The 2012-13 season in Finland's SM-Liiga was interesting, to say the least.
With an influx of NHL players early in the season due to the NHL lockout, the level of play was higher than in recent years. When those players returned to their NHL clubs, the remainder of the season saw several teams which had not had much success recently in the thick of things.
Jokerit, thanks to a fast start with players like Erik Karlsson and Valtteri Filppula in the lineup, had the league's best record in the regular season but was eliminated in its first playoff series. Tappara Tampere finished second after missing the playoffs the two previous seasons and reached the Kanada Cup finals for the first time since it won the championship in 2002-03.… read more