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2014 - Finland Roster Discussion

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Old
05-09-2013, 11:29 AM
  #201
FiLe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jokista View Post
Not a boatful, but at least four. Four is enough to prevent him from having candidacy for the second line, which is what you claimed he had.
Currently, Finland's likely top-six is looking strongly as something like this:

Filppula - Koivu - Ruutu
Korpikoski/Granlund/J.Jokinen - Kontiola (or some other centre) - X

That X is the so-called "Selänne slot". If Teemu is still playing, that's where he'll be. However, if he is NOT playing, there are a handful of players with various intangibles who can be placed there. Any of our NHL guys can be tried there. But none of them are not natural fits in that place. Therefore, Aaltonen has very much a chance. Especially if Konna is the 2C, because he and Aaltonen have chemistry. If that comes to pass, the remaining two of Korpikoski, Granlund and Jokinen will be the wings of the 3rd line.

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05-09-2013, 11:35 AM
  #202
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So it's pretty much a given that Kontiola has replaced Immonen as our go-to offensive KHL center? At least judged by this tournament Kontiola has looked better than Immonen ever has, and Kontiola is probably more capable of playing an offensively productive game against the top teams than Immonen.

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05-09-2013, 11:41 AM
  #203
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Originally Posted by YARR123 View Post
So it's pretty much a given that Kontiola has replaced Immonen as our go-to offensive KHL center?
If we compare them head-to-head, Kontiola and Immonen have been in two major tournament squads at the same time, WHC 2010 and 2012. Konna couldn't contend for the 2011 team due to injury.

Both times, Kontiola was the better of the two. And now he is being the playmaking leader of this team. So yeah, I'd say he's ahead of Immonen now.


In fact, depending on how Filppula and Granlund are utilized, I'd say that he might be the 2nd in our center depth even if all players are considered, stat.

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05-09-2013, 11:49 AM
  #204
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Currently, Finland's likely top-six is looking strongly as something like this:

Filppula - Koivu - Ruutu
Korpikoski/Granlund/J.Jokinen - Kontiola (or some other centre) - X

That X is the so-called "Selänne slot". If Teemu is still playing, that's where he'll be. However, if he is NOT playing, there are a handful of players with various intangibles who can be placed there. Any of our NHL guys can be tried there. But none of them are not natural fits in that place. Therefore, Aaltonen has very much a chance. Especially if Konna is the 2C, because he and Aaltonen have chemistry. If that comes to pass, the remaining two of Korpikoski, Granlund and Jokinen will be the wings of the 3rd line.
Jokinen and Korpikoski have played/can play both wing positions. And didn't Granlund play right wing in the WC that put him on a stamp? If Leino can rebound, he leaps over Aaltonen as well in my mind.


Last edited by smi: 05-09-2013 at 12:00 PM.
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05-09-2013, 12:01 PM
  #205
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Originally Posted by John Jokista View Post
Jokinen and Korpikoski have played/can play both wing positions. And didn't Granlund play right wing in the WC that put him on a stamp?
Please reread. I'm not talking about what positions they can play. I'm talking about their player profile, what kind of personal skill they have in relation to their linemates, ie. how they fit in the line. They are not "perfect" fits into that slot in that sense. Neither is Aaltonen, but he does have things Korpikoski and Granlund don't have - and that makes him a contender.

If we don't have a pure sniper - such as Selänne, it's perfectly dependent on what kind of ability Erkka wants to weigh when manning that slot. Good utility player, energy, two-way game? Korpikoski. World-class playmaking? Granlund. Dangling, possible familiarity with the centre? Aaltonen.

See? Because they're not players cut of the same cloth, their chances on manning said slot is dependent on what the coach wants to see there. He is not just going to place the best player overall.


Also, best to clarify: I'm not arguing that Aaltonen should be on that slot. What I'm arguing against is your comment that simply having four overall better players in NHL is enough alone to drop him out of top-six. It's not.

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05-09-2013, 12:18 PM
  #206
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Please reread. I'm not talking about what positions they can play. I'm talking about their player profile, what kind of personal skill they have in relation to their linemates, ie. how they fit in the line. They are not "perfect" fits into that slot in that sense. Neither is Aaltonen, but he does have things Korpikoski and Granlund don't have - and that makes him a contender.

If we don't have a pure sniper - such as Selänne, it's perfectly dependent on what kind of ability Erkka wants to weigh when manning that slot. Good utility player, energy, two-way game? Korpikoski. World-class playmaking? Granlund. Dangling, possible familiarity with the centre? Aaltonen.

See? Because they're not players cut of the same cloth, their chances on manning said slot is dependent on what the coach wants to see there. He is not just going to place the best player overall.


Also, best to clarify: I'm not arguing that Aaltonen should be on that slot. What I'm arguing against is your comment that simply having four overall better players in NHL is enough alone to drop him out of top-six. It's not.
Ah, gotcha.

I agree, Westerlund does have a lot of options. But as it stands, I don't see Aaltonen making the Olympic team as a top 6 player. He's just not good enough in my opinion. He can change that opinion, and I'll be happy if he does, but right now I wouldn't call him a candidate.

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05-09-2013, 12:19 PM
  #207
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Originally Posted by roto View Post
Previously you said said that we have boatful of wingers better than Aaltonen and Pesonen. Yes, we have many decent centers but we don't have wingers. Only right handed wingers we have in NHL are Selänne, Ruutu and Miettinen.

It's clear that we can (and will) make some of the centers play as wingers, but still it doesn't require many injuries that we need Aaltonen.

It's one strategy to fill the line-up with the best available players and try to fit them into roles that they're not familiar with. Canada has tried that many times and failed often, and they have elite players unlike we have.There's no enough time in such short tournament to get used to an unfamiliar role on bigger size.

Erkka should select the best players suitable in each role. The players should not be selected based on history either. Olli Jokinen had really bad season and the previous season wasn't good either. I'm not sure if I want to see him in Sochi. Ville Leino hasn't proved that he's currently good enough. Granlund hasn't been particularly good this year and he wasn't good in last WC either.

I'd choose Jussi Jokinen to be the 13th forward, because he's passable in every role and can be even good sometimes.

I'm not some KHL fanboy, but I don't think our ~3rd liners in NHL are automatically supposed to perform better on big ice in Sochi than players who've used to play in big offensive role on big ice.
You seriously need to re-read what I said. I said there would have to be a boatload of winger INJURIES for those guys to have a real shot. I'd consider four injured plausible top 6 wingers a boatload injury-wise, especially considering the resources we currently have. It's also not a necessity for a right winger to be a right-handed shot.

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05-09-2013, 12:41 PM
  #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jokista View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by roto
Can you provide a list of Finnish right handed wingers in NHL who are better than Aaltonen to be play in offensive role on big ice in Sochi?
No. Can you provide a list of reasons why that question is relevant?
My point is we have only Selänne, Ruutu and Miettinen who are right handed and play in NHL and couple of left handed in addition. Ruutu is quite locked for top-2 lines. Our other wingers (L+R) have barely played in top-2 lines.

Selänne has been excellent, was still good last year but hasn't been good this year. I started to follow Ducks partly because Selänne, but this season I've hoped many times that he'll be benched. I've watched basically all Ducks games during last few years so I know what I'm talking about. His puck handling is poor and he's defensive liability. I wouldn't like to see him to defend against top teams in Sochi.

Korpikoski is nice overall player but that's not something what's needed in 2nd line. Granlund can play as winger but currently he hasn't proved that he's good enough to be 'locked' for 2nd line.

Saku Koivu is locked for 3rd line center role if he continues at same level next season. I'd probably like to see Kontiola as our 2nd line center if he continues playing this well (or even better) next season. On the other hand Kontiola could be our 4th line center and he could be thrown to top lines if needed.

Still, many countries have been trying to stack their team with elite players in olympics and WC, and usually it has failed. If we stack our 2nd line only with mediocre players like Jokinen, Korpikoski or Granlund, it likely won't be a receipt for success. Maybe it's better to try to construct best possible team instead.

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05-09-2013, 12:44 PM
  #209
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Originally Posted by roto View Post
My point is we have only Selänne, Ruutu and Miettinen who are right handed and play in NHL and couple of left handed in addition. Ruutu is quite locked for top-2 lines. Our other wingers (L+R) have barely played in top-2 lines.
You know, Ruutu is a lefty. You just shot down your own argument.

Handedness has nothing to do with whether a player can play right or left wing. There are also righties who prefer being on left wing. Prime example: Alexander Ovechkin.

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05-09-2013, 12:50 PM
  #210
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
You know, Ruutu is a lefty. You just shot down your own argument.

Handedness has nothing to do with whether a player can play right or left wing. While a rarity, there are also righties who prefer being on left wing. Prime example: Alexander Ovechkin.
I didn't shoot it down. It just proves how shallow our right hander pool is. One 42-year-old and Miettinen. I agree that it's not that important to be right handed.

Anyway, my point was that our winger pool in NHL is very small and those players aren't very good either, so they can't be locked to 2nd line at least now. I hope the situation is better next season.

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05-09-2013, 01:00 PM
  #211
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Originally Posted by roto View Post
Anyway, my point was that our winger pool in NHL is very small and those players aren't very good either, so they can't be locked to 2nd line at least now. I hope the situation is better next season.
No, what you were specifically saying is that we don't have enough righties and therefore Aaltonen should contend because he is a righty - and that is not just right. Especially when one of the players who was supposed to be a "right" righty is in fact a lefty.

Aaltonen should contend, but it's due to his other abilities, not because of the hook he wields. And our winger pool IS shallow, with that I can agree.

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05-09-2013, 01:08 PM
  #212
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
No, what you were specifically saying is that we don't have enough righties and therefore Aaltonen should contend because he is a righty - and that is not just right. Especially when one of the players who was supposed to be a "right" righty is in fact a lefty.

Aaltonen should contend, but it's due to his other abilities, not because of the hook he wields. And our winger pool IS shallow, with that I can agree.
Sorry, I agree I didn't make myself clear. I didn't mean that Aaltonen should be in the team because he's right handed. I used right handedness only to emphasize how shallow our winger pool is.

Actually I'm not fan of Aaltonen either, but he's got some skills that are needed and is able to take advantage of big ice.

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05-09-2013, 01:22 PM
  #213
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V.Filppula-M.Koivu-T.Ruutu
J.Jokinen-J.Lehterä/S.Koivu-Mi.Granlund
V.Leino-P.Kontiola-JM-Aaltonen/Selänne
L.Korpikoski-A.Barkov-L.Komarov
13th: S.Bergenheim/J.Joensuu

Armia or Pulkkinen can also replace Leino when MG whiches to LW. Koskiranta can also make it as 13th forward if keeps up the good work.

Defence is big question mark as of now

Timonen-Salo
Pitkänen-X
X-Vatanen
Väänänen

Lydman,Järvinen,Hietanen,Jalasvaara,Lepistö are the front runners for the remaining spots. Niskala,Melart,Kukkonen,Mäenpää,Ristolainen,Määttä ,Eronen,Hakanpää with a outside change

Goalies are pretty much set

Rinne
Rask
Niemi/Lehtonen/Raanta

I think lack of right-handed guys on the forward is a big deal because we have Vatanen and Salo for the powerplay.


Last edited by JJTT: 05-09-2013 at 02:17 PM.
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05-17-2013, 05:28 AM
  #214
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Interesting stuff on the Sochi team in today's Urheilusanomat. They left MiG out of their fantasy lineup, while a guy like Leino is in. They say Granlund can contend if he improves next season.

They also think Vatanen needs to make Anaheim's regular lineup if he wants to be on the team and that guys like Nummelin have a shot. I can't even describe how angry I'll be if Nummelin is in but a healthy Vatanen isn't. It doesn't matter that one of them has experience (God, this team has too much experience if anything!), Vatanen is and will be better than what Nummelin is now. Neither of of them is very good defensively, but one of them can improve while the other one's 40 years old. Nummelin is going to be an SM-liiga defenseman next season and even if Vats doesn't make the Ducks, he'll probably be the best OD in the AHL. That has to count for something.

Leaving both Granlund and Vatanen out would be very unwise IMO. There's going to be more than enough experience on the team even if these kids get in, and I don't want to think that NOBODY from this new generation of Finnish players has any Olympic experience until 2018 when they're bound to have a lot more first-timers than now.

I get that you want to build the best possible team to be successful now, but at this point I think you need to think of the future too. If this team makes it to the top 4, I'll be more than happy. A medal would be a huge plus, regardless of the color. But I don't think having TWO (just two) youngsters along with the vets would ruin our medal chances this time and they'd be able to help out the other players of their generation in 2018.

Also, it seems that the IIHF is going to allow extended rosters in Sochi:

Quote:
One detail from IIHF release: Olympic teams can roster 22 skaters and 3 goalies in Sochi as opposed to 20+3 as in 2010. Adds flexibility.
https://twitter.com/chrismpeters/sta...57237578072064

If this is true, there's absolutely no reason not to take both Vatanen and Granlund along, whether they're established NHL players or not.

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05-17-2013, 08:58 AM
  #215
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Originally Posted by Gaps View Post

If this is true, there's absolutely no reason not to take both Vatanen and Granlund along, whether they're established NHL players or not.
Both are locks. They're both among the very best at their position for Finland. There is no way either is left off without an injury.

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05-17-2013, 12:12 PM
  #216
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Both are locks. They're both among the very best at their position for Finland. There is no way either is left off without an injury.
This, pretty much.

Vatanen especially is so much a lock as a lock can be. Our defense pool is extremely shallow, and he's among the four best ODs, no matter whether he plays in NHL or in Mestis. It is simply unprofessionalism to suggest he doesn't have room. Or then the reporter is simply a sensationalist tool.

Now, Granlund... of course he will be in, his status as the ilmaveivi-hero alone will guarantee that, but from a purely objective standpoint, the argument to leave him out is within the realm of rational. We may have enough forwards making a case for themselves in the next year that dropping him could be argued, no matter how much of a stretch it is.


Who wrote the story, by the way? If it was one of Rantanen or Nyholm, they usually don't go this out at sea unless they have some solid arguments to back it up. But if Juha Hiitelä was involved, then I don't wonder a bit. He is in the same category as Esko Seppänen - not doing his job for the integrity of journalism, but to cause as much buzz as possible.

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05-17-2013, 01:37 PM
  #217
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Who wrote the story, by the way? If it was one of Rantanen or Nyholm, they usually don't go this out at sea unless they have some solid arguments to back it up. But if Juha Hiitelä was involved, then I don't wonder a bit. He is in the same category as Esko Seppänen - not doing his job for the integrity of journalism, but to cause as much buzz as possible.
It was Rantanen and Joose Palonen. It sounds that they've been talking to Erkka about some things and then drawn some conclusions on their own.

The only argument I can think of not taking Vatanen along if he's in the AHL is if AHL players aren't allowed to go to the Olympics and therefore he'd be forced to decline. I don't know what the deal is, but I remember some AHL teams releasing players to play in the Olympic qualification recently and it'd be stupid as hell if they didn't agree to let them go to the actual Olympics as well. I believe both Granlund and Vatanen will see AHL time as well as NHL next season, so what is the deal with them? Can they even be chosen on the final team unless we can be 110% sure they're playing in the NHL when it's time for Sochi? If so, it complicates things.

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05-17-2013, 02:17 PM
  #218
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Hmm. If I were to take a guess, Rantanen is smart enough to know that Mikke is a lock, but he has an aversion towards playing the hype whistle. Could be that it's some kind of a convoluted stab at Kummola.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
The only argument I can think of not taking Vatanen along if he's in the AHL is if AHL players aren't allowed to go to the Olympics and therefore he'd be forced to decline. I don't know what the deal is, but I remember some AHL teams releasing players to play in the Olympic qualification recently and it'd be stupid as hell if they didn't agree to let them go to the actual Olympics as well. I believe both Granlund and Vatanen will see AHL time as well as NHL next season, so what is the deal with them? Can they even be chosen on the final team unless we can be 110% sure they're playing in the NHL when it's time for Sochi? If so, it complicates things.
When a player plays in AHL but under the NHL affiliate deal, the final word on where a player is whenever is with the NHL club. Technically this means that if the NHL club tells the AHL one to release its players for anything, even the World Championships, the farm club has to agree. Of course, this doesn't happen all so often. But once the agreement gets sealed, the NHL organizations are under contractual obligations to release their players to the olympics, and at least in the past, it has applied to ALL players they have under contract. So no, the NHL club can't prevent a player from participating by "burying" him to the AHL.

If the player has a contract only with the AHL club, then of course his release is a matter between said club and the player's respective NT.


By the way, at least according to this post at Jatkoaika boards, Vatanen is on their suggested squad.


---

That 22+3 rule is a curious tidbit, and a welcome addition. It could allow us to continue playing 12+8 as favored by Jalonen and still have those extra two forwards to spare. Interesting to see what Erkka does here. Usually, one would say that having your top guys play big minutes is nothing unusual because that's what they've been used to, but in here, our top guys are starting to age and are somewhat injury prone... so having that extra pair to add a breather could be beneficial.


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05-17-2013, 02:29 PM
  #219
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When a player plays in AHL but under the NHL affiliate deal, the final word on where a player is whenever is with the NHL club. Technically this means that if the NHL club tells the AHL one to release its players for anything, even the World Championships, the farm club has to agree. Of course, this doesn't happen all so often. But once the agreement gets sealed, the NHL organizations are under contractual obligations to release their players to the olympics, and at least in the past, it has applied to ALL players they have under contract. So no, the NHL club can't prevent a player from participating by "burying" him to the AHL.

If the player has a contract only with the AHL club, then of course his release is a matter between said club and the player's respective NT.
Good to know. Hope it all still stands.

Quote:
By the way, at least according to this post at Jatkoaika boards, Vatanen is on their suggested squad.
Yes, he is in that squad but they comment on his chances in the text part, saying he needs to make the Ducks in order to go to Sochi. That just doesn't make any sense to me, because he's already one of the best PP weapons Finland has and he's proven he can play on the big ice.

Quote:
That 22+3 rule is a curious tidbit, and a welcome addition. It could allow us to continue playing 12+8 as favored by Jalonen and still have those extra two forwards to spare. Interesting to see what Erkka does here. Usually, one would say that having your top guys play big minutes is nothing unusual because that's what they've been used to, but in here, our top guys are starting to age and are somewhat injury prone... so having that extra pair to add a breather could be beneficial.
It is interesting to see what he decides to do. Personally I think we'll still go with 6 D, because that's what those guys are used to. The only reason to go for 8 D would be to reduce the minutes played by the old guard and Vats with his defensive deficiencies.

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05-17-2013, 02:51 PM
  #220
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Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
It is interesting to see what he decides to do. Personally I think we'll still go with 6 D, because that's what those guys are used to. The only reason to go for 8 D would be to reduce the minutes played by the old guard and Vats with his defensive deficiencies.
The guys we will likely have on our top pair are already starting to see reduced minutes. Salo's TOIs in Tampa were between 10 to 20 this season. Timonen played more, but this was very likely in part due to Philly's D being riddled with injuries. But in reality, the only guy we currently have playing closer to 30 than 20 minutes is Pitkänen.

Our top pair in the current WHC, Lepistö-Hietanen are clocking 20 mins a night despite the full rotation, so having the old guard play the same minutes at Sochi still makes the adjustment rather minimal.

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05-18-2013, 01:07 AM
  #221
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Miettinen-M.Koivu-Ruutu
Leino-S.Koivu-Selanne
Korpikoski-Barkov-Granlund
Hartikainen-Komorov-J.Jokinen
Kontiola

Timonen-Vatanen
Pitkanen-Salo
Lydman-Lepisto
Vaananen

Rask
Rinne
Kiprusoff

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05-18-2013, 01:34 AM
  #222
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Originally Posted by Kershaw View Post
Miettinen-M.Koivu-Ruutu
Leino-S.Koivu-Selanne
Korpikoski-Barkov-Granlund
Hartikainen-Komorov-J.Jokinen
Kontiola

Timonen-Vatanen
Pitkanen-Salo
Lydman-Lepisto
Vaananen

Rask
Rinne
Kiprusoff

Kipru is out btw but its not like where we are thin.

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05-18-2013, 02:06 AM
  #223
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Originally Posted by Kershaw View Post
Miettinen-M.Koivu-Ruutu
Leino-S.Koivu-Selanne
Korpikoski-Barkov-Granlund
Hartikainen-Komorov-J.Jokinen
Kontiola

Timonen-Vatanen
Pitkanen-Salo
Lydman-Lepisto
Vaananen

Rask
Rinne
Kiprusoff
Kipru has no way making the top-3 anymore and he don't want either, I think. Goalies: Rinne, Rask, Niemi

It's highly unlikely that there's room for Miettinen in Team Finland (let alone 1st line). We have so many centers that Barkov is not likely needed, even though he might be good enough. I've seen all Ducks games this year and don't want to see Selänne in Sochi. He's not good enough anymore.

The roster could be something like this:
1st: Filppula-M Koivu-Ruutu
2nd: Kontiola, X, X
3rd: S Koivu, Korpikoski, X
4th: Komarov, X, X
X

There are a bunch of players competing for those 6 places:
Offensive roles: Granlund, Leino, Aaltonen, Pesonen, O Jokinen, Immonen, Lehterä
Defensive roles: Jesse Joensuu, Sean Bergenheim, N Kapanen
General: J Jokinen, Barkov
Joker: Selänne (if he doesn't retire and is able to play like in 11-12)

Empty spots should be filled next season when it's known who are hot and in the best shape. Saku was good enough for 3rd center role this year, but I'm not sure about next year.

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05-18-2013, 03:47 AM
  #224
agent082
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J Jokinen is playing with M Koivu and Ruutu or not playing at all. It seems that he is nowadays pretty much useless if he can't play with best players.

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Old
05-18-2013, 04:04 AM
  #225
Depch
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Granlund-M.Koivu-Ruutu (Granlund-Koivu connection is there, Granlund should improve strenght & speed this offseason also to make it even better)
Filppula-Kontiola-Aaltonen (Konna-Aaltonen connection seems to be working, also think Selänne on a mid season tourney will be too tired to give a punch, though he'd make the powerplay always better, someone more grinding winger could work here better for board battles than Filp, swap Joensuu & Filp?)
Joensuu-S.Koivu-Korpikoski (Koivu with defensive role in Anaheim, should make it to 3rd line for us as well)
Komarov-Barkov-Bergenheim (Barkov very good defensively, give him the opportunity show it on Olympics as well, could provide some offense as well)
+ J.Jokinen for allround replacement

Timonen-Vatanen
Pitkänen-Salo
Lydman-Ristolainen (If Ristolainen keeps improving, I'd like to see him get the experience and we'd have 3 r-handed D as well)

Rask
Rinne / Niemi
Raanta (I just think he fits the role of 3rd goalie the best, surely no attitude problems and ready to hop on if necessary and still provide good goaltending)

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