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Team Finland @ 2011 U20WJC's

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Old
09-06-2010, 01:55 AM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
If he gets to play with Granlund and Pulkkinen that is... There's a pretty good competition for top-6 spots with Mi. Granlund, Pakarinen, Pulkkinen, Donskoi, Nättinen, Junttila, Haula and Rajala. Partanen, Ma. Granlund and Salomäki might also be options if someone gets injured. If Rajala doesn’t start scoring goals soon, he might not have a suitable role in the team. Anyways three 5’10'' tall forwards on the same line might not be ideal in a tournament that’s played in North America, especially when Pulkkinen and Rajala aren’t that strong defensively.

Nättinen injured his Achilles tendon in the first game, so 8 top forwards and two important defensemen were out. Canada, Sweden and USA will have great teams, but Finland might have the 4th best team at the WJC's, if all players are healthy and available.
I don't know about Rajala but Pulkkinen seems to have improved his defensive awareness based on comments from Jokerit's exhibition games. Besides, that trio has such amazing chemistry on ice that I don't think the puck will be spending much time anywhere else than in the offensive zone. Put Donskoi and Haula (or someone else) with Nättinen/Ma Granlund in the second line.

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09-06-2010, 03:52 AM
  #52
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Besides, that trio has such amazing chemistry on ice that I don't think the puck will be spending much time anywhere else than in the offensive zone.
No denying that they looked good at the WU18C's 17 months ago, but the level of competition will be much higher this time around. Players are bigger, stronger, faster and better overall. Rajala was a big disappointment at previous WJC's, didn't help at all that he started the tournament with Granlund.

Also it’s pretty certain that Finland won’t have a line that will dominate against opponents like USA, Canada and Sweden. It’s a totally different ball game against those teams. At previous WU18C’s team USA totally overshadowed the Donskoi-Granlund-Pulkkinen line, they had only few decent scoring chances.

Finland will have the much easier group; USA, Switzerland, Slovakia and Germany. Assuming that Finland advances to the quarter-finals, it’s almost certain that they’ll face Canada, Sweden or Russia. That’ll be the real test for the team. Rajala and Pulkkinen might score a lot of points during the group phase, but so far they have yielded against tough opponents. Canada, USA and Sweden will be those tough opponents at the next WJC’s.

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09-06-2010, 05:28 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
No denying that they looked good at the WU18C's 17 months ago, but the level of competition will be much higher this time around. Players are bigger, stronger, faster and better overall. Rajala was a big disappointment at previous WJC's, didn't help at all that he started the tournament with Granlund.

Also it’s pretty certain that Finland won’t have a line that will dominate against opponents like USA, Canada and Sweden. It’s a totally different ball game against those teams. At previous WU18C’s team USA totally overshadowed the Donskoi-Granlund-Pulkkinen line, they had only few decent scoring chances.
I don't think you can draw too much conclusions from Rajala's performnces at the WJC, he had played poorly with Brandon too at that point. Though one Brandon fan said he'd been injured and was rested a couple of games due to a hip flexor(?). Just about everyone in Finland was ready to judge Rajala's decision to play in the CHL a mistake, but by the end of the season those opinions had changed, He was one of his teams best players at the Memorial Cup and appeared to back to himself. Rajala himself said though that he plainly sucked at the WJC. Not to mention that Hartikainen didn't fit at all with Rajala and Granlund, hardly any chemistry with them.

Considering the USA's U-18 and U-20 NTDP squads are basically the modern day versions of the old Soviet Red Machines and ended up winning the tournaments comfortably, it's no wonder they were held scoreless.

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09-06-2010, 01:28 PM
  #54
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I don't think you can draw too much conclusions from Rajala's performnces at the WJC, he had played poorly with Brandon too at that point.
Past WJC’s and SM-liiga games are the only times that Rajala has faced the level of competition that’s comparable to the upcoming WJC’s. Therefore those games are the only ones that have valid reference value. The 7 pre-season games with the U20 national team have been a bit of a disaster as well. His role is to produce offensively, if he can’t do it at this level, the coaching staff might look for other alternatives, that’s all I’m saying.

In addition consistency, adaptability and reliability are important qualities for a pro athlete. To make it to the top, you have to produce in all situations, with different types of players, day after day, no matter what.

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Though one Brandon fan said he'd been injured and was rested a couple of games due to a hip flexor(?).
Hockey player is rarely fully healthy, and being slightly injured didn’t stop Granlund from giving his 100% and being beneficial to the team.

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Just about everyone in Finland was ready to judge Rajala's decision to play in the CHL a mistake, but by the end of the season those opinions had changed, He was one of his teams best players at the Memorial Cup and appeared to back to himself.
So good showing at the Memorial Cup makes up for a mediocre regular season, a poor showing at the WJC’s and awful WHL playoffs? This upcoming SM-liiga season will show how much Rajala developed in North America, that will tell us whether it was a mistake to move to NA or not.

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Considering the USA's U-18 and U-20 NTDP squads are basically the modern day versions of the old Soviet Red Machines and ended up winning the tournaments comfortably, it's no wonder they were held scoreless.
USA's NTDP is for U-17 and U-18 age groups, after that players go to NCAA, CHL, or some other league. USA and Sweden were clearly the top teams at the 2010 WU18C's. Finland lost clearly to USA and didn't play against Sweden. Overall the level of the tournament was rubbish compared to WJC's.

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09-06-2010, 03:00 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Hockey player is rarely fully healthy, and being slightly injured didn’t stop Granlund from giving his 100% and being beneficial to the team.
Granlund was just as invisible as Rajala at the WJC getting points placement games means squat. Remember, he was also injured before the tournament and at 100%.

Just ask the Brandon fans here, they'll tell you Rajala practically had two season, one before the WJC and one after it. He looked so much more like himself during the latter half of the regular season.

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09-06-2010, 04:19 PM
  #56
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Granlund was just as invisible as Rajala at the WJC
I have to disagree. IMO Granlund and Hartikainen were better than Rajala, and I’m talking about overall contribution to the game, not points. Granlund and Hartikainen have the ability to be highly beneficial to the team even when they aren’t scoring. Rajala is fairly one-dimensional once the competition gets tougher, scoring goals is his bread and butter.

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Just ask the Brandon fans here, they'll tell you Rajala practically had two season, one before the WJC and one after it. He looked so much more like himself during the latter half of the regular season.
What does it matter what he looks like in juniors? Those games are a step or two down from the WJC's. Rajala was Brandon's 7th best scorer during the regular season, and 10th best during the play-offs. If a player with this kind of a resume has a guaranteed place on the first line alongside Granlund, something ain't right.

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09-08-2010, 06:34 PM
  #57
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Since Nättinen will be out until December with achilles tendon injury, I guess we can rule him out of the squad. It's not like he's shown much development lately anyway. Markus Granlund's a better option for the second line anyway.

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09-09-2010, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Jussi;
Since Nättinen will be out until December with achilles tendon injury, I guess we can rule him out of the squad. It's not like he's shown much development lately anyway. Markus Granlund's a better option for the second line anyway.
So... Was Nättinen going to play in the second line??
I thought he was more of an 3rd/4th line guy.

And in the 3rd line i would like to see Partanen or Armia instead of Granlund who is btw getting hugely overhyped because of his older brother.
I don't see him being as good as Mi.G ever

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09-09-2010, 12:27 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Latexi84 View Post
So... Was Nättinen going to play in the second line??
I thought he was more of an 3rd/4th line guy.

And in the 3rd line i would like to see Partanen or Armia instead of Granlund who is btw getting hugely overhyped because of his older brother.
I don't see him being as good as Mi.G ever
I think Nättinen would have been a defensive presence in the second line with Donskoi and whoever (not Rajala, as I think you'll get more out of him with G & P). Partanen's a winger? And I think Armia might be too young. From what I've seen (Youtube) and read (hockey media, Jatkoaika etc.) Markus Granlund isn't physically at Mikael's level at this age but talent wise isn't that far off and is a better skater already than Mikael at his age.


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09-09-2010, 04:16 AM
  #60
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Since Nättinen will be out until December with achilles tendon injury, I guess we can rule him out of the squad.
Nättinen will be on the team if he manages to heal in time. He's reliable, has experience, NA size, and is the only centre forward available that really excels in face-offs. He's an important player for this team.

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Markus Granlund's a better option for the second line anyway.
Based on what?

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I think Nättinen would have been a defensive presence in the second line with Donskoi and whoever (not Rajala, as I think you'll get more out of him with G & P).
Nättinen is not a goal scorer, but has playmaking ability and in total has scored more points during the last two WJC's than Rajala, so he can be a bit more than just a defensive presence at this level.

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is a better skater already than Mikael.
Maybe in figure skating, but Mikael still has more strength, thrust and speed.

---------------------

At the moment I would have the top-3 lines as following:

- Tallberg/Partanen-Mi.Granlund-Pulkkinen (Adding some muscle to the first line helps in tough situations. On power play you can move Pulkkinen to the point and add Markus Granlund to the mix.)
- Rajala-Nättinen-Pakarinen (A good combination of bit of everything. Rajala and Nättinen have played together before, and on this line it won't be a disaster, if Rajala falls asleep in the middle of the game like he did at the previous WJC's.)
- Junttila-Haula-Donskoi (Junttila and Donskoi know each other well, and the line was effective at the Summer Hockey Challenge against top competition.)

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09-09-2010, 07:37 AM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Jussi;
I think Nättinen would have been a defensive presence in the second line with Donskoi and whoever (not Rajala, as I think you'll get more out of him with G & P). Partanen's a winger? And I think Armia might be too young. From what I've seen (Youtube) and read (hockey media, Jatkoaika etc.) Markus Granlund isn't physically at Mikael's level at this age but talent wise isn't that far off and is a better skater already than Mikael.

OMG for some reason i thought Nättinen was a winger...

Since he's a center, forgot what i said..

But yeah, i would really like to see either one of Partanen or Armia on the team...

Oh, and does anyone know if Partanen left IFK to play in NA next season??
I'm not really up to date on that topic

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09-09-2010, 11:46 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post

Maybe in figure skating, but Mikael still has more strength, thrust and speed.

- Rajala-Nättinen-Pakarinen (A good combination of bit of everything. Rajala and Nättinen have played together before, and on this line it won't be a disaster, if Rajala falls asleep in the middle of the game like he did at the previous WJC's.)
Forgot to add "at his age". And those were Markus' own words(forgot what paper they were in).

You really are basing your assesment on Rajala far too much on the last WJC. Even Stevie Wonder could see the guy was not himself there. He's not the first "star" player to have a weak WJC tournament.

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09-09-2010, 10:36 PM
  #63
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Oh, and does anyone know if Partanen left IFK to play in NA next season??
I'm not really up to date on that topic
Yes. He's playing for the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (this year's Memorial Cup hosts). He scored a goal in an exhibition game this week against a QMJHL team.

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09-10-2010, 01:38 AM
  #64
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Forgot to add "at his age". And those were Markus' own words(forgot what paper they were in).
The only interview that I've seen is this one. Direct quote: "I don’t really know, maybe I’m a better skater, or at least I thinks so." No mention about the age.

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You really are basing your assesment on Rajala far too much on the last WJC.
I could just as easily say that you are basing your assessment way too much on WU18C's or some earlier tournaments few years back.

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09-10-2010, 07:31 AM
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I could just as easily say that you are basing your assessment way too much on WU18C's or some earlier tournaments few years back.
No, you couldn't.

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09-10-2010, 08:10 AM
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No, you couldn't.


Seriously...???

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09-10-2010, 08:04 PM
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Seriously...???
Stop it, you're ruining a potentially great internet argument about nothing. No need to go like Graham Chapman.

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09-11-2010, 03:59 AM
  #68
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Nättinen will be on the team if he manages to heal in time. He's reliable, has experience, NA size, and is the only centre forward available that really excels in face-offs. He's an important player for this team.
I doubt he will heal in time. Or he might heal, but he is not match fit in the end of december.

I wouldn't leave Armia out of speculation. He has been quite good in exhibition games. He has a little chance for a straight SM-liiga spot now. It depends a bit what Ässät will do with disappointing Pasi Salonen and youngster (but overaged to junior A) Antti Mäkilä who both will compete for the same spot with Armia.

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09-11-2010, 06:12 AM
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I doubt he will heal in time. Or he might heal, but he is not match fit in the end of december.

I wouldn't leave Armia out of speculation. He has been quite good in exhibition games. He has a little chance for a straight SM-liiga spot now.
I think at the beginning of the season he has a bigger than a small chance making the team. Remember Rautakallio saying a week before the start of the season he would be on the roster at that point and after the positive performance yesterday I wouldn't be surprised of him being there even with the decent depth the team has.

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09-12-2010, 06:02 PM
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Like with many other players, a lot will depend on how he develops and how much ice time he gets in SM-liiga. If all goes well, he should be a pretty good alternative for 3rd/4th line.

Partanen is playing with Missisauga ST Micheals Majors in the OHL
and he looks rly good
he should be on the finnish junior team
He has scored 2 beautiful goals in preseason (1 today, 1 last sunday)

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09-13-2010, 03:34 PM
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I doubt he will heal in time. Or he might heal, but he is not match fit in the end of december.
The first prognosis is that he'll be match fit in early December. Source

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I wouldn't leave Armia out of speculation. He has been quite good in exhibition games.
It's nice to see that first time in years there's actually some potential competition for top-6 spots. Armia’s strengths are in the offensive zone, so he’ll probably be competing against players like Pulkkinen, Rajala, Donskoi and Junttila for a place in the team. Pulkkinen and Rajala will certainly be getting power play time in their SM-liiga teams. Donskoi and Junttila will also be getting some power play time in SM-liiga before Viuhkola and Rosa are back in Kärpät's line-up. This could mean that Armia must also get some power play time in Ässät, if he desires to make the WJC team already this year.

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09-15-2010, 01:57 AM
  #72
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I think at the beginning of the season he has a bigger than a small chance making the team. Remember Rautakallio saying a week before the start of the season he would be on the roster at that point and after the positive performance yesterday I wouldn't be surprised of him being there even with the decent depth the team has.
Armia should play in 3rd line against Lukko according to Satakunnan Kansa. So kid plays immediately against the rivals in the first match in regular season!

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09-16-2010, 01:02 PM
  #73
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Armia should play in 3rd line against Lukko according to Satakunnan Kansa. So kid plays immediately against the rivals in the first match in regular season!
Four shots, a boarding call for some tackle at McLean him being about a meter from the boards and a total of 14.21 of icetime in a 3-2 victory. Pretty good start from what I heard from the radio.

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09-17-2010, 01:23 AM
  #74
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Four shots, a boarding call for some tackle at McLean him being about a meter from the boards and a total of 14.21 of icetime in a 3-2 victory. Pretty good start from what I heard from the radio.
Overall he was very good for a player at his age. Few mistakes but that's what you epect from a guy who made debut. But what I saw (yeah. I saw the game) I liked how he challenges defenders, how he shoots and how he never seem to give up even though he loses the puck. And he hits when there is a chance!

Goal was so close too. Few seconds in his debut and he was already in breakaway

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09-18-2010, 10:09 AM
  #75
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Donskoi-Granlund-Pulkkinen
Rajala-Haula-Junttila
Partanen-Salmivirta-Pakarinen
Mankinen-Nättinen-Armia?
Ma. Granlund?

Vatanen-Hakanpää
Manelius-Jokipakka
Rissanen-Kivistö

Aittokallio
Ortio

I would go something like this.

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