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The Sad State of Finnish Hockey

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Old
02-27-2010, 10:30 AM
  #76
Vimars
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I'm not responsible for Finnish hockey and as a fan I don't feel the need to panic becouse we only got fourth in the olympics and teemu & saku are retiring etc. The old guys have sucked this tournament and we'd be better off them. Hagman, Mikko Koivu, Filppula, Tuomo Ruutu, all young players and they will be there for us. After them we got some talent coming up in Granlund, Vatanen, Pulkkinen, Donskoi... And there are lots of guys in the AHL/NHL that can still make it like Leino, Pesonen etc.
There's lots of things wrong in Finnish hockey but we are still producing.

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02-27-2010, 10:33 AM
  #77
FinRuutu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valens View Post
What is the cause of this lack of talent lately? Was the last 20 years of superb Finnish talent overachievement?


Yeah it is looking rather bleak. Hopefully there are betetr years to come for Finnish hockey.
Cause of this lack of talent is a foundation Nuori Suomi (Young Finland). Its a program what drives every junior team to give equal icetime to all players. That causes all players to have so little icetime that evolving is harder and for that reason there is less talent to be found. It has been said for numerous people that Nuori Suomi is the cancer of Finnish hockey and it definetly is true.

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02-27-2010, 10:37 AM
  #78
Jeff Babchuk
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Originally Posted by roshinaya View Post
stop deluding yourself and think that finland has top end talent in the future. .
Who said that?
The title of this thread is The Sad State of Finnish Hockey, noticed that..?
But thanks for being another "brutal truth"-sayer in a thread already filled with depressed Finns.

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02-27-2010, 10:38 AM
  #79
Kameli
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It's quite obvious that soccer will overtake ice hockey in Finland as a number one team sport in coming years. The state of soccer has been growing year by year. It's just natural. That makes it even harder for Finland to compete for medals in ice hockey. But like Sweden, soccer being by far the biggest thing, hopefully we can still compete on high level in hockey.

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02-27-2010, 11:05 AM
  #80
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You're the kind of person that makes me embarrassed to be an American. So sorry Finnish fans.
Agree with Stan here.

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02-27-2010, 11:08 AM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Vimars View Post
I'm not responsible for Finnish hockey and as a fan I don't feel the need to panic becouse we only got fourth in the olympics and teemu & saku are retiring etc. The old guys have sucked this tournament and we'd be better off them. Hagman, Mikko Koivu, Filppula, Tuomo Ruutu, all young players and they will be there for us. After them we got some talent coming up in Granlund, Vatanen, Pulkkinen, Donskoi...
That means you disagree with Jarmo Kekäläinen. I would think he's one of the Finns with most insight into talented hockey players. In his interview in Urheilulehti he said that the latest age group that produced quality players for Finland were the 1983-borns. In the 1992-borns there is some talent, but 1993-borns don't have anyone.

His opinion was that at the latest when Mikko Koivu and Tuomo Ruutu retire, Finland will not be competitive internationally. So we should enjoy the place in the olympic semi-finals we now achieved, because in the next 20 years it's very unlikely to happen again.

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Originally Posted by Lapa View Post
I'm looking forward to Jori Lehterä, Mikael Granlund and Toni Rajala to be future NHL-stars.
Jori Lehterä in the NHL, you must be kidding? Way too slow and sloppy defensively. He's definitely too good for the Finnish league though, the teams here aren't able to pay the kind of money he can earn in Russia, Switzerland or Sweden. I think the question for him is if he can make it in the KHL (I'm personally very doubtful about that) or does he have to go play in Switzerland or Sweden. I think the smartest move for him would be to go play in Switzerland, because you can make really good money there without the league being as competitive as the KHL. Going to AHL to play for 70,000 dollars would be a total waste of time for him, because he will never make it in the NHL and could probably make ~500,000 euros in Switzerland, and even in Finland Jokerit will surely pay him more than 300,000 euros.


Last edited by Lepardi: 02-27-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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Old
02-27-2010, 11:18 AM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Lepardi View Post
His opinion was that at the latest when Mikko Koivu and Tuomo Ruutu retire, Finland will not be competitive internationally. So we should enjoy the place in the olympic semi-finals we now achieved, because in the next 20 years it's very unlikely to happen again.
No-one knows when Mikko and Tuomo retire, and what happens after it. Not even Jarmo Kekäläinen. Because if they play another 10-12 years then the prospects will be 2002-2004-borns and you can't really tell anything of them.

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02-27-2010, 12:09 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by Kameli View Post
It's quite obvious that soccer will overtake ice hockey in Finland as a number one team sport in coming years. The state of soccer has been growing year by year. It's just natural. That makes it even harder for Finland to compete for medals in ice hockey. But like Sweden, soccer being by far the biggest thing, hopefully we can still compete on high level in hockey.
NAKS NAKS.

Well anyways, I agree of course. Nothing would make me cream my pants more than seeing Finland do well in football. But the same symptoms can be seen there, Litmanen and Hyypiä are from the same generation as Koivu and Selänne etc. And Pekka Hämäläinen (replaced nowadays by an another muppet) equals Kalervo Kummola. Something has to be done to junior development in every Finnish sport especially in football and ice hockey. And I do think they can co-exist if things are done properly.

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02-27-2010, 12:51 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by FinRuutu View Post
Cause of this lack of talent is a foundation Nuori Suomi (Young Finland). Its a program what drives every junior team to give equal icetime to all players. That causes all players to have so little icetime that evolving is harder and for that reason there is less talent to be found. It has been said for numerous people that Nuori Suomi is the cancer of Finnish hockey and it definetly is true.
I think it's too easy to simply blame the "Nuori Suomi" and "Kaikki pelaa" programs. There are other factors that need to be taken into account, like for example the quality of coaching.

Maybe youth coaches in Finland focus too much on winning games in order to boost their own careers, putting an emphasis on defensive minded tactics and solid team play at an age where the kids should be allowed to have fun out there and where mistakes should be allowed and thus letting the natural talents grow. This might be the reason why Finland is said to produce "the best third liners in the world."

And another thing in regards to "kaikki pelaa". If you scrap the program and give the most talented kids all the ice time how do you explain to hockey parents spending tens of thousands of euros and countless hours of their spare time supporting their kid why he get's to sit on the bench all night.

I would hope the people in charge of Finnish hockey could swallow their pride and try to learn from Sweden and their excellent junior development. The smart people in Sweden reacted and started investigations to find a solution to the problem when their juniors started to decline.

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Old
02-27-2010, 12:58 PM
  #85
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Teemu's take? Too bad it was not curling and they could just have shooks hands early.

“They get a couple of good bounces, it’s two-nothing, then a couple of mistakes, four-nothing, six-nothing. At that point you hope that we can play curling. That you can give up and don’t have to put yourself on the line anymore. At this level you can’t bounce back from that.”
http://www.heraldnet.com/article/201...ORTS/702279870

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02-27-2010, 01:01 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Kigetsi View Post
We really dont have future in defense right now. Vatanen will be good but there really isnt others. In offence there will be Granlund, Rajala, Pulkkinen and Donskoi but i really dont know if they will be good enough (NHL level). It will be really hard for Finland in the future right now it seems.
We'll see, defenceman take time to develop. Timonen and Salo for example were marginal NHL prospects as juniors.

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02-27-2010, 01:11 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Matti_A View Post
And another thing in regards to "kaikki pelaa". If you scrap the program and give the most talented kids all the ice time how do you explain to hockey parents spending tens of thousands of euros and countless hours of their spare time supporting their kid why he get's to sit on the bench all night.
Parents in other countries seem to be able to cope with this just fine?

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02-27-2010, 01:21 PM
  #88
Lepardi
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Originally Posted by Dick Justice View Post
Parents in other countries seem to be able to cope with this just fine?
Do they really? I read in Wayne Gretzky's biography that the parents of his junior teammates used to clock his shifts to see if he gets too much ice-time. Ofcourse it makes you a bit bitter when someone scores hundreds of goals a season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti_A View Post
And another thing in regards to "kaikki pelaa". If you scrap the program and give the most talented kids all the ice time how do you explain to hockey parents spending tens of thousands of euros and countless hours of their spare time supporting their kid why he get's to sit on the bench all night.
I've wondered about this myself. Maybe the idea is that you don't need these kids at all. So instead of having 15 kids in a team you'd have something like 8, at least they'd all get plenty of ice-time. Ofcourse this would make the hobby quite a bit more expensive for the parents of the 8 kids that remain.

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02-27-2010, 01:25 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Matti_A View Post
I think it's too easy to simply blame the "Nuori Suomi" and "Kaikki pelaa" programs. There are other factors that need to be taken into account, like for example the quality of coaching.

I would hope the people in charge of Finnish hockey could swallow their pride and try to learn from Sweden and their excellent junior development. The smart people in Sweden reacted and started investigations to find a solution to the problem when their juniors started to decline.
That is something that I would expect from them; humility. If some people in Sweden have done things right, why not recruit them if possible? Or do they really have their heads as far up their arses as the tabloids (and even some fans who think hats made from sixpack covers are cool) have, that everything that comes from Sweden must be detested fiercely?

Have to say, one thing that is sorely missing is a more psychological aspect in coaching. Losing 9 out of 10 finals does get under your skin after a while, and getting over that means that you need a bit more leadership in the coaching department than a guy who freezes everytime something doesn't go the right way. Who knows, maybe a freakshow such as Tamminen would make a good coach just by being vocal. At least get some sports psychologists on board, Something, anything. Pretty please.

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02-27-2010, 01:47 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Vimars View Post
I'm not responsible for Finnish hockey and as a fan I don't feel the need to panic becouse we only got fourth in the olympics and teemu & saku are retiring etc. The old guys have sucked this tournament and we'd be better off them. Hagman, Mikko Koivu, Filppula, Tuomo Ruutu, all young players and they will be there for us. After them we got some talent coming up in Granlund, Vatanen, Pulkkinen, Donskoi... And there are lots of guys in the AHL/NHL that can still make it like Leino, Pesonen etc.
There's lots of things wrong in Finnish hockey but we are still producing.
Koivu and Lehtinen played well in this tournament. Tuomo Ruutu was the biggest disappointment for me. It is very clear that Mikko needs a good winger to be able to contribute offensively and Tuomo just doesn't look like a guy who can step up in high pressure situations.

Hagman could be a topliner for us if he keeps it up. And I am not really scared, because it is probable that we can get a 30-40 goal scorer out of someone, and that could be enough to get a hot scorer in olympics.

The defense is what worries me. There seems to really be no crease-clearers on the way. Hopefully finnish coaches start using the EHT as more of a development tour than a competition and starts to try out big youngsters with some kind of wheels. Some guys could be alot better on the national team and they need to get more looks..

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02-27-2010, 01:58 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by mattihp View Post
Hagman could be a topliner for us if he keeps it up.
He might be a 1st line winger for Finland in the future, but that's just an indicator of the fact that we're not gonna be competitive. He needs softer hands to be effective in that role, and it's not realistic to expect a 30-year-old to find something like that all of a sudden.

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02-27-2010, 02:04 PM
  #92
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Finland needs to reboot their national team with youth very quickly, much like Team USA did. Too many old guys on their tail ends of their careers.

Olli Jokinen was ineffective, the hottest points scoring finnish player in the NHL at the current time, Jussi Jokinen instead should have been there.

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02-27-2010, 02:07 PM
  #93
mattihp
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Originally Posted by Lepardi View Post
He might be a 1st line winger for Finland in the future, but that's just an indicator of the fact that we're not gonna be competitive. He needs softer hands to be effective in that role, and it's not realistic to expect a 30-year-old to find something like that all of a sudden.
That and the fact that he plays better with worse linemates...
I see a similar, lesser player in Pihlström.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HackandLube
Olli Jokinen was ineffective
He did fine. I've never seen him play this well against good nations. Worked hard and played a solid game. Olli never is much of a scorer against good nations internationally. Expected him to light up against the small ones though. His best tournament for team Finland.

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02-27-2010, 02:09 PM
  #94
HackandLube
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Originally Posted by mattihp View Post
He did fine. I've never seen him play this well against good nations. Worked hard and played a solid game. Olli never is much of a scorer against good nations internationally. Expected him to light up against the small ones though. His best tournament for team Finland.
Well, I have been watching him on the Flames all year and it looks the same. He looks like he puts in the effort and hard work but no results. He's lost something these past 2 seasons. He hasn't been much of a scorer at all and has lost that touch. Playing with more skilled European style players in NY and agaisnt Eastern conference defense may reenergize him. I hope this tournament helps get Hagman going for when the regular season restarts.

Jussi Jokinen however, after a slower start has been great the past 2 months and should not have been left off the Finnish team.

One other thing, as an outsider, it's nice to see so many Finnish posters on HFboards. I don't think Swedish posters made a thread about Sweden so you have something on them or care more

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02-27-2010, 02:13 PM
  #95
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Originally Posted by HackandLube View Post
Finland needs to reboot their national team with youth very quickly, much like Team USA did. Too many old guys on their tail ends of their careers.

Olli Jokinen was ineffective, the hottest points scoring finnish player in the NHL at the current time, Jussi Jokinen instead should have been there.
Jussi Jokinen will turn 27 in April. The fact that he's considered "young" says more about Finland's age structure than it does about Jokinen's age.

And if you want younger players in the team, could you give a few examples of players under 25 that you think could have been effective in Vancouver? I sure can't think of anyone, and that's not Jukka Jalonen's fault.

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02-27-2010, 02:18 PM
  #96
Jeff Babchuk
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Originally Posted by Matti_A View Post

I would hope the people in charge of Finnish hockey could swallow their pride and try to learn from Sweden and their excellent junior development. The smart people in Sweden reacted and started investigations to find a solution to the problem when their juniors started to decline.
I agree, of course, but it wasn't that many years ago that the situation was the other way around.
My memory isn't that great, but it was sometime during the 1990's, anyway. Swedish junior hockey had some sort of crisis, and Swedish hockey people started looking towards Finnish junior programs. And obviously, they solved the situation. So, I'm not that worried actually. Hockey is too big of a sport in Finland to be falling into oblivion.

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02-27-2010, 02:33 PM
  #97
HackandLube
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Originally Posted by Lepardi View Post
Jussi Jokinen will turn 27 in April. The fact that he's considered "young" says more about Finland's age structure than it does about Jokinen's age.

And if you want younger players in the team, could you give a few examples of players under 25 that you think could have been effective in Vancouver? I sure can't think of anyone, and that's not Jukka Jalonen's fault.
I meant that Jussi should have been there due to his current scoring streak. As far as actual young players, I can't think of any and I'm not familiar enough with Finish hockey to suggest any as I am Canadian.

I say take a look at Switzerland which had only 2 NHL players and yet almost defeated both Canada and the USA single handedly. If they can do that well, there should still be hope for Finland.

Regardless, Finland's age structure is not going to be good going into the future but it was probably the final Olympics for many. Why has Finnish development trailed off like this then?

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02-27-2010, 02:34 PM
  #98
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Originally Posted by Lepardi View Post
Do they really? I read in Wayne Gretzky's biography that the parents of his junior teammates used to clock his shifts to see if he gets too much ice-time. Ofcourse it makes you a bit bitter when someone scores hundreds of goals a season.
Bad wording... but I meant that it isn't an obstacle in other countries. If that's the price then that price needs to be paid.

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02-27-2010, 02:35 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by HackandLube View Post
Finland needs to reboot their national team with youth very quickly, much like Team USA did. Too many old guys on their tail ends of their careers.
But much unlike USA, there is no young talent to refill the team.

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02-27-2010, 03:01 PM
  #100
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I won't pretend to know the state of the game in Finland, but based on the talent that Finland has given to the NHL recently, I think it's early tears. Damn, Finland's playing for Bronze, what's Russia doing right now Finland? Yeah, thought I saw a little smile in there. The US has been coming up with some unexplainable games in this tournament, if you want to target them, save your voodoo for Sunday. If you want to be realistic, you're the same powerhouse you were before, just after a tough game that's hard to swallow. I hope the Finns pull for their recent enemy against Canada. I think the US could use the encouragement.
Russia is not playing for a medal because they played Canada in the Qtrs. It was luck of the draw, and if Finland played Canada in the Qtrs they wouldn't have come close to a medal game.


The Fins were demolished by Sweden and USA. They are not a top four or even five nation at this point. They will get throttled again by the Slovaks tonight as well.

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