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Team Finland @ 2012 U20WJC's

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Old
11-13-2011, 08:28 AM
  #251
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Thanks for the excellent report Pajicz

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11-13-2011, 10:14 AM
  #252
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Originally Posted by YARR123 View Post

I barfed when I heard of that 5-0 loss. Just disgusting.
It was sort of expected when you play 3 games in 3 days. Our smaller team is even more hampered by the extra fatigue against the bigger Swedish team. Can't understand why they can't play with the same schedule as the Karjala tournament, with one off-day between the games.

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11-13-2011, 04:24 PM
  #253
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Originally Posted by Pajicz View Post
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.
Pokka isn’t aggressive and you rarely see him going for a big hit, but I wouldn’t call him soft. He’s sturdy, quite strong on his feet and pretty good in puck battles. Sometimes he doesn’t have optimal amount of speed(=force) going into a situation, but that’s due to his somewhat limited mobility. As long as Pokka is healthy, I’m 95% certain that he plays at the WJC’s and also in a pretty big role.

Against the Swedes he was the only defenseman who had enough puck moving abilities to constantly bypass the strong Swedish forechecking, advance the play and create offence. He played a lot more offensively than in SM-liiga and for example went deep into the offensive zone on several occasions. His “ultra-offensive” style of play was a bit risky and lead to few dangerous situations for Sweden; like loosing the puck next to the Finnish net or getting caught out of position in a quick turnover. He can play a more secure/defensively oriented game as well, against the Swedes it was just better that he tried to abridge Sweden’s lead and create offense.

Åberg scored his goal while the Pokka – Auvinen pair was on the ice. It was a difficult situation, but I think they fell back too much and should’ve closed the gap when they still had the chance. In the end it was just one defensive error, Finland made a lot of them and it was one of the biggest reasons why they lost the game.

I agree about Ruuttu, in addition to Salomäki he brought things to the team that it was otherwise missing. IMO he should be a lock to the WJC team. Teräväinen was in a wrong role playing centre forward against a strong team like Sweden.

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11-14-2011, 09:16 AM
  #254
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So, the tournament in Vaasa has been played, and I guess it's time to look how our squad looks at the moment. Judging by what I've seen and read, this is likely to be very close to our final squad...

Gibson
Aittokallio
Kolppanen

I suppose this is the GK trio. The order of preference between these three is still a subject of further debate though.


Määttä
Hakanpää
Mäkinen
Pokka
Ristolainen
Riikola
?

The 7th guy to break the squad eludes me at this moment. Could be pretty much anyone we've seen or haven't seen. Perhaps Patrik Parkkonen? Hasn't been notably good nor notably bad in WHL, but at least he knows the NA type of game. Konsta Mäkinen, who seemed like a filler and possible Määttä stand-in for me before these games kinda managed to make a case for himself.


MAG - MIG - Pulkkinen
Donskoi - Salomäki - Armia
Mustonen - Barkov - Ruuttu
Partanen - Paajanen - Halinen
Aaltonen

Yeah, I know, that first line lacks some size but considering how Pulkkinen seems to find his game with a Granlund no matter the first name, and the brothers have played together quite a bit also, I'm willing to make that sacrifice for extra chemistry.

Armia has been a total meh all season and looked out of place most of the time in Vaasa as well, but I guess we can consider him a top-six lock despite that. If Donskoi truly has those mad mentoring skillz our friend Tormentor likes to advertise perhaps they're best put to use in getting Joppe's game back on the rails.

The rest of the guys are what they are. Barkov can handle himself on this level and Ruuttu looked really solid as well. Teräväinen was bit of a disappointment and perhaps he should have deserved a chance better than what he had, but I doubt he's going to get one and is therefore out of the squad 'til next year. Fourth line consists of the guys who seemed least out of their game in Vaasa plus Partanen.


Our coaching has improved greatly, but still gives the vibe of having those occasional on-off -moments. I guess at this stage there's not a lot to do than hope they vanish once the real games begin.

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11-14-2011, 09:40 AM
  #255
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
So, the tournament in Vaasa has been played, and I guess it's time to look how our squad looks at the moment. Judging by what I've seen and read, this is likely to be very close to our final squad...

Gibson
Aittokallio
Kolppanen

I suppose this is the GK trio. The order of preference between these three is still a subject of further debate though.


Määttä
Hakanpää
Mäkinen
Pokka
Ristolainen
Riikola
?

The 7th guy to break the squad eludes me at this moment. Could be pretty much anyone we've seen or haven't seen. Perhaps Patrik Parkkonen? Hasn't been notably good nor notably bad in WHL, but at least he knows the NA type of game. Konsta Mäkinen, who seemed like a filler and possible Määttä stand-in for me before these games kinda managed to make a case for himself.


MAG - MIG - Pulkkinen
Donskoi - Salomäki - Armia
Mustonen - Barkov - Ruuttu
Partanen - Paajanen - Halinen
Aaltonen

Yeah, I know, that first line lacks some size but considering how Pulkkinen seems to find his game with a Granlund no matter the first name, and the brothers have played together quite a bit also, I'm willing to make that sacrifice for extra chemistry.

Armia has been a total meh all season and looked out of place most of the time in Vaasa as well, but I guess we can consider him a top-six lock despite that. If Donskoi truly has those mad mentoring skillz our friend Tormentor likes to advertise perhaps they're best put to use in getting Joppe's game back on the rails.

The rest of the guys are what they are. Barkov can handle himself on this level and Ruuttu looked really solid as well. Teräväinen was bit of a disappointment and perhaps he should have deserved a chance better than what he had, but I doubt he's going to get one and is therefore out of the squad 'til next year. Fourth line consists of the guys who seemed least out of their game in Vaasa plus Partanen.


Our coaching has improved greatly, but still gives the vibe of having those occasional on-off -moments. I guess at this stage there's not a lot to do than hope they vanish once the real games begin.
I hate it when they change the U-20 coach every 1-2 years. Marjamäki was a really good coach for last year and it was exciting to watch that type of Finland. I doubt we will be in the final, bronze medal? maybe but this coaching i think that it's very hard to win it.

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11-14-2011, 11:06 AM
  #256
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4th line seems to be a concern at the moment. Finland needs a very good 4th line, and IMO Paajanen just hasnt got the size,speed,grit to center that line, but could be used as a winger, because he is a good 2way forward.

Could we get decent lines with these centers: MiGranlund, MaGranlund, Salomäki and Barkov?

Pulkkinen-MiGranlund-Teräväinen (
Lets face it, even I could be the winger with those two guys and that line would KILL But I really think Teräväinen could be great with our superstars. Some crazy skill in that line for sure.

Armia-MaGranlund-Ruuttu
Sniper, playmaker, grinder. Could be terrible or suprisingly good line. We just need Armia to wake up.

Mustonen-Salomäki-Donskoi
All around line, that can also score.

Halinen(?)-Barkov-Paajanen
Dont know about Halinen, but he has the size. Barkov provides size and strong 2way play (remember, Crosby also played 3-4line when he was 16 in WJC), Paajanen is a good defensive forward.

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11-14-2011, 11:20 AM
  #257
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Originally Posted by FinProspects View Post
4th line seems to be a concern at the moment. Finland needs a very good 4th line, and IMO Paajanen just hasnt got the size,speed,grit to center that line, but could be used as a winger, because he is a good 2way forward.

Could we get decent lines with these centers: MiGranlund, MaGranlund, Salomäki and Barkov?

Pulkkinen-MiGranlund-Teräväinen (
Lets face it, even I could be the winger with those two guys and that line would KILL But I really think Teräväinen could be great with our superstars. Some crazy skill in that line for sure.

Armia-MaGranlund-Ruuttu
Sniper, playmaker, grinder. Could be terrible or suprisingly good line. We just need Armia to wake up.

Mustonen-Salomäki-Donskoi
All around line, that can also score.

Halinen(?)-Barkov-Paajanen
Dont know about Halinen, but he has the size. Barkov provides size and strong 2way play (remember, Crosby also played 3-4line when he was 16 in WJC), Paajanen is a good defensive forward.
Markus Granlund isn't good choice for center spot. I doubt he can handle the pace of the small rink against faster and stronger opponents. I would rather play Joel Mustonen as center.

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11-14-2011, 11:22 AM
  #258
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Originally Posted by FinProspects View Post
4th line seems to be a concern at the moment. Finland needs a very good 4th line, and IMO Paajanen just hasnt got the size,speed,grit to center that line, but could be used as a winger, because he is a good 2way forward.
I think it's more of a problem if a line or unit is small overall. Having only some players who are perhaps lacking physique but able to make it up with sound positioning, not so much. Having Paajanen (or possibly Kuronen) center the fourth isn't going to be a huge issue if his wingers are e.g. Partanen and Halinen who can throw the hits and forecheck aggressively.

While it's definitely advantageous to have some meat in the team and big bodies around, it goes too far IMO if we look at each player individually and start picking their physical aspects apart, especially if we overlook their other skills and hockey sense in the process. Besides, our players are pretty renowned for the fact that even our smallest fries aren't afraid to get down and dirty if the good of the team calls for it.

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11-14-2011, 11:28 AM
  #259
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
I think it's more of a problem if a line or unit is small overall. Having only some players who are perhaps lacking physique but able to make it up with sound positioning, not so much. Having Paajanen (or possibly Kuronen) center the fourth isn't going to be a huge issue if his wingers are e.g. Partanen and Halinen who can throw the hits and forecheck aggressively.

While it's definitely advantageous to have some meat in the team and big bodies around, it goes too far IMO if we look at each player individually and start picking their physical aspects apart, especially if we overlook their other skills and hockey sense in the process. Besides, our players are pretty renowned for the fact that even our smallest fries aren't afraid to get down and dirty if the good of the team calls for it.
Last year we had small team aswell and we were fine except against big players like Kuznetsov and especially Bjugstad. I think our biggest concern is coaching.

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11-14-2011, 12:21 PM
  #260
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Originally Posted by FinProspects View Post
4th line seems to be a concern at the moment. Finland needs a very good 4th line, and IMO Paajanen just hasnt got the size,speed,grit to center that line, but could be used as a winger, because he is a good 2way forward.

Could we get decent lines with these centers: MiGranlund, MaGranlund, Salomäki and Barkov?

Pulkkinen-MiGranlund-Teräväinen (
Lets face it, even I could be the winger with those two guys and that line would KILL But I really think Teräväinen could be great with our superstars. Some crazy skill in that line for sure.

Armia-MaGranlund-Ruuttu
Sniper, playmaker, grinder. Could be terrible or suprisingly good line. We just need Armia to wake up.

Mustonen-Salomäki-Donskoi
All around line, that can also score.

Halinen(?)-Barkov-Paajanen
Dont know about Halinen, but he has the size. Barkov provides size and strong 2way play (remember, Crosby also played 3-4line when he was 16 in WJC), Paajanen is a good defensive forward.
Just checking, are you listing lines in the RW-C-LW order? Because it's a bit confusing unless you really want Pulkkinen to play on his off wing.

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11-14-2011, 12:25 PM
  #261
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Because it's a bit confusing unless you really want Pulkkinen to play on his off wing.
Armia likewise.

Actually, now that I look at it, ALL of his top-six wingers are natural RWs, making those lines a long shot. Ruuttu is the only one for whom it's less of an issue. (And ironically, he gets the spot anyway.)

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11-14-2011, 12:32 PM
  #262
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
Armia likewise.

Actually, now that I look at it, ALL of his top-six wingers are natural RWs, making those lines a long shot. Ruuttu is the only one for whom it's less of an issue. (And ironically, he gets the spot anyway.)
I think Donskoi is a left wing, at least he's played on U-20 and U-18 national teams in that position

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11-14-2011, 12:40 PM
  #263
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I think Donskoi is a left wing, at least he's played on U-20 and U-18 national teams in that position
I'm under impression that he's one also. But then again, it's the more natural wing for Mustonen as well.

So yeah. Unless one wants half of the team playing on their off wings, that lineup's quite a reach.

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11-14-2011, 01:13 PM
  #264
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
The 7th guy to break the squad eludes me at this moment. Could be pretty much anyone we've seen or haven't seen. Perhaps Patrik Parkkonen? Hasn't been notably good nor notably bad in WHL, but at least he knows the NA type of game. Konsta Mäkinen, who seemed like a filler and possible Määttä stand-in for me before these games kinda managed to make a case for himself.
I don’t think Parkkonen is an improvement over anyone who played in Vaasa, but who knows what Helminen is thinking. Mäkinen played in a big role with Hakanpää already at Lake Placid, so they could very well be a pair at the WJC’s as well. Mäkinen and Kuronen are from Ilves organization, so Helminen probably knows pretty well what to expect from them.

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Armia has been a total meh all season and looked out of place most of the time in Vaasa as well, but I guess we can consider him a top-six lock despite that. If Donskoi truly has those mad mentoring skillz our friend Tormentor likes to advertise perhaps they're best put to use in getting Joppe's game back on the rails.
I don’t think Donskoi has mad mentoring skills, but it’s a fact that older and more experienced guys quite often lead by example in these youth tournaments. There’s only one U20 player in Finland who could potentially help Joppe get his game and confidence in a bit better order and that’s Mikael Granlund.

Donskoi is going through his own struggle at the moment, he’s far from top shape due to military service, prolonged flu symptoms and a groin injury. His game is quite strongly based on keeping high tempo and challenging opponents in one-on-one situations, so having problems with endurance clearly shows in his game.

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11-14-2011, 01:23 PM
  #265
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
I don’t think Donskoi has mad mentoring skills, but it’s a fact that older and more experienced guys quite often lead by example in these youth tournaments. There’s only one U20 player in Finland who could potentially help Joppe get his game and confidence in a bit better order and that’s Mikael Granlund.
For the record, I was merely yanking your chain my friend.

Have to disagree with you on the Granlund bit though. The only fellow who can currently help Armia is Armia himself.

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11-14-2011, 01:27 PM
  #266
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I don’t think Parkkonen is an improvement over anyone who played in Vaasa, but who knows what Helminen is thinking. Mäkinen played in a big role with Hakanpää already at Lake Placid, so they could very well be a pair at the WJC’s as well. Mäkinen and Kuronen are from Ilves organization, so Helminen probably knows pretty well what to expect from them.

I don’t think Donskoi has mad mentoring skills, but it’s a fact that older and more experienced guys quite often lead by example in these youth tournaments. There’s only one U20 player in Finland who could potentially help Joppe get his game and confidence in a bit better order and that’s Mikael Granlund.

Donskoi is going through his own struggle at the moment, he’s far from top shape due to military service, prolonged flu symptoms and a groin injury. His game is quite strongly based on keeping high tempo and challenging opponents in one-on-one situations, so having problems with endurance clearly shows in his game.
I think it's pretty obvious that Raipe has these lines in top 9 in his mind:

Ma.Granlund-Mi.Granlund-Pulkkinen
Donskoi-Salomäki-Armia
Mustonen-Barkov-Ruuttu

I agree with you tho. They should play Armia with Mi. Granlund to boost his confidence up otherwise he could hurt the game of the other line.

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11-14-2011, 01:36 PM
  #267
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Perhaps Armia could play PP on Mikael's RW, and Pulu could be at the point. Something like:

PP1:
Markus Granlund - Mikael Granlund - Joel Armia
Olli Määttä - Teemu Pulkkinen

PP2:
Joonas Donskoi - Aleksander Barkov - Miikka Salomäki
Ville Pokka - Jani Hakanpää


Then again, I'm just passing up ideas here.

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11-14-2011, 01:39 PM
  #268
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Originally Posted by Haite View Post
Perhaps Armia could play PP on Mikael's RW, and Pulu could be at the point. Something like:

PP1:
Markus Granlund - Mikael Granlund - Joel Armia
Olli Määttä - Teemu Pulkkinen

PP2:
Joonas Donskoi - Aleksander Barkov - Miikka Salomäki
Ville Pokka - Jani Hakanpää


Then again, I'm just passing up ideas here.
Not a bad idea at all but i don't know why Määttä is in our #1 PP isn't Pokka always been more talented PP defender?

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11-14-2011, 01:48 PM
  #269
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Not a bad idea at all but i don't know why Määttä is in our #1 PP isn't Pokka always been more talented PP defender?
Possibly so.

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11-14-2011, 04:09 PM
  #270
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Just checking, are you listing lines in the RW-C-LW order? Because it's a bit confusing unless you really want Pulkkinen to play on his off wing.
Well, basically just W-C-W. I´m aware that Pulu and Armia are RW´s. Didnt think too much wheter a player is a RW or LW, because the point of the post were the centers basically.

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11-14-2011, 04:19 PM
  #271
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Originally Posted by thomast View Post
I think it's pretty obvious that Raipe has these lines in top 9 in his mind:

Ma.Granlund-Mi.Granlund-Pulkkinen
Donskoi-Salomäki-Armia
Mustonen-Barkov-Ruuttu

I agree with you tho. They should play Armia with Mi. Granlund to boost his confidence up otherwise he could hurt the game of the other line.
There's 3 centers on the 3rd line, I would see one of them playing as 4th line center. For example put Mustonen on the 4th line and Teräväinen to play with Barkov and Ruuttu. Mustonen would make the 4th line way more dangerous.

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11-14-2011, 04:24 PM
  #272
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11-14-2011, 04:25 PM
  #273
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For the record, I was merely yanking your chain my friend.

Have to disagree with you on the Granlund bit though. The only fellow who can currently help Armia is Armia himself.
Armia is struggling badly at the moment, playing with Granlund might give him some positive experiences. Few pointers might be all that’s needed for Armia to get through the worst of the deadlock. People cause most of their problems themselves and it's true that Armia himself needs to do the most of the work, but encouragement, support and honest feedback are sometimes crucial for a person who doubts himself or is in trouble.

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Originally Posted by thomast View Post
I think it's pretty obvious that Raipe has these lines in top 9 in his mind:

Ma.Granlund-Mi.Granlund-Pulkkinen
Donskoi-Salomäki-Armia
Mustonen-Barkov-Ruuttu

I agree with you tho. They should play Armia with Mi. Granlund to boost his confidence up otherwise he could hurt the game of the other line.
Top-9 could very well be like that. Teräväinen might still be an option as a winger though, especially if he gets to play good minutes in SM-liiga during these following weeks. I wasn’t implying in my previous post that Armia should definitely play with Granlund, just thinking the same way with you that it might help Armia a bit.

I don’t know what to think about the composition of this team anymore, some of it seems to still be in shambles and several players are underachieving. There’s a well known saying that the team is as good as its weakest link, hopefully Helminen finds a decent solution for the 4th line. Defence might be too big of a problem to resolve, there just isn’t enough reliable shutdown defensemen available to form a good backbone. Even having guys like Rissanen and Manelius from last year would be golden for this team.

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11-14-2011, 04:25 PM
  #274
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Originally Posted by Haite View Post
Perhaps Armia could play PP on Mikael's RW, and Pulu could be at the point. Something like:

PP1:
Markus Granlund - Mikael Granlund - Joel Armia
Olli Määttä - Teemu Pulkkinen

PP2:
Joonas Donskoi - Aleksander Barkov - Miikka Salomäki
Ville Pokka - Jani Hakanpää


Then again, I'm just passing up ideas here.
Imo,

PP1:
Markus Granlund/Donskoi - Mikael Granlund - Miikka Salomäki
Teemu Pulkkinen - Olli määttä

PP2:
Joonas Donskoi/Markus - Aleksander Barkov - Joel Armia
Ville Pokka - Jani Hakanpää

Moving Pulkkinen to left wing wouldn't be a bad idea either.

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11-14-2011, 10:23 PM
  #275
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Originally Posted by Ifk2k11champs View Post
Imo,

PP1:
Markus Granlund/Donskoi - Mikael Granlund - Miikka Salomäki
Teemu Pulkkinen - Olli määttä

PP2:
Joonas Donskoi/Markus - Aleksander Barkov - Joel Armia
Ville Pokka - Jani Hakanpää

Moving Pulkkinen to left wing wouldn't be a bad idea either.
On the powerplay? He seems to do most damage playing on the point. Also, since Hakanpää has played in front of the goal on the powerplays (on the first unit) since last year's U-18 WJC, I'd assume they'll keep him there since it' obviously has worked.

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