Wednesday, 29 December 2010
The helmet belongs to Joni Ortio, Finnish goaltender who is currently playing at the WJC. Luckily for Finland he seemed to follow helmet's rule and got a shutout against Switzerland. Hopefully the rule applies to following games too...
Ortio is drafted by Flames (sigh) and has won bronze from the U18 Worlds.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Brynäs may get fall's dream match
Nicklas Bäckström and superstars of Washington - against Brynäs in Läkeröl Arena.
Soon can the dream match in Gävle be a reality.
Accordint to Sport-Express Washington Capitals are much considered for NHL premiere next season.
-Of course it would be very cool, says Brynäs club director Hans-Göran Karlsson.
Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Bäckström, Alexander Semin and Mike Green. Washington Capitals are loaded with superstars.
Soon can Bäckström get a chance to take his teammates from USA with him home to Gävle and Läkerol Arena.
According to SPORT_Expressen, Washington is one of the teams /one of the remaining candidates to play their NHL premier in Stockholm next season.
- I know we were asked for that few years ago, can't remember which season it was but back then the GM said no. All I know is that it has been said what we will receive a request again but I haven't heard anything now, says team's Europe scout Mats Weiderstäl.
In previous years have NHL teams played training games against Swedish teams and with Bäckström as biggest star in Washington with Alex Ovechkin it will open an opportunity for a dream match against Brynäs.
While this would be very cool, I'd be happier if they would come to Helsinki. For totally unselfish reasons, of course....
Friday, 24 December 2010
I think all team should do something like this. The christmas jerseys would be fun and for good cause.
I know in North America and couple of other places Christmas is still day away, but in Finland the Christmas eve is the important part. That's when we eat the Christmas food and open our presents. The following days are just for eating the left overs and covering from food coma. And playing with gifts we've got! So hopefully I'll spend my weekend by playing with Johnny... But anyway, the point of this post was just to wish everyone a very, merry christmas! In multiply languages!
С НОВЫМ ГОДОМ!
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Thursday, 16 December 2010
As most people probably know, the champioship games are played in Buffalo and Niagara, 26 December 2010 – 5 January 2011. It's played in two groups, Finland being in Group A with USA, Slovakia, Switzerland and Germany while Sweden faces Russia, Canada, Czech Republic and Norway in Group B.
(Bonus, I found Norway's team too)
Samu Perhonen (JYP)
Sami Aittokallio (Ilves)
Joni Ortio (TPS)
Jyrki Jokipakka (Ilves
Tommi Kivisto (Jokerit)
Nico Manelius (Jokerit) A
Jani Hakanpää (Blues)
Rasmus Rissanen (Everett Silvertips)
Sami Vatanen (JYP) C
Olli Määttä (JYP)
Jesse Virtanen (Lukko)
Teemu Pulkkinen (Jokerit)
Erik Haula (University of Minnesota
Miikka Salomäki (Kärpät)
Julius Junttila (Kärpät)
Henri Tuominen (Ilves)
Iiro Pakarinen (KalPa) A
Joel Armia (Ässät)
Valtteri Virkkunen (Blues)
Teemu Tallberg (HIFK)
Toni Rajala (Ilves)
Mika Partanen (Mississauga)
Joonas Donskoi (Kärpät)
Jaakko Turtiainen (HPK)
Joonas Nättinen (Blues)
- 1 forward and 1 d-man will be dropped before the tournament
- No Granlund means bad news for the team as he is probably the most talented forward we've had in years
Johan Gustafsson, VIK
Robin Lehner, Binghamton
Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel, Almtuna
Simon Bertilsson, Brynäs
Jonas Brodin, Färjestad
Klas Dahlbeck, Linköping
Tim Erixon, Skellefteå
ohn Klingberg, Frölunda
Adam Larsson, Skellefteå
Patrik Nemeth, AIK
Fredrik Styrman, Luleå
Patrik Cehlin, Djurgården
Jesper Fasth, HV 71
Max Friberg, Skövde
Calle Järnkrok, Brynäs
Carl Klingberg, Frölunda
Anton Lander, Timrå
Gabriel Landeskog, Kitchener Rangers
Johan Larsson, Brynäs
Oscar Lindberg, Skellefteå
Rickard Rakell, Plymouth Whalers
Johan Sundström, Frölunda
Jesper Thörnberg, HV 71
Sebastian Wännström, Brynäs
- Hope to get Ekman-Larsson (D) from Coyotes
Kenneth Eriksen, Manglerud Star
Steffen Søberg, Manglerud Star
Lars Volden, Espoo Blues (FIN)
Robin Andersen, Stjernen
Jens Ulrik Bacher, Frisk Asker
Nicolay Bryhnisveen, Lørenskog
Adrian Saxrud Danielsen, Storhamar
Kenneth Madsø, Lillehammer
Daniel Rokseth, Manglerud Star
Tobias Skaarberg, Sparta Sarpsborg
Simen Viker Brekke, Vålerenga
Eirik Børresen, Storhamar
Petter Røste Fossen, Rosenborg
Hans Kristian Hollstedt, Stjernen
Michael Haga, Luleå, SWE
Rasmus Juell, Cedar Rapids, USA
Magnus Lindahl, Frisk Asker
Torstein Nordrum, Frisk Asker
Sondre Olden, Modo, SWE
Mats Rosseli Olsen, Vålerenga
Jonas Oppøyen, Vålerenga
Andreas Stene, Kelowna Rockets, CAN
Joachim Sundelius, Manglerud Star
Nicholas Weberg, Shattuck St Mary, USA
- Swedes make fun of Finns and Norwegians
- Finns make fun of Swedes
- Norwegians make fun of Swedes/hate them
- --> Sweden loses (well, not in hockey but still...)
Sunday, 5 December 2010
"He's such a skilled player, awesome stick handling but so frustrating. Can't understand the concept of defense, takes dumb penalties, plays only for money..."
Sounds familiar? Because that's pretty much how the Eastern European players are constantly described in North America. Talented and skilled, yet bit of dumbasses who can never become complete players because of the lacks they have. That's fair enough. You wanna be complete player, you might for example wanna check the meaning of "defensive zone" from your dictionary. It's right above "deflection".
What however is not fair, is that the aforementioned description only seems to apply to soff Europeans, mostly to Russians. Ever heard Canadian or American player been called an enigma? Didn't think so. Ever heard North American playing been said to be poor at defensing because of his nationality? I'd guess not. This of course then leads to a conclusion that all North American players are complete and not capable of doing horrible things such as taking dumb penalties, being bit of streak-y when it comes to scoring and - heaven forbid - being just after money. Like those sneaky Russians.
The best example of this "he's an enigma!" thing is Capitals' Semin. When it comes to pure skill, he is definitely one of the most skilled - if not the most skilled - player in the league. But he has never won the scoring title, reached the point amounts of Ovechkin or Crosby nor did he has very good start for his NHL career, with lockout season and army duties in Russia.
Does he at times do stupid things on the ice? Yes, though not as often as he used to.
Does he has scoring slumps? Yes.
Can he single handedly win the game? Quite likely.
Can he be trusted with PK time? YES.
Does he disapear when it matters? No.*
So what about that makes him an enigma? Most forwards do stupid things on the ice occasionally. Some more, some less. But from what I've seen, Semin's "dumb penalties" have in some level transformed into "why was that a penalty??". Bobby Ryan has more PIMs than Semin has. Though, Bobby Ryan has more PIMs than Jarkko Ruutu has so that might not be good comparison...
Most forwards also don't score in every single game during the season. I admit, some can do it with higher level of contancy than others. And most forwards can't win games single handedly nor can most non-defensive forwards play PK without causing high blood pressure for coach and fans.
So, judging by this, I'd say he's better than most forwards in NHL and doesn't seem to have lacks unusual to others.
Enigma? Sure, he doesn't give interviews in English but - while I can't know his reasons - let's put it this way.
A) His job is to score goals. Not to share his life with media.
B) If you had to move to Russia for job without having much of knowledge about Russian language before it, how eager would you be to give interviews in it?
C) We're all different. Some feel comfortable giving public statements in language they may don't have full understanding of, some doesn't.
Sometimes he plays like the best player on planet, sometimes he can't score to safe his life and/or takes bit of questionable penalties? Ovechkin has a habit of start to headhunt people and run all over them when he's frustrated (at least in national team, ask Wirz). And to be honest, I'd rather live with occasional tripping penalties than that. And as stated above, his lacks in game are not Russians' prerogative in hockey world. So those hardly makes him that much of an enigma.
And now that he has been mostly constantly good during the season thisfar. Surely it's because he may has done something to improve his game, matured a bit? No. It's because he wants big piles of money! Duh.
When he plays less awesome, he's lazy, soff Russian who should play better. When he plays better, he's greedy Russian. How exactly one can win at this?
If we now move forward from Semin - who keeps rocking PIMS for my otherwise so pathetic fantasy team - to issues people seem to have with Russian hockey players in general.
These are couple of those prejudices I keep hearing:
2. takes dumb penalties and is prone to changeable play mood
3. has no idea what this fuss about defense is
4. doesn't really care about NHL or SC
5. only after money
1. Is it so wrong to prefer to play "skill hockey" and try to bypass people instead of going through them? Russians can hit. If they do it a lot, it usually doesn't mean anything good.
2. Datsyuk? Fedorov? Morozov? We could do this all night. Yes, some Russians do take dumb penalties. In a same way some members of every other hockey nations do. Dumb penalties just happen. Nationality has nothing to do with it. Okay?
3. Because no one else ever lack the ability to play defensive way? Again, Datsyuk, Fedorov, Kovalchuk in national team etc. Sure, Russians seem to play hockey differently, but why is that wrong? Their game at the very best is pure art. And involves defensive aspect.
4. Would you leave your home, family and friends to move to the other side of the world to a country which language and culture you barely know for something you don't care about?
5. And the "they're only playing here because of money" arguement? Like no kidding sherlock. This. Is. Their. Job. Of course they want to make money. I guarantee, none of them - not even non-europeans - would be out there, skating after a tiny, black rubber puck just to entertain people if they didn't get something from it.
Is it fair that Kovalchuk makes millions a year by ignoring the existence of defensive zone (only applies in NHL) while normal people make $6 per hour frieng french fries at McDonalds? No, not really. But neither is the fact that they're judged for not playing North American way of hockey or not being able to communicate with media properly in English or because they may want to embrace the culture they come from instead of immediately americanize.
Just because something differs from what you're used to doesn't make it wrong. They're not North Americans. But they're likely scoring sweet goals for your teams.
*I know, I know... most of Capitals fans disagree with me but quite frankly I don't care. During his first NHL playoffs he scored 8 points in 7 games. 2008-09 he scored 14 points in as many games. 2009-10 he wasn't equally effective with 2 points in 7 games but he did shoot the most among the players. And I think that doesn't count as "disappearing". "Disappearing" is when you just circle around the ice wondering whether you should do something or not. "Disappearing" is something both Finland and Russia pulled during the Olympics. "Disappearing" is not when you try to do your best to score but the puck just doesn't bounce for you. And really, failing at one playoffs means that the previous good results just don't count anymore? Get real.