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Team Finland @ 2014 WJC

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Old
12-01-2013, 03:38 PM
  #151
FiLe
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Originally Posted by RaskY View Post
We're pretty much gonna be a one line team again.
Not really. We actually do have pretty nice depth at wing. Besides Lehkonen and Kapanen, there's also H.Ikonen who's been superb in the OHL. We all know J.Ikonen has skill and then there're even guys like Haapala and Nikko. Any of those are potential top-six material.

It's the centre depth that is bit more troublesome. TT is pretty much the only proven quantity. Barkov would of course make a world of difference, but we all know he won't make it.

But if Kivi can find a decent guy to anchor down the second unit from all these unknowns, it's going to be a quite balanced team. So there's no need for all the gloom and bloom yet.

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12-01-2013, 03:57 PM
  #152
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Not really. We actually do have pretty nice depth at wing. Besides Lehkonen and Kapanen, there's also H.Ikonen who's been superb in the OHL. We all know J.Ikonen has skill and then there're even guys like Haapala and Nikko. Any of those are potential top-six material.

It's the centre depth that is bit more troublesome. TT is pretty much the only proven quantity. Barkov would of course make a world of difference, but we all know he won't make it.

But if Kivi can find a decent guy to anchor down the second unit from all these unknowns, it's going to be a quite balanced team. So there's no need for all the gloom and bloom yet.

Hope you are right once again, mr. FiLe. (Well,"this time" I should say. Last year we had that little debate on the ramifications of Aaltonen's injury on the team. You said it was "nothing"; I said it was a huge blow right in the very crux of the fragile balance of the team. I was right then. But bygones are bygones...)

However, Juuso Ikonen got cut last year - and I was appalled by the fact. Yet, it was not a crucial omission. In fact I don't know if he brings anything to this team even this year. He looked so weak and small even in the U18 competition last spring. Has his development really stagnated? Anyway, I would take him over guys like Mustonen - if options are this scarce. So, I wouldn't say the depth at wing is "nice" - it's horrendous. And you seem to be wrong, again...

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12-01-2013, 04:05 PM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
Hope you are right once again, mr. FiLe. (Well,"this time" I should say. Last year we had that little debate on the ramifications of Aaltonen's injury on the team. You said it was "nothing"; I said it was a huge blow right in the very crux of the fragile balance of the team. I was right then. But bygones are bygones...)
No squad with a top-six like that should collapse when it loses its 3C. That's pretty much a hockey regularity. So it was less about losing Aaltonen and more about us having lackluster coaching, which would likely have brought issues even with Aaltonen still in the lineup.

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However, Juuso Ikonen got cut last year - and I was appalled by the fact. Yet, it was not a crucial omission. In fact I don't know if he brings anything to this team even this year. He looked so weak and small even in the U18 competition last spring. Has his development really stagnated? Anyway, I would take him over guys like Mustonen - if options are this scarce. So, I wouldn't say the depth at wing is "nice" - it's horrendous. And you seem to be wrong, again...
Umm, where's that "horrendous" depth again? Even if you think J.Ikonen is questionable, that still leaves around five quality wingers to contend with - more than enough to put together a solid second line as well.

Like I said, what we need is a good 2C. If one can be found, it'll be a good squad. Of course it won't be as good on paper as it was last year, but there's still enough raw talent there that it can go far. Every other department is in order. Winger depth is okay, D will still be rather good even without the two top names of the class, and netminding will have not just one, but TWO names who are abso-bloody-lutely world class for U20 level.

And let's keep in mind that our coaching is probably more competent than in a long, long while...


Last edited by FiLe: 12-01-2013 at 04:10 PM.
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12-01-2013, 04:18 PM
  #154
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Last year we had a lot of talent on the team. It ended up being more than certain coaches could handle. This time we'll be the underdogs with good goaltending. Finland's had a tendency to do well in that position, but it requires that Saros and/or Husso are ready to take some game savers, Teräväinen and Lehkonen are able to show leadership and Pokka (or I guess RR could be in as well) needs to anchor the defense.


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However, Juuso Ikonen got cut last year - and I was appalled by the fact. Yet, it was not a crucial omission. In fact I don't know if he brings anything to this team even this year. He looked so weak and small even in the U18 competition last spring. Has his development really stagnated? Anyway, I would take him over guys like Mustonen - if options are this scarce. So, I wouldn't say the depth at wing is "nice" - it's horrendous. And you seem to be wrong, again...
Well, the coaching staff needed to get Bilbo Järveläinen on the team. Using Ikonen instead of someone even smaller wouldn't have made a negative difference in that hot mess.

Mustonen's not that skilled offensively, but he's a center and the center depth on this team is pretty bad. Ikonen's a winger, so they're not even battling for the same spot.

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12-01-2013, 04:24 PM
  #155
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Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
Well, the coaching staff needed to get Bilbo Järveläinen on the team. Using Ikonen instead of someone even smaller wouldn't have made a negative difference in that hot mess.

Mustonen's not that skilled offensively, but he's a center and the center depth on this team is pretty bad. Ikonen's a winger, so they're not even battling for the same spot.
Bilbo Järvelainen... I had forgot him altogether.But he had a decent camp. -- Anyway, quite right. Ikonen would hardly have been any worse option then.

Yes, this Mustonen seems to be a center but why to take him over Aleksi Saarela? Just asking.

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12-01-2013, 05:38 PM
  #156
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Not really. We actually do have pretty nice depth at wing. Besides Lehkonen and Kapanen, there's also H.Ikonen who's been superb in the OHL. We all know J.Ikonen has skill and then there're even guys like Haapala and Nikko. Any of those are potential top-six material.

It's the centre depth that is bit more troublesome. TT is pretty much the only proven quantity. Barkov would of course make a world of difference, but we all know he won't make it.

But if Kivi can find a decent guy to anchor down the second unit from all these unknowns, it's going to be a quite balanced team. So there's no need for all the gloom and bloom yet.
It's just compared to other rosters in the tournament like Canada, USA, or Sweden, our roster is a clear step down from theirs. On paper at-least, who knows how they will play together.

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12-02-2013, 04:34 AM
  #157
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Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
Bilbo Järvelainen... I had forgot him altogether.But he had a decent camp. -- Anyway, quite right. Ikonen would hardly have been any worse option then.

Yes, this Mustonen seems to be a center but why to take him over Aleksi Saarela? Just asking.
Why take him over Saarela? I don't see why you couldn't take both if you wanted to. Mustonen is an ideal bottom 6 center, whereas Saarela has much more offensive talent and it's not even close. However, it seems that Kivi and the U18 coach have (at least for now) decided that Saarela plays with the younger team. I don't think anything could be lost by inviting Saarela to the WJC camp because we could certainly use a good offensive-minded 2nd line center. If it turns out Saarela can't cut it, then at least you'll know you didn't leave the stone unturned. That's what I'd do if it were up to me, but I don't know if Kivi will even test him.

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12-02-2013, 06:13 AM
  #158
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My lottery:

Saros
Husso

Pokka-Vainonen
Honka-Lehtonen
Lindell-Vainio
Parikka

Mäenalanen-Teräväinen-Lehkonen
H.Ikonen-Kinnunen-Kapanen
Nikko-Saarela-J.Ikonen
Lammikko*-Mustonen-Markkula
Haapala

*= Human wrecking ball who can score

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12-02-2013, 12:05 PM
  #159
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Any chances for CHL forwards (Jonathan Tanus, Janne Puhakka) to make this team?

What's your expectations guys? Do you think this team can finish in top 4?

Would be great to add Ristolainen...

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12-02-2013, 01:29 PM
  #160
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Originally Posted by master4071 View Post
Any chances for CHL forwards (Jonathan Tanus, Janne Puhakka) to make this team?

What's your expectations guys? Do you think this team can finish in top 4?
Neither Tanus or Parikka are so high-profile or have put up showings so particularly good that they should be considered as more than mere utility players. If they end up making it in stead of some other names in the lower echelons, they would be interesting to watch. But since the games are in our side of the pond, they don't really bring anything to the table we couldn't find closer to home.

As to making top-4... why not? It's probably not as strong on paper as the squads we've had over the last three years or so, but it's far from weak. Very balanced, I might say. Decent group of forwards with still some top talent in the mix, and same goes for defense.

Put some solid netminding behind a group like that and they can go far. And I'd dare say that in Saros and Husso we have the two most profilic U20 goalies since Tuukka Rask, who back in 2006 dragged a very weak Team Finland to medals practically all by himself.

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12-02-2013, 02:41 PM
  #161
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Finland's only hope lies in the impeccable stone wall provided by their netminders, a stone wall that doesn't crumble but stands takes and lasts proudly every hit, every shot and every trick---. Once again we will rise and fall by the awakening and decline of Gods ruling the sublime inner world of the art of netminding...

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12-03-2013, 06:23 AM
  #162
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Finland's only hope lies in the impeccable stone wall provided by their netminders, a stone wall that doesn't crumble but stands takes and lasts proudly every hit, every shot and every trick---. Once again we will rise and fall by the awakening and decline of Gods ruling the sublime inner world of the art of netminding...
How dramatic..

In reality how ever the situation is not nearly as grim as you make it sound.

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12-04-2013, 04:14 PM
  #163
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No Barkov: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/flapa...ce=twitterfeed

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12-04-2013, 04:53 PM
  #164
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Even Kivi didn't expect he would be loaned. Barkov is going to be playing with the men's team from now on. Whether it will be in February or in May remains to be seen.

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12-04-2013, 05:55 PM
  #165
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That's only good news. Barkov is much better off in the Panthers than in that tweener mess called Finland U20 national team where he looked last year lost like an elephant in a china store.

I rather watch Barkov playing big minutes for the Panthers than him trying to keep up with that hectic chaos called junior hockey.


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12-05-2013, 01:59 PM
  #166
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That's only good news. Barkov is much better off in the Panthers than in that tweener mess called Finland U20 national team where he looked last year lost like an elephant in a china store.

I rather watch Barkov playing big minutes for the Panthers than him trying to keep up with that hectic chaos called junior hockey.
Except this year we have a competent coach.

I have to say I haven't been this confident of our goaltending department pre-tournament in a long while. Both Saros and Husso could split the duties and it wouldn't matter.

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12-05-2013, 06:34 PM
  #167
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I have to say I haven't been this confident of our goaltending department pre-tournament in a long while. Both Saros and Husso could split the duties and it wouldn't matter.
+ Both are available next year too. siiiickk

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12-06-2013, 02:52 AM
  #168
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That's only good news. Barkov is much better off in the Panthers than in that tweener mess called Finland U20 national team where he looked last year lost like an elephant in a china store.

I rather watch Barkov playing big minutes for the Panthers than him trying to keep up with that hectic chaos called junior hockey.
Don't know how many Florida games you catch, but it seems as though Barkov's playing in a hectic chaotic mess either way.

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12-06-2013, 12:37 PM
  #169
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Don't know how many Florida games you catch, but it seems as though Barkov's playing in a hectic chaotic mess either way.
Actually based on the team's performances in the U-20 tournaments this season so far, Barkov would be playing more organized hockey with them than Florida.

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12-07-2013, 01:39 PM
  #170
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Except this year we have a competent coach.

I have to say I haven't been this confident of our goaltending department pre-tournament in a long while. Both Saros and Husso could split the duties and it wouldn't matter.
I just hope they can handle the situation mentally. Neither one of them was expected to be a starter in FEL before the season, now they're both in the top 5 goalies in the league. Now the people around them are expecting things from them and they know there's another goalie on the bench who's capable of being just as good.

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12-07-2013, 04:51 PM
  #171
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Sp, who are the top guns on D in this team (for WJC pool): Honka (is he a lock?), Ristolainen (is he concussioned?), Pokka?

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12-07-2013, 05:58 PM
  #172
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When will the team be presented? Hope for you guys that Risto, Maatta and Barkov will suit up. If not, Regulation round here comes Soumi.

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12-07-2013, 06:25 PM
  #173
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Sp, who are the top guns on D in this team (for WJC pool): Honka (is he a lock?), Ristolainen (is he concussioned?), Pokka?
Pokka will obviously be the no. 1 point D, so not having him would be mental.

Honka is probably going to be there. RR too if he heals in time. But picking these two for pool is a bit risky, since there's no guarantee right now that they'll be there.

It's a deep class what comes to D, there are plenty of equally good-to-decent picks to make here - so predicting who's going to make the final cut is actually kinda hard. Besides Pokka, that is.

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I just hope they can handle the situation mentally. Neither one of them was expected to be a starter in FEL before the season, now they're both in the top 5 goalies in the league. Now the people around them are expecting things from them and they know there's another goalie on the bench who's capable of being just as good.
Not exactly true. Don't know about Husso, but Saros has pretty much been groomed for greatness all year long. HPK had not a clear starter at the beginning of the season but pretty much an equal tandem in two young goalies, Saros and Tuohimaa, with both given equal minutes. So while there was challenge, it's not like he came completely out of the blue and had to fight tooth and nail to grab the starter spot. Besides, Saros has also pretty much been the go-to-guy in the lower NT age classes for a while now.

When Kivi left him off the U20 tournament some weeks ago, he flat out told him that he's a lock for the WJCs and their designated starter. If there's pressure, it's coming from the fact that Husso has emerged as such a strong challenger. Oh well, at least Saros won't get complacent.

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12-08-2013, 05:44 AM
  #174
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As the team will get announced tomorrow it's time to throw a wild guess:

Artturi Lehkonen (5'11) - Teuvo Teräväinen (5'11) - Kasperi Kapanen (6'0)
Joni Nikko (6'2) - Henri Ikonen (6'0) - Juuso Ikonen (5'9)
Saku Mäenalanen (6'3) - Saku Kinnunen (5'9) - Henrik Haapala (5'8)
Juho Lammikko (6'1) - Topi Nättinen (5'10) - Aleksi Mustonen (5'9)

Ville Pokka (6'0) - Rasmus Ristolainen (6'3)
Julius Honka (5'10) - Mikko Vainonen (6'3)
Valtteri Parikka (5'10) - Juuso Vainio (6'0)

Juuse Saros (5'10)
Ville Husso (6'2)
Kaapo Kähkönen (6'1)

It's a team of midgets but I'm not worried as the tournament isn't in a small rink.

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12-08-2013, 06:15 AM
  #175
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When will the team be presented? Hope for you guys that Risto, Maatta and Barkov will suit up. If not, Regulation round here comes Soumi.
They will announce the team tomorrow and no, Määttä and Barkov will not be there. Ristolainen probably will if he gets healthy on time.

I won't dignify your relegation round comment with an answer, but it's sweet that you apparently aren't aware of the new tournament format.

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Not exactly true. Don't know about Husso, but Saros has pretty much been groomed for greatness all year long. HPK had not a clear starter at the beginning of the season but pretty much an equal tandem in two young goalies, Saros and Tuohimaa, with both given equal minutes. So while there was challenge, it's not like he came completely out of the blue and had to fight tooth and nail to grab the starter spot. Besides, Saros has also pretty much been the go-to-guy in the lower NT age classes for a while now.

When Kivi left him off the U20 tournament some weeks ago, he flat out told him that he's a lock for the WJCs and their designated starter. If there's pressure, it's coming from the fact that Husso has emerged as such a strong challenger. Oh well, at least Saros won't get complacent.
Husso was supposed to be the 3rd goalie behind Thiessen and Ore. Thiessen's poor performance opened up a chance for him and obviously he's done very well.

Saros was expected to play in FEL, but he and Tuohimaa were supposed to be a tandem. So it was a surprise as well, albeit not as big as Husso emerging as the starter for HIFK.

At this point I wouldn't even name a starter because both of them have earned a shot. I don't care which one of them is in net, but we do not have a clear starter anymore IMO.

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