allmost 2years ago being mostly injured after that. Totally medal suicide material. If these 2 make it to team i would happily be wrong but oh my gosh this possibility freighters me hell uv a lot!
Gold is our goal, not a medal. Even though getting another bronze with the players we have would be a great achievement.

I do agree that things are looking quite bad for OJ at the moment. He'll be 35 by the time of the olympics and had a horrible last season. But then again, if he's able to bounce back, he should be a lock for the olympics.
Leino looked better after returning from injuries last season and if he plays well next season he should be a lock for the olympics.

In other words: If Leino and OJ are able to prove themselves next season, they should be locks for the team. We just can't afford to throw out players of that caliber.

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Old
07-24-2013, 11:04 AM
  #331
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Yeah...no. Guaranteed odd-man rushes to the opponent. Väänänen-Vatanen is the more likely choice. Not sold on Aaltonen either on the team, since it's not even clear where he will play next season.
Forward lines need some shuffling too. The biggest thing must be that Kontiola can't play wing, or at least be very effective at it. He's a center through and through. Jalonen tried to slot him as winger a year ago when we had too many centres but Konna was being too good to be snubbed. Nothing came out of it. Also, if Aaltonen and Kontiola both make it, it's quite obvious they've been picked as a package.

MiG as a fourth liner is not very inspiring either. He needs an offensive role or be out of the team. And he should, by all intents and purposes, be a technical lock for one.


If we are to use Tormentor's group of forwards...

Filppula - M.Koivu - Ruutu
Granlund - Kontiola - Aaltonen
Jokinen - S.Koivu - Korpikoski
Komarov - Barkov - Bergenheim

...is the way to go.


Last edited by FiLe: 07-24-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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Old
07-24-2013, 12:51 PM
  #332
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Yeah...no. Guaranteed odd-man rushes to the opponent. Väänänen-Vatanen is the more likely choice. Not sold on Aaltonen either on the team, since it's not even clear where he will play next season.
Hey, at least I'm not the one suggesting that Pulu has a lead on Armia because that sounds pretty preposterous. Not that Armia has a proper shot making the roster either, but I think Pulkkinen has a snowball's chance in hell making this Olympic team. And the fact the he's already in NA doesn't make much of a difference, because the games in Sochi will be played on big ice.

With a rotating 7 you probably won't see fixed pairings regularly. And I'm saying a rotating 7 because the schedule is tough and the workload needs to be distributed quite evenly in the early games. My belief is that Pitkänen, Vatanen, Timonen and Salo will be the biggest minute-eaters if healthy, and therefore it's justified to list them as top-4 guys.

Hockey at the Olympics is fast paced and Aaltonen is one of the few skilled forwards we have with good wheels. Another thing going for him is the fact that he plays with his right hand down, we don't have too many of those in our forward group. Before Ville Leino proves that he's capable of playing top level hockey again, Aaltonen is a good alternative as a top-6 winger in my books, no matter where he plays.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Forward lines need some shuffling too. The biggest thing must be that Kontiola can't play wing, or at least be very effective at it. He's a center through and through. Jalonen tried to slot him as winger a year ago when we had too many centres but Konna was being too good to be snubbed. Nothing came out of it.
Kontiola is a centre, I'm aware of that, but I think he's still more suitable for wing than Barkov or Koivus for example. It doesn't matter what the past experiences were if Kontiola continues to have the same jump in his game as this spring, in that shape he'll be a valuable asset to the team even if he plays wing.

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
MiG as a fourth liner is not very inspiring either. He needs an offensive role or be out of the team. And he should, by all intents and purposes, be a technical lock for one.
We need to have few skilled players in the lower lines, so that we'll have someone who can fill the void if one of the top forwards gets injured or suspended. Using Granlund as a 4th liner on a NA rink would be pretty pointless, but in a Euro rink he would still bring something to the table in that role. He's a smart, hard working player who positions himself well on the ice. He would bring some added scoring potential to the line and possibly help exploit the turnovers his linemates generate. Before Granlund becomes a NHL regular, I don't think he's lock for top-6 role in this team. ...And don't forget that I have Joensuu there as a 13th forward, him and Granlund could change places depending on the opponent.


Last edited by Tormentor: 07-24-2013 at 01:19 PM.
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07-24-2013, 01:14 PM
  #333
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Can't see that Aaltonen would make the team.

My guess:
J.Jokinen-M.Koivu-Ruutu
Granlund-Filppula-Leino
Lehtera-S.Koivu-Selanne
Komarov-Kontiola-Korpikoski
Joensuu

Pitkanen-Timonen
Salo-Vatanen
Lydman-Niskala
Vaananen

Rinne
Rask
Niemi

Not rly sure is Jori capable to play as a winger but at least there would be 2 good guys feedin Selanne


Last edited by xCaniac: 07-24-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old
07-24-2013, 01:38 PM
  #334
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Kontiola is a centre, I'm aware of that, but I think he's still more suitable for wing than Barkov or Koivus for example. It doesn't matter what the past experiences were if Kontiola continues to have the same jump in his game as this spring, in that shape he'll be a valuable asset to the team even if he plays wing.
Kontiola didn't exactly have any "jump" this spring - he's been this good for at least past three or four seasons. This is just the first time he actually had an ample chance to showcase it. So if he couldn't play wing a year ago, I doubt he's suddenly developed skills that will make him an asset in it. On the highest possible stage, no less.

I'd rather have Barkov on wing if it came to that. Kontiola's main asset is his playmaking, whereas Barkov can still utilize most of his strengths, like size, reach, solid two-way game and wicked wrister no matter the position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
We need to have few skilled players in the lower lines, so that we'll have someone who can fill the void if one of the top forwards gets injured or suspended. Using Granlund as a 4th liner on a NA rink would be pretty pointless, but in a Euro rink he would still bring something to the table in that role. He's a smart, hard working player who positions himself well on the ice. He would bring some added scoring potential to the line and possibly help exploit the turnovers his linemates generate. Before Granlund becomes a NHL regular, I don't think he's lock for top-6 role in this team.
The problem is not actually Granlund's ability to bring something to it, but the general Team Finland game plan. The thing is, our 4th lines have always been and will be heavily roled towards the heavy grind. Erkka won't change that. What is therefore required to thrive in that role is not one of MiG's assets.

And yes, Granlund should be a lock to make it as a heavy-duty offensive role, no matter his NHL endeavors. He has nothing left to prove on big ice, but has given more than ample showings over the last couple of years. In fact, he's one of the best offensive weapons we can utilize in that sense. Even Barkov needs to show more before we can slot him to our olympic top-six.

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Old
07-24-2013, 05:08 PM
  #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Kontiola didn't exactly have any "jump" this spring - he's been this good for at least past three or four seasons. This is just the first time he actually had an ample chance to showcase it. So if he couldn't play wing a year ago, I doubt he's suddenly developed skills that will make him an asset in it. On the highest possible stage, no less.
I disagree, I followed Chelyabinsk's games quite a bit because of Nichushkin and during the KHL play-offs Kontiola played the best hockey I've seen from him, he was the top guy on his team. His good form continued then to the World Championships.

Kontiola was a 4th line centre for a clear majority of last year's World Championship's. When did you actually see him play wing and what made you think he did a bad job playing that position?

Quote:
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I'd rather have Barkov on wing if it came to that. Kontiola's main asset is his playmaking, whereas Barkov can still utilize most of his strengths, like size, reach, solid two-way game and wicked wrister no matter the position.
Barkov has a diesel motor just like Mikko Koivu, I'd be very surprised to see him at wing, especially considering what he brings to the table on the central lane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
The problem is not actually Granlund's ability to bring something to it, but the general Team Finland game plan. The thing is, our 4th lines have always been and will be heavily roled towards the heavy grind. Erkka won't change that. What is therefore required to thrive in that role is not one of MiG's assets.
Well, at this year's World Championship's our 4th line was Hagman-Hytönen-Haataja in some games, that was almost the opposite to heavy grinding. If guys like Komarov and Bergenheim make two thirds of the 4th line, there's room to throw one Granlund in there. And I had Joensuu as a 13th forward, which means roles could be changed depending on the opponent or the situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
And yes, Granlund should be a lock to make it as a heavy-duty offensive role, no matter his NHL endeavors. He has nothing left to prove on big ice, but has given more than ample showings over the last couple of years. In fact, he's one of the best offensive weapons we can utilize in that sense. Even Barkov needs to show more before we can slot him to our olympic top-six.
Granlund's play in NHL this past season makes me believe that he's not a lock for top-6 yet, you of course have the right to disagree. Plus, I was expecting a bit more for him during the last two World Championship's.

I agree that Barkov has more to prove than Granlund, and there's still a good chance he won't make the team. I mentioned in my first post that the roster I posted is "perhaps a bit unrealistic", but Barkov is one of the players I'd really like to see at the Olympics. I'd much rather watch young upcoming talents, than guys who are clearly past their prime.

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Old
07-24-2013, 06:23 PM
  #336
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I disagree, I followed Chelyabinsk's games quite a bit because of Nichushkin and during the KHL play-offs Kontiola played the best hockey I've seen from him, he was the top guy on his team. His good form continued then to the World Championships.
Kontiola has been a solid performer at least since the 2009-2010 season, and judging by the games I've seen from him since, he's been the force we saw this spring waiting to get loose since then. There's just always been more established names blanketing him, both in NT and his club team(s). In last spring's preliminary games, Kontiola actually outplayed Koivu, Immonen and Kapanen at times, but thanks to the status of those three, he had no realistic shot at usurping any of them when the final slots were dealt out.

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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Kontiola was a 4th line centre for a clear majority of last year's World Championship's. When did you actually see him play wing and what made you think he did a bad job playing that position?
Those preliminary games preceding last year's WHC. With Konna doing so well, it was obvious that Jalonen had guilty conscience for the locked down slots of Koivu, Immonen and Kapanen. First he tried to make him a scoring winger. Didn't pan out. Then he was settled for the 4C role, which was far from ideal, but still a better fit. Definitely better than the message that would have been sent had he been cut altogether. Jesse Joensuu sure says thanks.

The bottom line: There was no jump this spring, he just only now got a chance to showcase what he can do. And if he wasn't able to play wing a year ago, he hasn't developed any extra skills out of thin air. Especially when playing center all the time.

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Barkov has a diesel motor just like Mikko Koivu, I'd be very surprised to see him at wing, especially considering what he brings to the table on the central lane.
In the NHL, the line between wing and center is far more murky than in Europe. Kontiola is a big ice centre through and through, whereas Barkov is projected to play in a more mixed-lane environment. So that makes him a slightly better fit for wing than Kontiola. Not that I want to see either of them at wing. We should have more suitable guys for that if everyone is healthy. Like Granlund.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Well, at this year's World Championship's our 4th line was Hagman-Hytönen-Haataja in some games, that was almost the opposite to heavy grinding. If guys like Komarov and Bergenheim make two thirds of the 4th line, there's room to throw one Granlund in there. And I had Joensuu as a 13th forward, which means roles could be changed depending on the opponent or the situation.
It's not exactly an aversion. Hytönen is an archetypal Finnish 4C and Hagman was doing a veteran player role shift not so odd for him, given his playstyle. Haataja was there because he was a mispick from the start but Jalonen couldn't oust him because he was holding out roster spots for possible NHL reinforcements. Once that situation sorted out, far more suitable Anttila became a 4th line fixture and Haataja ended up in the pressbox.

We can be fairly certain such a situation won't repeat itself come February, since olympics are not exactly a tournament where one would have to resort to filling your roster with cheap substitutes. Save for extremely crappy luck with injuries, of course.

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Granlund's play in NHL this past season makes me believe that he's not a lock for top-6 yet, you of course have the right to disagree. Plus, I was expecting a bit more for him during the last two World Championship's.
Currently we have only three players who are very much locked down for top-six: M.Koivu, T.Ruutu and Filppula. Granlund is slightly lower tier than those three, but no worse than the rest of the top-six candidates. And he brings a guaranteed skillset that shouldn't be ignored. Maybe calling him a surefire lock is out of the question, but he should be one of the very first options considered when filling out the rest of the top-six. Especially since the games will be on big ice.

And Granlund was quite underwhelming at 2012 WHC, but he was a late addition this spring and obviously had to acclimatization problems - and yet managed to be a solid addition. He actually played better than expected in my book. Which is why I'm so insistent on ignoring his NHL troubles. It was very solid proof that the kid is elite caliber as a big ice asset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I agree that Barkov has more to prove than Granlund, and there's still a good chance he won't make the team. I mentioned in my first post that the roster I posted is "perhaps a bit unrealistic", but Barkov is one of the players I'd really like to see at the Olympics. I'd much rather watch young upcoming talents, than guys who are clearly past their prime.
I can actually see Barkov making the roster - as 4C. He has the necessary skillset suited for that, and there aren't too many more established options.

Our center situation IMO:

1C: M.Koivu
2C: OJ - if he finds a good form again. If not, Kontiola.
3C: S.Koivu - or possibly some KHLer if one plays too good to ignore.
4C: S.Koivu in case we have better options for top-three. If not, Kapanen is an option, but I could totally see Barkov overtaking him if he clocks stable NHL minutes.


Last edited by FiLe: 07-24-2013 at 06:35 PM.
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07-25-2013, 04:45 AM
  #337
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Barkov has a diesel motor just like Mikko Koivu, I'd be very surprised to see him at wing, especially considering what he brings to the table on the central lane.
I agree with this. The kid hasn't played wing in ages and I'd rather not test how it goes in the Olympics.

Quote:
Granlund's play in NHL this past season makes me believe that he's not a lock for top-6 yet, you of course have the right to disagree. Plus, I was expecting a bit more for him during the last two World Championship's.
I have to disagree with you on this. We don't have a lot of good winger options for the top 6 and Granlund is definitely the better option if you compare him to someone like Aaltonen, who's moody as hell. Granlund's either in the top 6 or he's not on the team IMO, while Aaltonen is hopefully sitting at home in any case.

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07-25-2013, 06:50 AM
  #338
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Hey, at least I'm not the one suggesting that Pulu has a lead on Armia because that sounds pretty preposterous.
I was talking about the mindset of the North American writer.

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07-25-2013, 06:58 AM
  #339
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Kontiola's play against NHL players (two US games and Sweden) did leave a lot of question marks about how he'd be able to handle even better opposition since he was so easily outmuscled by "lesser" NHL players. Playing him on wing would be like throwing lambs to the slaughter.

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07-25-2013, 10:33 AM
  #340
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More comedy by NHL.com

Sheesh... look at that lineup. They really need to quit having these clueless NA hacks to stop commenting on this. Those forward lines look as if they just took 12 Finnish players at random and slapped them into columns via a dartboard method.

This is nothing new, of course, but still my blood boils every time when we have someone labeled as an "expert" and they come up (and get away) with something like this.

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07-25-2013, 01:45 PM
  #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
The bottom line: There was no jump this spring, he just only now got a chance to showcase what he can do. And if he wasn't able to play wing a year ago, he hasn't developed any extra skills out of thin air. Especially when playing center all the time.
At the 2010 World Championship's Kontiola was a 2nd line C and actually got the most ice time from all Finnish forwards, so he's been offered a chance to lead the team before but didn't fill the boots quite as well as this year. I'm not going to change my view about him being in the best shape/form of his career this spring.

I probably never watched those pre-tournament games a year ago, so I'd be interested know what made you think he did a bad job playing wing? Was there any particular area of the game that he struggled with? Could've part of the problem been just bad line chemistry?

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We can be fairly certain such a situation won't repeat itself come February, since olympics are not exactly a tournament where one would have to resort to filling your roster with cheap substitutes. Save for extremely crappy luck with injuries, of course.
That might be true, but Granlund did a fairly good job playing with guys like Pihlström and Korpikosi at the World Championship's, so I think he could easily play with similar type of players at the Olympics, even if it's in the 4th line.

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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Kontiola's play against NHL players (two US games and Sweden) did leave a lot of question marks about how he'd be able to handle even better opposition since he was so easily outmuscled by "lesser" NHL players. Playing him on wing would be like throwing lambs to the slaughter.
Sedins stole the show in the Sweden game, there's no denying it, but I have a feeling we might be in trouble with them in the Olympics as well. We simply don't have offensive players of that quality at the moment.

Against USA the first line created half a dozen quality scoring chances without any power play time, so they did fine there. I certainly wouldn't say that Kontiola got outmuscled or outplayed in that game.

And how exactly would it be "like throwing lambs to the slaughter" if Kontiola played wing at the Olympics? What part of playing wing you think he'd fail so miserably that he'd be a laughing stock? Usually a centre forward has it much easier playing wing than the other way around.


Last edited by Tormentor: 07-25-2013 at 02:44 PM.
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07-25-2013, 02:50 PM
  #342
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
At the 2010 World Championship's Kontiola was a 2nd line C and actually got the most ice time from all Finnish forwards, so he's been offered a chance to lead the team before but didn't fill the boots quite as well as this year. I'm not going to change my view about him being in the best shape/form of his career this spring.
Maybe back in 2010 Kontiola was not the beast we saw this year, but the gap was not as wide as you paint it to be. You said it yourself: Jalonen gave him big minutes even back then - so it's fairly logical to assume they were not handed to him entirely without reason. Besides, it's not like he was the biggest problem of that line even back then, it was Aaltonen who was doing his damnest to emulate Pavel Bure on steroids. In fact, a lot of Kontiola's effectivity this year contributes to the fact that JMA's managed to advance as well and bring more straightforwardness to his game.

And he was most definitely a beast a year ago. He's most definitely not your typical 4C, but was made one because Jalonen was too guilt-ridden to just cut him out of the team entirely.

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I probably never watched those pre-tournament games a year ago, so I'd be interested know what made you think he did a bad job playing wing? Was there any particular area of the game that he struggled with? Could've part of the problem been just bad line chemistry?
I doubt it was a chemistry issue. He was given two games on wing in a line centered by Niko Kapanen - and that man's practically a Swiss army knife of player chemistry. Yet Kontiola was clearly struggling, doing his damnest to find his lane and constantly ended up out of position while trying to set up a play. And you know what, I was of your mind back before they actually tried it out. He was being too good to be dropped out, so I figured he should be tried as a scoring winger. But after seeing how he fared, it became painfully obvious it was not meant to be. Jalonen drew the same conclusion.

Besides, aren't you contradicting yourself when you state that Kontiola could still be made a decent winger if given a little time to adapt and sort out the chemistry? Because, you know, if he couldn't do that with the meager time he was given while preparing to a WHC, how could he do that for even higher-level olympics, when that time of preparation is practically reduced to zero?

In fact, that enough should be enough of an argument not to place players out of position or try fantasizing about things that could work. No, the olympics are very much an arena where you go with things you already know that work. Konna at wing is not one them, especially when all the existing evidence points the other way, and trying to argue otherwise is nothing but a huge hail mary.

For the record: I just read what I wrote, and I'm probably starting to sound like a huge fanboy. While I do think that Kontiola still doesn't get the credit he deserves, I'm not saying it'd be a great misjustice to leave him out of the squad. The whole basis of my argument is that he is not, after all, a very versatile player but actually very high maintenance, bit like OJ. He needs a specific slot to thrive - and if there are better options for that slot, he should be either benched or dropped out altogether.

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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
That might be true, but Granlund did a fairly good job playing with guys like Pihlström and Korpikosi at the World Championship's, so I think you might be underrating his ability to play with different type of players. Apart from his first year in the NHL, he's always adapted well to different situations and challenges.
Um... didn't I already say that the issue is not with Granlund's adaptivity, but with the game plan? Different things are expected of different lines. Granlund played well with Pihlström and Korpikoski, yes, but the role was still very much an offensive one. Same would not be the case if he was to play in a line issued more heavy grinder duties.

Yes, there are hockey philosophies where you can try to run with all four cylinders creating offense, but that has practically never been the case with Team Finland. Jalonen did try to break that formula a couple of times, but that was more a force of circumstance than anything. Erkka, however, is far more conservative than him. If he has the pick of any players he likes, the 4th line will be a standard two-way grinder unit with offense being a side product. Granlund could end up performing adequately, but it'd be a waste of his talents.


Last edited by FiLe: 07-25-2013 at 05:33 PM.
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07-26-2013, 10:23 AM
  #343
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Besides, aren't you contradicting yourself when you state that Kontiola could still be made a decent winger if given a little time to adapt and sort out the chemistry? Because, you know, if he couldn't do that with the meager time he was given while preparing to a WHC, how could he do that for even higher-level olympics, when that time of preparation is practically reduced to zero?
I don't remember seeing Kontiola play wing recently and I can't be certain how he'd adapt or perform playing that position. I didn't contradict myself, I simply went with the hypothesis I had of him, which was that he'd probably do better as a wing than Koivu bros or Barkov. And I don't think I wrote anything about giving time to adapt or to sort out chemistry.

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
In fact, that enough should be enough of an argument not to place players out of position or try fantasizing about things that could work. No, the olympics are very much an arena where you go with things you already know that work. Konna at wing is not one them, especially when all the existing evidence points the other way, and trying to argue otherwise is nothing but a huge hail mary.
All the existing evidence that I have of Konna's ability to play wing is your word, you have to take that into consideration. You gave me some reasoning in your previous post, but before that pretty much all I heard from you was "can't play" or "couldn't play", so it's not a surprise I wanted to hear more.

I have to emphasize again that the roster I posted "is roughly how I'd personally like to see it ATM". Meaning that I'd much rather see Aaltonen instead of Selänne, Kontiola instead of Leino, Barkov instead of O.Jokinen, and Ristolainen instead of someone like Laakso, Lepistö or Niskala. I simply picked the players I'd roughly like to see there without sacrificing too much quality in the process. People here can argue against my roster all they want, but it's probably not going stop me from trying to "fantasize".

Having Kontiola as a 2nd line wing was probably one of the more unrealistic things in my roster, but I wanted the top-2 lines to have a player with the ability to shoot from the right side. If we exclude Selänne, Aaltonen and Kontiola might be the most prominent forwards we have with that handedness.

Would be nice to go to the Olympics with a line-up without too many question marks, but with the way our player pool is at the moment, that's probably not going to happen. We have a lot of aging players, some guys returning from long injuries, a few unproven youngsters and so on.

We've seen Sami Kapanen play centre for the Finnish national team and I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of a somewhat similar surprise-solution with this team either. As an example, if we end up having 6 good centres and 7 good wingers with a clear drop-off in quality after that, one of the C's is probably going to be playing wing even if he's not accustomed to it.

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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Um... didn't I already say that the issue is not with Granlund's adaptivity, but with the game plan? Different things are expected of different lines. Granlund played well with Pihlström and Korpikoski, yes, but the role was still very much an offensive one. Same would not be the case if he was to play in a line issued more heavy grinder duties.

Yes, there are hockey philosophies where you can try to run with all four cylinders creating offense, but that has practically never been the case with Team Finland. Jalonen did try to break that formula a couple of times, but that was more a force of circumstance than anything. Erkka, however, is far more conservative than him. If he has the pick of any players he likes, the 4th line will be a standard two-way grinder unit with offense being a side product. Granlund could end up performing adequately, but it'd be a waste of his talents.
I edited my previous reply after reading your posts for the 2nd time last night. It remains to be seen what the role or style of the 3rd and 4th line with Erkka, and how well Granlund might fit there if he's not a top-6 forward. For what it's worth, at the previous Olympics our only hardnosed wingers were the Ruutu brothers and we had guys like Niko Kapanen, Ville Peltonen, Antti Miettinen and Niklas Hagman in our lower lines. At least Granlund wouldn't differentiate that radically from these players when it comes to grinding.

At Erkka's last Olympics in 2006 he had Jarkko Ruutu and Ville Nieminen in his disposal, so he had the option to go with a "grinding" 4th line. Whether or not a similar line ends up being a good option with the current player pool is of course anyone's guess at this point.

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07-26-2013, 12:35 PM
  #344
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I don't remember seeing Kontiola play wing recently and I can't be certain how he'd adapt or perform playing that position. I didn't contradict myself, I simply went with the hypothesis I had of him, which was that he'd probably do better as a wing than Koivu bros or Barkov. And I don't think I wrote anything about giving time to adapt or to sort out chemistry.
You still speculated that Kontiola's inability to play wing could be due to bad line chemistry. And the thing is, if the issue actually is with that and one needs to sort it out, there are two avenues to go. Either shuffle the lines and try new ones, or let the current linemates work out the kinks. Both require precious time, something the olympics won't provide.

Kontiola wasn't very adaptive to wing position a year ago. And given how he's played exclusively center since that little experiment, I doubt he's gotten any better at it. And even if he has, actually realizing it would still require a pretty wild experiment - and the olympics are not the right place to experiment, unless one has his hand forced to it.

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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
All the existing evidence that I have of Konna's ability to play wing is your word, you have to take that into consideration. You gave me some reasoning in your previous post, but before that pretty much all I heard from you was "can't play" or "couldn't play", so it's not a surprise I wanted to hear more.
Fair enough. I initially assumed that you'd seen the same games I had (we are, after all, on a hockey-oriented forum and having a rather in-depth debate surrounding a team that is obviously very dear to both of us), so I thought that maybe stipulating your memory would be enough. Not so fair an assumption after all. My bad.

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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I have to emphasize again that the roster I posted "is roughly how I'd personally like to see it ATM". Meaning that I'd much rather see Aaltonen instead of Selänne, Kontiola instead of Leino, Barkov instead of O.Jokinen, and Ristolainen instead of someone like Laakso, Lepistö or Niskala. I simply picked the players I'd roughly like to see there without sacrificing too much quality in the process. People here can argue against my roster all they want, but it's probably not going stop me from trying to "fantasize".
There actually is a solid grounding to most of your fantasies, and most have a possible avenue open for them that can take them closer to reality. Aaltonen can have a solid fall pointwise, making him an option to elderly Selänne, especially if Teemu struggles. (Of course, mere "struggles" are probably not enough for Erkka to competely drop him, but at least they should make him consider other avenues.) Barkov seems slated to clock steady NHL minutes. Him outplaying OJ is again, possible. Ristolainen may break the Buffalo roster, and even if he doesn't, proving one's mettle in the AHL may be good enough, given how thin we are on defense. It requires a lot of gears falling into right positions, but at least there's a chance that they do.

If Kontiola was to play wing, we'd need a similar case of him doing good in that position before the roster is named. Which means he'd have to play wing in Traktor. Unfortunately, I don't see that having any kind of chance at all. It's simply not grounded in the same logic, which is why I picked on it.

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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Having Kontiola as a 2nd line wing was probably one of the more unrealistic things in my roster, but I wanted the top-2 lines to have a player with the ability to shoot from the right side. If we exclude Selänne, Aaltonen and Kontiola might be the most prominent forwards we have with that handedness.
If you want to have a righty shot on a line, it doesn't, you know, have to be the RW. Kontiola can still utilize that quality he has while being on a lane far more familiar to him. Of course, that'd mean having Barkov somewhere lower or out altogether, but such choices are the bread and butter when putting together a lineup.

You know, since we're fantasizing, there's always Armia. Him developing to an olympic caliber scoring winger in mere months of time is of course a long shot, but it's still shorter than Konna turning into one.

It might be a difference in philosophy, but to me building a lineup that has all the textbook theory in place never beats one that displays some existing chemistry and players in their natural habitat, even if that occasionally leads to solutions that overlooks handednesses and other minutiae. Because it's exactly the formula that has brought us pretty nice results from the last few best-on-best tournaments...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Would be nice to go to the Olympics with a line-up without too many question marks, but with the way our player pool is at the moment, that's probably not going to happen. We have a lot of aging players, some guys returning from long injuries, a few unproven youngsters and so on.

We've seen Sami Kapanen play centre for the Finnish national team and I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of a somewhat similar surprise-solution with this team either. As an example, if we end up having 6 good centres and 7 good wingers with a clear drop-off in quality after that, one of the C's is probably going to be playing wing even if he's not accustomed to it.
We've seen Sami Kapanen play centre at a WHC. With the olympics, the initial assumption while building lineup should always stem from the ideal situation. The reality has a nasty tendency to throw some spanners into the works of course, but going with an assumption that something happens while something does not is not exactly the right way to go either, since that tends out to be a jumbling mess of illogicalities, all in one's head.

Besides, last I checked I thought we had a deep enough pool of players we can slot into rather natural positions in our olympic roster without noticeable drop in quality even if some of the question marks turn out to be busts. And there's still even a buffer for an injury or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I edited my previous reply after reading your posts for the 2nd time last night. It remains to be seen what the role or style of the 3rd and 4th line with Erkka, and how well Granlund might fit there if he's not a top-6 forward. For what it's worth, at the previous Olympics our only hardnosed wingers were the Ruutu brothers and we had guys like Niko Kapanen, Ville Peltonen, Antti Miettinen and Niklas Hagman in our lower lines. At least Granlund wouldn't differentiate that radically from these players when it comes to grinding.
Last olympics, our initial 4th line was Peltonen - Kapanen - J.Ruutu, which is very typical sort of line to me. Two forwards for whom playing the reliable defense-first two-way game comes as a natural occurence and doesn't require any adaptivity, and then the resident bonehead. So yeah, very much roled according to the formula, which btw, usually only applies as a staple to the 4th only. 3rd is either defensive, offensive or a mix of both, bit depending on players at your disposal. Best-on-best, it's usually been little more offensive than defensive. So bringing Hagman, Miettinen and such into this discussion is a moot point, since they were not roled out of their natural habitat last time around.

And even if they were, they are still not exactly players I'd compare to Granlund. Hagman is your very typical power forward and while Miettinen is a more or less an all-around guy. They have far less natural abilities to zone out from than Granlund does should they find the need to grind. So no, not comparable at all.

If you want to have a 4th line with offensive flair, why don't you just place Barkov there? He's a far more natural fit than MiG is, and you don't have to come up with any kind of frivolous arguments to justify it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
At Erkka's last Olympics in 2006 he had Jarkko Ruutu and Ville Nieminen in his disposal, so he had the option to go with a "grinding" 4th line. Whether or not a similar line ends up being a good option with the current player pool is of course anyone's guess at this point.
Komarov, Joensuu, Bergenheim, Hartikainen, Petrell, Pihlström... and they're just the tip of the iceberg. Only reason for having the 4th roled differently is if we suddenly had a shortage of reliable two-way guys - and well... we actually have far more of them battling it out for those remaining two slots than we'll ever have for the three lines above 'em. Lady Fortuna would need to pull a double shift and hire some extra help to sideline 'em all.


Last edited by FiLe: 07-26-2013 at 01:19 PM.
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07-28-2013, 06:10 AM
  #345
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Komarov, Joensuu, Bergenheim, Hartikainen, Petrell, Pihlström... and they're just the tip of the iceberg. Only reason for having the 4th roled differently is if we suddenly had a shortage of reliable two-way guys - and well... we actually have far more of them battling it out for those remaining two slots than we'll ever have for the three lines above 'em. Lady Fortuna would need to pull a double shift and hire some extra help to sideline 'em all.
I'm starting to repeat myself quite badly, but I'll make one final comment on the players you listed above. Komarov will likely be there if in good shape and Pihlström could make a fairly decent utility player, but there are still some question marks with the other players you listed. Hartikainen and Petrell have never even played at men's World Championship's and it's unclear what kind of success they'll find with their new teams. Joensuu might be sitting in the press-box for half of the upcoming season and playing 6 to 8 minutes a night for the other half. Bergeinheim played 2 games last season and is returning from a groin injury.

Having players who offer some sandpaper on the side is nice, but the reality is that we have a very limited number of such players with the ability to compete against the best players of the world. Someone like Petrell would certainly look like a everyday 4th liner, no problem, but I'm a bit sceptical about the overall value he'd bring to the team at Euro-Olympics.

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07-28-2013, 10:19 AM
  #346
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http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=6...d=nhl:topheads

I love Kimelman's defense. Time to let Karalahti,Väänänen,Kukkonen,... go. I see Timonen Salo Pitkänen Lydman & Vatanen being in the team already but we need 2 more. We have Määttä who can handle his own end,has size 6'2 (188cm) and 205 pounds (93kg), his skating is great and has also great hands, shot and vision.

Ristolainen is also sized 6'4 and 224 pound, has hands, vision, shot, and boy he can skate. I know some of you guys are thinking ''oh boy no way'' ''what he's like 18 yo and you are considering him to the olympics.''
but i think his game is very mature and has alredy the biggest body of team finland.

Sothsi? is played on big ice. That means opponents having more time and space. That's why we need dmen who can skate. Väänänen and the other old farts just arent capable of keeping up with fast guys which we are going to face.

With Timonen-Salo-Vatanen-Pitkänen-Lydman-Ristolainen-Määttä there's only two guys Lydman&Salo whose skating ability is concerning me.

I'd go with:

Timonen-Salo

Pitkänen-Määttä

Lydman-Vatanen

Ristolainen


Last edited by loudis: 07-28-2013 at 10:33 AM.
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07-28-2013, 12:13 PM
  #347
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I'm starting to repeat myself quite badly, but I'll make one final comment on the players you listed above. Komarov will likely be there if in good shape and Pihlström could make a fairly decent utility player, but there are still some question marks with the other players you listed. Hartikainen and Petrell have never even played at men's World Championship's and it's unclear what kind of success they'll find with their new teams. Joensuu might be sitting in the press-box for half of the upcoming season and playing 6 to 8 minutes a night for the other half. Bergeinheim played 2 games last season and is returning from a groin injury.
A grinder's ability to play is not so form-dependent as someone's who mans a scoring role. While the latter either find the net or surf frustratingly outside the game, the former rarely need nothing more than be able to skate once they've proven their mettle.

Komarov, Pihlström and Joensuu have quite done so on NT stage. Petrell has played a full season's worth of NHL hockey in the very role. Bergenheim has both credentials. This means that the only one with somewhat unknown qualities out of them is Hartikainen. But if the rest are healthy and playing at least somewhat regularly, it means they're very well good enough to execute a grinder role in Sochi.

Of course, if one demands more of them than just that, then it won't be as simple. But very few will do.

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Originally Posted by loudis View Post
I love Kimelman's defense. Time to let Karalahti,Väänänen,Kukkonen,... go. I see Timonen Salo Pitkänen Lydman & Vatanen being in the team already but we need 2 more. We have Määttä who can handle his own end,has size 6'2 (188cm) and 205 pounds (93kg), his skating is great and has also great hands, shot and vision.

Ristolainen is also sized 6'4 and 224 pound, has hands, vision, shot, and boy he can skate. I know some of you guys are thinking ''oh boy no way'' ''what he's like 18 yo and you are considering him to the olympics.''
but i think his game is very mature and has alredy the biggest body of team finland.

Sothsi? is played on big ice. That means opponents having more time and space. That's why we need dmen who can skate. Väänänen and the other old farts just arent capable of keeping up with fast guys which we are going to face.
I love our young guys as much as the next man and truly believe they're going to be great NT assets one day, but no way no how is Määttä, who still will spend most of his time in the CHL to make it from there.

I can however see the growing case for Ristolainen (even though he's, ironically, younger than Määttä). A meager chance to break a NHL roster from get-go, or at least a good shot to prove to be AHL elite. Boy do I hope everything would go to plan with him.

But even if it doesn't... I take heavy offense towards the fact that you call guys like Väänänen and Kukkonen old. They may be skilless hacks with no hockey vision (or at least one of them is), but they're not old. They're 32 and 31 years of age, which doesn't make them old even by hockey player standards. Now, I can see the case for ousting Kukkonen because he's helped make nitro retailers very happy for the past five years or so, but Väänänen has still been nothing but reliable. He's good enough and should have a very fair shot of making it.

And even if you do figure that there're better options, thou shall find a better argument for ousting them than calling them "old farts" and "slow", because they're anything but.

Okay brat, now bring grampa's cane over here so I can whip you to oblivion...

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07-28-2013, 01:57 PM
  #348
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Is Ristolainen really permitted to play in the AHL at his age? Not sure what the rules say nowadays.

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07-28-2013, 02:00 PM
  #349
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
Is Ristolainen really permitted to play in the AHL at his age? Not sure what the rules say nowadays.
The age limitations only concern those who have played in the CHL. Ristolainen coming over from Europe with no CHL experience means he is AHL eligible.

Määttä needs one more season in the CHL before he turns 20, Ristolainen can go to the adult farm from the boot.

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07-28-2013, 04:27 PM
  #350
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Originally Posted by loudis View Post
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=6...d=nhl:topheads

I love Kimelman's defense. Time to let Karalahti,Väänänen,Kukkonen,... go. I see Timonen Salo Pitkänen Lydman & Vatanen being in the team already but we need 2 more. We have Määttä who can handle his own end,has size 6'2 (188cm) and 205 pounds (93kg), his skating is great and has also great hands, shot and vision.

Ristolainen is also sized 6'4 and 224 pound, has hands, vision, shot, and boy he can skate. I know some of you guys are thinking ''oh boy no way'' ''what he's like 18 yo and you are considering him to the olympics.''
but i think his game is very mature and has alredy the biggest body of team finland.

Sothsi? is played on big ice. That means opponents having more time and space. That's why we need dmen who can skate. Väänänen and the other old farts just arent capable of keeping up with fast guys which we are going to face.

With Timonen-Salo-Vatanen-Pitkänen-Lydman-Ristolainen-Määttä there's only two guys Lydman&Salo whose skating ability is concerning me.

I'd go with:

Timonen-Salo

Pitkänen-Määttä

Lydman-Vatanen

Ristolainen
Määttä plays in the ******* CHL. You dont go from junior hockey to the Olympics just like that. Maybe in Korea.

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