Team Finland/WC report cards

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by TK79, May 7, 2004.

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  1. TK79

    TK79 Registered User

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    Here's the report cards for team Finlands players at the World Championships. Overall I would give the team a grade of C+, they looked very good at times but were unable to play at their top level for the whole game.Even with a new coach, team Finland is still horrible at protecting leads, as they tend to surrender control to the opposition and start playing way too passively. But here goes:

    Goaltending: D

    Mika Noronen: D
    Played great against Sweden, USA and Russia.Was shaky against Slovakia and horrible against Canada. Your number one goalie has to step up in the playoffs, not self-destruct.You could say he didn't get enough support against Canada, but you can't let in the kind of goals Noronen did and still expect to win. With all this talk about the emergance of Finnish goalies, why do they always get outplayed in international games? :banghead:

    Jussi Markkanen: F
    Looked horrible against the Ukraine and didn't dress for the rest of the games. In my mind the most overrated Finnish goalie.

    Frederik Norrena: A
    Played in 1 game against Denmark and shut them out. Wasn't really tested, but looked very calm and reliable in the game. Had a small role on the team, but filled it perfectly.

    Defense: B+

    Jere Karalahti: B+
    Didn't make any mistakes in his own zone and played his usual style of psysical hockey. Made good outlet passes and was confident with the puck. Could have been better on the pp and on offense in general. Deserves to be a top-6 D in the World-Cup

    Sami Salo: B
    Was solid on the puck and played well in his own zone. Couldn't produce on the powerplay despite getting a lot of minutes. Also should find his way to the World Cup Squad.

    Tuukka Mäntylä: A-
    Probably the biggest overachiever and plesant suprise on the team. Had some trouble in the first games, but improved in every game. A fiesty little guy who skates and handles the puck very well and is suprisingly strong in the corners. Would be a sure-fire NHL:er if he wasn't a midget (5'9 or 176cm). Might have been the best D on the team. Great tournament! :handclap:

    Toni Söderholm: B
    Also looked pretty shaky early on, but improved as the tournament progressed. Wasn't too visable on offense, bit didn't make too many mistakes in his own zone either. Solid overall performance, Söderholm could be drafted this summer and find himself in the NHL next season.

    A-J Niemi: B+
    Another plesant suprise, played very well in a defensive role. Niemi will never be a factor on offense, but he won't let you down in your own zone either. The perfect 6th-defenseman, I wouldn't be suprised if Niemi gets another chance in the NHL.

    Petteri Nummelin: B-
    Turned in another solid performance, but wasn't the factor on offense he's been in previous WC tournaments. A great skater, Nummelin really comes into his own on the big ice. Had trouble grinding in the corners against bigger opponents. Wasn't quite himself against Canada, scored a great goal on the rush against Sweden. Derserves World Cup consideration, personally I would want him on the team.

    Janne Niinimaa: D-
    Horrible tournament, constantly made bad mistakes in his own zone. Wasn't the factor on offense that I expected. Improved as the tournament progressed, but was still the biggest dissapointment on the team. Too accident prone, I really hope he played himself out of the World Cup. :shakehead

    Offense: B-

    Olli Jokinen: B+
    Showed that he has developed into a leader for Finland. Played with heart and consistently racked up points. Showcased his big shot on several occasions. Drew crticism about not scoring against the better teams, but still played at a high level in those games. Me and my friends thought he actually deflected AJ Niemi's shot for Finlands third goal. Pencil him in for the 2nd-line center spot for the World Cup.

    Ville Peltonen: A-
    Played some of his best hockey in recent years, and currently leads the tournament in scoring. Worked hard, created chances and scored timely goals. 1+2 against Canada. Might have played himself onto the WC team. Will he give the NHL a third try?? Or is he a classic tweener, not fast enough for 1st/2nd line duty and not psycical enough to play a checking role in the NHL.

    Tomi Kallio B+
    Worked hard in the corners and used his speed to his advantage. Still needs to play more aggressively.Should have converted his scoring chances with more efficiency. Once thought of as a scoring prospect, Tomi has become a fine two-way player. He's still only 26, I hope he gives the NHL another try, as he could be a fine 2nd/3rd-line player in the right situation. Should play in the World Cup.

    Timo Pärssinen: C-
    Finnish league MVP was a huge dissapointment, didn't really find his niche on team. Played his best game against Canada. Tried hard and pulled off a few flashy moves, but couldn't put the puck in the net or create chances for his teammates. In my opinion should have been benched instead of Hagman for the final two games.

    Niko Kapanen: B+
    Rebounded from a nightmare NHL-season and was one of Finlands best forwards. A great playmaker who also scored some timely goals in the tournament. The "teletappi"-line created numerous scoring chances in almost every game and was Finlands second best line. Should rebound next season with Dallas as long as he works hard this summer. Could be on the WC squad.

    Jukka Hentunen: A
    In my book the team MVP, Hentunen played the best hockey of his life in the tournament. It's a shame he plagued by knee injuries the year he played for Calgary and Nashville, otherwise he might still be there. Exceptional skater who made things happen every time he was on the ice. Probably Finlands best player against Canada. Will recieve WC consideration.

    Kimmo Rintanen: D-
    Was a shadow of his former self and was unable to even create scoring chances. Was benched in several games and failed to produce when given pp time. Was credited with a goal against Canada, but only because the puck bounced off his back into the net. Another guy who played himself out of WC consideration.

    Esa Pirnes: C-
    Worked hard and had some good scoring chances, but couldn't put the puck in the net to save his life. Had a chance to finnish off Canada late in the 3rd off a great feed from Mäntylä. Played well defensively and was a factor on the pk.

    Jarkko Ruutu: C+
    Played his usual style of agitating, hard-hitting hockey. Played an small role and filled it resonably well. Wasn't able to create much offensively, and took a few unneccesary penalties.

    Antti Laaksonen: B+
    Did exactly what was asked of him, shut down opposing lines and killed penalties. Set up the game winning goal against the U.S. Would be perfect for an 4th-line role in the WC.

    Tony Virta: C
    In finnish you could charactarise his performance as hajuton, väritön, mauton. This basically means that you could hardly notice him on the ice. The exception was that he killed penalties well. In my opinion the coach had better altertives for the team than him.

    Lasse Pirjetä: C+
    Lasse started off with a bang, scoring two goals against the U.S, and looked ready for a break-through performance. Broke his nose against Denmark if I remember correctly and was really never the same after that. Needs to play with more urgency and determination.

    Jari Viuhkola: B-
    Only played in two games, but won a lot of key faceoffs and played very well defensively. Played a limited role, so we really didn't get a chance to see what he can do offensively at this level. Could be a usefull player for Chicago next season.

    Niklas Hagman: D
    Couldn't really find his game in the tournament. Skated hard and showed a lot of effort. Probably suffered from playing on a line with Pirnes and Rintanen, who also struggled offensively.In my opinion didn't deserve to get benched for the final 3 games. I would have rather let Pärssinen or Virta sit out. Hagman probably blew his chances of making the World Cup squad though.

    In conclusion I would like to thank team Finland for the tournament, even though it ended in heartbreak. Finland showed once again that they have a chance at winning the Gold medal every year. But realistically there are also six other top nations competing for the Gold, so winning requires a little luck to go along with a great team. I'm condident Kari "Kärppä" Lehtonen will backstop Finland to an World Championship sometime during the next decade. Now the only question for me is who to root for? I had hoped Sweden would win Gold if not Finland.. But after reading some comments on this board with Swedish posters rubbing the OT-loss in our faces i think i'm inclined to root for Slovakia.
     
  2. Salming

    Salming Registered User

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    I must say that Nummelin always is a force on the finnish team. He controls the PP like no other Finnish D and is probably the most mentally strong Finnish player you have. He always plays with his head up.

    Jokinen, on the other hand, has never impressed me when his team is playing under pressure. He should throw his body around more often when his team is in a slump. When playing Sweden he's not a player that scares you whenever he's got the puck. Like for instance, Hentunen (or Sundin for the Swedes).
     
  3. Hans Moleman

    Hans Moleman Was saying Boortuzzi

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    Just allow me to point out a few things here:

    Niinimaa (He just came off a season where he played every single game in an 82 game schedule and a playoff series) had 5 assists and is tied for the lead in points for defensemen and he wasn't the factor on offense that you expected? What did you expect? I can understand you judging his defensive play, it didn't thrill me, but his offensive?

    And on that note, Nummelin had 2 goals and 4 points, and HE wasn't an offensive force either? But you gave him a B- which is certainly generous of you considering his absolute pathetic offensive play. I'm sure you also chastise the forwards for not being the defensive force they should be as well.

    And you give Norrena an A for beating the Danes and Noronen a D for playing... everyone else, and you yourself said he played more good games than bad. He blanked the Russians and held the Swedes to 1 goal and beat a USA team that can beat the Czechs. He was hung out to dry in the Slovak game and the only point I agree with is that he let in softies against the Canadians. Severe case of short-sightedness.
     
  4. Sampe

    Sampe Registered User

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    Or a grading system based on expectations, not absolute playing level. I've noticed that a lot of us Finns tend to use that one. For example, that A- for Mäntylä...it HAS to be based on expectations. He looked completely lost in the first two games and was even worse than Niinimaa.
     
  5. SwisshockeyAcademy

    SwisshockeyAcademy Registered User

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    I have seen every game Canada has played and nobody has played as the Finns have. They play a game you have to play against top goaltenders if you want to win. They crashed the net hard and threw pucks there. They were also very quick in transition. We lose this game going away of Noronen does not give a performance that i have not seen at the worlds in some time, absolutely atrocious. The team kept giving him leads and he kept giving them back. Not even the awful Pavol Rybar for the Slovaks many years ago was that bad. I honestly can't think of a worse effort.Simchuk maybe?
     
  6. TK79

    TK79 Registered User

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    Niinimaa: I don't know how familiar you are with Janne's previous showings for Team Finland, but they have all been a lot better than this. Despite getting 5 assists, Janne's overall contribution to the offense wasn't that great. I've seen him really pushing the puck and contantly create chances on the pp in previous tournaments. And his defense was a lot worse this time around, he had a couple of really bad give-aways in every game.

    Nummelin: He has been almost dominating on the pp in some tournaments, scoring around 10 points. Nummelin was very good in this tournament, put has been even better previously.

    Noronen: I don't care how well you play in the previous games, if you self-destruct when it counts you're a dissapointment. I gave Norrena an A because he did everything he could in the limited role he was given.
     
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