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Team Finland @ 2012 U20WJC's

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11-04-2011, 06:15 PM
  #226
Tormentor
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Rajala is pretty much an all-purpose forward, he's a complementary player to lines that already have a strong player bonding between the other two players. Bit like Jussi Jokinen. In that line he was pretty much shoehorned to be Granlund's go-to-guy, meaning he had to make himself available first and foremost. That's a position that doesn't exactly encourage physical play, even less when you've already got a wrecking ball playing the other wing. I admit, I'm not fully certain what exactly was the problem with that line, after all I did say that Hartikainen was good in doing what he does.
IMO there were several problems with that line, one of them was that Granlund wasn’t cut out to be a centre forward against teams like USA and Sweden. Another was the fact that Hartikainen’s play in the offensive zone quite often lead to prolonged board battles that slowed the game down, which in turn didn’t suit young Granlund’s and Rajala’s style of play that well. And like Rajala’s stats from 3 WJC’s show; he didn’t have the means to break into prime scoring areas that often; 18 games and only 3 goals. Not a 1st line scoring winger at that level. In the end the right complementary player for that particular line seemed to be Nättinen, not Rajala.

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Perhaps part of me is being against for a line roled as what you propose because I can't recall any other occasions either when Granlund would have been truly successful with a pure power forward.
It’s probably true that Granlund needs skilled and creative players around him to be at his very best offensively. If we continue the discussion about Ruuttu, he’s a slightly different player in comparison to Hartikainen. Ruuttu is a centre forward and might have more brains how to complement his linemates in different situations. Ruuttu is quite aggressive and likes to forecheck, but won’t be even nearly as physically imposing at the WJC’s as Hartikainen was. Ruuttu needs 2 or 3 years before he gets to use his power game to its full potential.

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Thanks for the lesson in hockey fundamentals.
I sense that you know a lot about hockey, I’m just trying to defend my views against yours the best I can.

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Special teams matter a great deal and many people who ought to know the game, like our current Men's NT head coach have said that most games are decided out of even strength. Despite this, the groundwork for a healthy and balanced team is built on even strength. You do need your designated team carriers to produce in all situations. Sure, you can scrape by and even win games especially if some darkhorses step up in the lower lines, but you'll still need to cater to the needs of your big names, otherwise you're going to struggle.
I can agree with this. I’m not against of catering the needs of big names as long as it’s the most beneficial thing to do for the team as a whole. Probably not the best example, but Sidney Crosby’s needs aren’t always catered the best way possible in Pittsburgh because sometimes it’s more beneficial for the team to spread out the talent and form functional lines around Malkin and Staal as well. Crosby and Malkin can play on a different line on even strength, but still join forces on key situations like powerplay or end of the period.

We are again talking about tradeoffs. Donskoi needs the puck and a chance to create his own offence, therefore I think it’s better to have him lead his own line on even strength. In addition it might be possible that someone else than Donskoi could cater the needs of MIG and Pulu just as well, albeit not being a high profile player. And all this shouldn’t interfere with a healthy and balanced team structure that much.

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One of my main arguments all this time has been that the odds are this isn't just going to happen here, due to obvious reasons. Last year, our team was a lot more rounded out especially when it came to skill in centre. There was no leading player so evening out the rotation in ES was simply natural progression to work with the tools you had. What we have here is a team that is likely going far more front-loaded and in order to make it work, you do have to take that into account. I don't mean you'll have to kill the top guns with TOI, but like I said, first and foremost, make sure it's them who click first even if that means letting the lower lines hurt a little.
That’s a good argument and you could be right about this, but I’m still inclined to the idea of having at least a fairly even rotation with the top-3 lines on even strength. Maybe the 1st line could play more, but the 2nd and the 3rd wouldn’t be that far behind. Let’s see how the Vaasa tournament goes and how well guys like Barkov, Mustonen and Teräväinen perform. It’s clear that the gap between Granlund and the rest is quite huge, but after that the differences might not be that great if just speaking about even strength play.

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11-04-2011, 07:39 PM
  #227
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I sense that you know a lot about hockey, I’m just trying to defend my views against yours the best I can.
Cheers. I can dig that, and am not sensing any hostility from you. Hope I'm not conveying any either. At least from my point of view, we're having a rather healthy and respectful argument here.

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We are again talking about tradeoffs. Donskoi needs the puck and a chance to create his own offence, therefore I think it’s better to have him lead his own line on even strength. In addition it might be possible that someone else than Donskoi could cater the needs of MIG and Pulu just as well, albeit not being a high profile player. And all this shouldn’t interfere with a healthy and balanced team structure that much.
I never said (at least I think I didn't) that Donskoi is the only guy who might fit in there. But at the moment, I think he's the most probable, so he really should be tried there first.

If the line doesn't click, or the team becomes far too dependant of that first unit, then I'm likely the first proponent of mixing things up a little. Though I'd still probably start by shuffling the lower lines a little first. I guess I'm bit of a traditionalist in that sense. Fix it if it doesn't work, don't if it does - but if you see a way to make it work even better, go for it.

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It’s clear that the gap between Granlund and the rest is quite huge, but after that the differences might not be that great if just speaking about even strength play.
Easy to agree with this, which is exactly why I said that these guys might just have what it takes to do it own their own. It might be just a gut feeling, but something's telling me that e.g. Barkov and Teräväinen could be a great match. Let them hustle it together with no "big brother" watching over them, and you might just have one of the more entertaining units to watch in all tournament.

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11-05-2011, 05:53 AM
  #228
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Mustonen-Barkov-Teräväinen. Raipe make that happen. It would be very exciting line.

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11-05-2011, 01:47 PM
  #229
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Our depth on forwards is pretty stunning..

Mikael Granlund (92)
Teemu Pulkkinen (92)
Miikka Salomäki (93)
Joonas Donskoi (92)
Alexander Barkov (95)
Joel Armia (93)
Markus Granlund (93)
Alexander Ruuttu (92)
Teuvo Teräväinen (94)
Joel Mustonen (92)
Henri Ikonen (94)
Miro Aaltonen (93)
Otto Paajanen (92)
Mikael Kuronen (92)
Markus Hännikäinen (93)
Toni Kallela (93)

Just to name a few.. Im sure i missed someone.

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11-05-2011, 07:31 PM
  #230
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Mustonen-Barkov-Teräväinen. Raipe make that happen. It would be very exciting line.
IIRC, those guys have played together before so they should have chemistry. Wouldn't be surprised if those guys played in the third line, especially if the first two were Donskoi-MiG-Pulkkinen & MaG-Salomäki-Armia. However, IMO Mustonen should play in center and I would shuffle those lines a bit.

Finland should have a pretty beastly first line at the U18 Worlds also: Teräväinen - Barkov - H./J. Ikonen - Pokka - Ristolainen.


Last edited by Needles: 11-05-2011 at 07:44 PM.
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Old
11-06-2011, 09:33 AM
  #231
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Watching Hännikäinen now and he impresses me. I don't know how Ruuttu is ahead him in U-20 roster prediction. Hännikäinen is physical and can really make plays. Ideal 4th line player who brings energy, physicality and can actually play.Hakanpää looks really good. Good decisions with the puck, good positioning, good movement, can play with body. He has developed alot since last year.

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11-06-2011, 10:01 AM
  #232
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I don't know how Ruuttu is ahead him in U-20 roster prediction.
Hännikäinen appears more of a threat in the offensive zone, but I think Ruuttu is still ahead of him defensively, plus appears to be more multipurpose.

Hännikäinen is a crafty speedster sure, but so are e.g. Salomäki, Teräväinen and Partanen.There isn't really any lack of players who fit in the same niche with him. It's merely another sign of how utterly crazy production of prospective forwards we seem to have going on right now.

Now we just need the clubs to pull their d-man coaching together and we'll be set for years...

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11-06-2011, 12:29 PM
  #233
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http://norran.se/hockeybloggen/?ifra...key.norran.se/
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"-Joel Mustonen will not go with the Finnish J20-squad. He has been matched very hard and is too worn out from a medical perspective. So he stays at home."

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11-06-2011, 01:50 PM
  #234
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Well that's a pity. Luckily the forward depth is not the main consern.

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11-06-2011, 02:04 PM
  #235
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This might be only U-20 tournament in vaasa. Don't know if he doesen't want to play in WJC where he can display his skills to numerous scouts from NHL teams.

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11-06-2011, 02:04 PM
  #236
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Yep, that indeed means the Vaasa Tournament, not actual WJC. Not a biggie. Shouldn't hurt Mustonen's chances of making the final squad much. He has already played with U20 this season (3 games, 3+1) and appears to be producing well at Elitserien.

It'll be curious to see who Raipe picks as a replacement. Is it the next guy in the depth chart, some future promise or merely absolute filler we know he'll scratch off once the games in Vaasa have been played?

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11-09-2011, 06:46 AM
  #237
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Donskoi also out of the tournament in Vaasa. Rautiainen and Halinen have been named as replacements.

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11-09-2011, 11:26 AM
  #238
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Team Finland lines for this week's tournament in Vaasa:

Ma. Granlund - Paajanen - Pulkkinen
Rautiainen - Salomäki - Armia
Aaltonen - Barkov - Ruuttu
Hämäläinen - Kuronen - Halinen

Hakanpää - Riikola
Pokka - Auvinen
Mäkinen
Hietanen - Nyqvist

Aittokallio
Kolppanen

Don't know what's the deal with the 3rd pair RD...

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11-09-2011, 11:39 AM
  #239
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Don't know what's the deal with the 3rd pair RD...
Isn't Ristolainen's situation still unclear?

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11-09-2011, 11:45 AM
  #240
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Originally Posted by Haite View Post
Isn't Ristolainen's situation still unclear?
Yeah, that must be it.

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11-09-2011, 11:48 AM
  #241
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Team Finland lines for this week's tournament in Vaasa:
Is there a link for this? Suprised to see Teräväinen not mentioned at all.

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11-09-2011, 03:12 PM
  #242
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Is there a link for this? Suprised to see Teräväinen not mentioned at all.
I guess Teräväinen is the 13th forward at the moment.

These lines are the ones that Raipe has used through this week, and of course it's not 100% sure whether or not there will be changes.

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11-10-2011, 01:05 PM
  #243
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Russia was beaten 3-1:

1-0 PP Hakanpää (Pulkkinen, Pokka)
2-0 Pulkkinen (Granlund)
3-0 PP Granlund (Pulkkinen, Pokka)

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11-10-2011, 08:52 PM
  #244
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Russia was beaten 3-1:

1-0 PP Hakanpää (Pulkkinen, Pokka)
2-0 Pulkkinen (Granlund)
3-0 PP Granlund (Pulkkinen, Pokka)
Finland's goals: http://www.leijonat.fi/index.php/maa...venaejaen.html

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11-11-2011, 06:29 AM
  #245
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Lines against CZE as per leijonat.fi:

Sami Aittokallio
(Ville Kolppanen)

Markus Granlund - Otto Paajanen - Teemu Pulkkinen
Jani Hakanpää - Konsta Mäkinen

Teemu Rautiainen - Miikka Salomäki - Joel Armia
Henri Auvinen - Ville Pokka

Miro Aaltonen - Aleksander Barkov - Alexander Ruuttu
Valtteri Hietanen - Julius Nyqvist

Roope Hämäläinen - Mikael Kuronen - Petteri Halinen
Simo-Pekka Riikola

Teuvo Teräväinen

Seems like Teräväinen was sick yesterday, thus was not able to play.

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11-11-2011, 08:08 AM
  #246
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Originally Posted by Haite View Post
Lines against CZE as per leijonat.fi:

Sami Aittokallio
(Ville Kolppanen)

Markus Granlund - Otto Paajanen - Teemu Pulkkinen
Jani Hakanpää - Konsta Mäkinen

Teemu Rautiainen - Miikka Salomäki - Joel Armia
Henri Auvinen - Ville Pokka

Miro Aaltonen - Aleksander Barkov - Alexander Ruuttu
Valtteri Hietanen - Julius Nyqvist

Roope Hämäläinen - Mikael Kuronen - Petteri Halinen
Simo-Pekka Riikola

Teuvo Teräväinen

Seems like Teräväinen was sick yesterday, thus was not able to play.
It seems like my lines were pretty accurate.

Going to Vaasa to see Finland-Sweden and Czech Republic-Russia tomorrow.

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11-11-2011, 11:36 AM
  #247
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Markus Granlund-Teemu Pulkkinen seems to be great together. It's very close that our first line in WJC is Ma. Granlund - Mi. Granlund - Pulkkinen if they are healthy.

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11-11-2011, 12:18 PM
  #248
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Markus Granlund-Teemu Pulkkinen seems to be great together. It's very close that our first line in WJC is Ma. Granlund - Mi. Granlund - Pulkkinen if they are healthy.
I predict Markus Granlund will get replaced in no time. On the other hand, he's got 5 assists against the Czechs in the U-20 tournament (Pulkkinen 3 goals) with 10 minutes to go.


Last edited by Jussi: 11-11-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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11-13-2011, 05:20 AM
  #249
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Line-by-line reviews after horrible 0-5 -loss against Sweden:

Teemu Pulkkinen - Teuvo Teräväinen - Markus Granlund

Clearly our best line offensively, nearly the only ones who were able to create any offense whatsoever. Pulkkinen had couple nice shots, but none of those were really close to get in. Teräväinen didn't really bring anything to the line, and was more like dragging down the wingers. Granlund had his moments, but decided to concentrate on playing Jarkko Ruutu -like role; always chirping to the refs and opponents after the whistle.

Joel Armia - Miikka Salomäki - Teemu Rautiainen


Weren't able to do almost anything, except of few short flashes by Salomäki. Armia looked really lost and unmotivated, and constantly tried to do some fancy dekes and spin moves, which led to turnovers almost every time. He had one highligt moment in the first period, when he decided to give a little saucer pass to John Klingberg in the own zone, which led to a dangerous situation. Salomäki had his moments, and he was able to match the Swedes in terms of physical play, but his game ended 15 minutes before others, after Salomäki delivered a bit dirty hit, and Claesson came to revenge. The result cannot really be called as a fight, more like a group hug by two players and two referees. Rautiainen tried to play like a big guy, but he's 171 cm after all.

Alexander Ruuttu - Sasha Barkov - Miro Aaltonen

Second best line of Team Finland, were able to create some offense, and defensively they were the best line, didn't allow any goals to the own end. Ruuttu was convincing physically, and should be a sure choice to the WJC team. Barkov, although he could use some extra speed, made some nice passes and was able to create time and space, which is a valuable skill. Reminds me a lot of Mikko Koivu. I would've liked to see Barkov in the first line with Pulkkinen and Granlund. Miro Aaltonen wasn't really able to bring anything to the line, and I really cannot see him making the final roster.

Mikael Kuronen - Otto Paajanen - Roope Hämäläinen
(13th forward) Petteri Halinen

Our fourth line was simply in the wrong league. Only one who was somewhat noticeable was Halinen because of his size. I have no clue why Kuronen was chosen to be the best player of Team Finland in this match, maybe it was because he had so little icetime that he was least responsible for the loss?

Konsta Mäkinen - Jani Hakanpää

Despite the awful outcome of the game, I was really impressed in this pairs performance. Mäkinen was the only D-man who showed some skill with the puck, and was lonely responsible for our build-up game. Did make some mistakes though. Hakanpää was defensively reliable, and his skating was decent, although he looks quite awkward on the ice. Hakanpää will surely be one of our captains with Pulkkinen and older Granlund.

Ville Pokka - Henri Auvinen

Clearly our worst pair; Pokka seemed to be really soft, and Auvinen made horrible decisions with the puck. I'm not sure if Pokka is ready to play in WJC after all, but he should be a dominant force in U18 tournament in April.

Simo-Pekka Riikola - Valtteri Hietanen

Not too bad, but not too good either; Riikola had a bad first period, but he was able to bounce back and had a solid performance overall. Hietanen was quite invisible, but he really isn't expected to make the team anyway.

Sami Aittokallio - Ville Kolppanen

Aittokallio had some problems with rebounds, but still was able to stop the pucks, and had one really nice glove save on breakaway. Kolppanen did give four goals, which just isn't acceptable, altough some of those goals were nearly impossible.

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11-13-2011, 07:23 AM
  #250
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Thanks for the effort pajicz good work!

I barfed when I heard of that 5-0 loss. Just disgusting.

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