The golden age of Finnish hockey.

Discussion in 'Finland' started by Hasa92, Oct 9, 2014.

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  1. Hasa92

    Hasa92 Registered User

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    We have more NHL players in years or maybe the most ever so far? Haven't check'd that but i bet it's close at least. Not only that but we have a lot of both young players breaking into the league and veteran players in their prime.

    Our national team has done well, bronze in the last Olympics, Gold at u20 & Silver in Skoda Cup.
    Jokerit, the first Finnish KHL team is also doing well, they have winning streaks after winning streaks in the 2nd. best league in the world.
    Finnish Liiga teams are also making a name for themselves in the CHL... Thought i wouldn't call CHL a proper "champions" league, at least not yet.

    Was 2014 the beginning of the Golden Age of Finnish Hockey? Will it last and how long & how far will we get?

    I think it is, and i think it we'll get more success than ever in the upcoming 5-10 years. For the first time in history we might actually become favorites to win the big tournaments.



    Talking about 2014 it might be one of the best sports years in our nations history, not just hockey. Including the success in hockey, for the 1st time in both Basketball & Volleyball Finland's national team played in the World Championships of both of the respective sports. 2014 might rank as one of the best sport years for Finland just behind the years when we used to get loads of Olympic gold medals back in the day.

    Discuss.
     
  2. Raimo Sillanpää

    Raimo Sillanpää Registered User

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    We had almost 50 nhl players at one point, so its not the most ever..

    1998
    WJC Gold (olli Jokinen, niklas hagman generation)
    Olympic bronze (first best on best)
    Skoda cup silver (losing 0-1 in two games to Sweden, only NHL playerswe had was S Kapanen)
    UEFA European Championship qualifying - Finland was in first place briefly (never since)
    1998 was also the year HJK played in the champions league group phase
    ToPo came within 1 point of going to the next round too in Basketball European League
     
  3. kelsier

    kelsier Registered User

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    This is what I've been saying for some time now (and using the exact same phrase). With all the talent emerging all of the sudden NHL will be so much fun to watch and follow in about 4-6 years from now. Even now there are plenty of fresh guys starting their carees over the pond. When looking inward there's a big stash of promising youngsters coming up and it doesn't seem like the pool is drying at this point. Think we can partly thank out eastern neighbours for drawing the best players (that never made a career in NHL) over the border and enabling space for kids to be developed faster in grown up environment. Also the signs of "meidän peli" is fading away slowly, but it's still there to some extent.
     
  4. Hasa92

    Hasa92 Registered User

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    Oh damn was i off! :D But still we haven't had this many NHL players in years.

    1998 seems to be a good contender but i would still argue 2014 to have been more succesfull and besides didn't some Football teams do pretty well on the Euro fields this year too?



    And Keslier i totally agree with you. I thin we will witness some of the best hockey ever played by Finns for the next 10 years or so.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  5. warkkila

    warkkila Registered User

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    We are not even close to our early 2000s level.

    # of drafted finns (1.st rounders)
    and some notes i've gathered from Jatkoaika's Nuori Suomi topic:

    1995: 13(3)
    Kummola praises the NuSu system.
    -
    2001: 24(2)
    2002: 26(5)
    - :cry:
    The NuSu generations
    - :cry:
    Kummola dumps the NuSu system.
    New junior system is started somewhere around 2009-2010.
    2010: 7(1)
    2011: 10(1)
    2012: 9(2)
    2013: 11(2)
    2014: 9(2)

    I think we are now halfway through a transition period between the old and the new system. Most improvements were made to F- to D-juniors so it will take many years before results are starting to show. If '05s are not skating circles around most opponents in early 2020s, something is wrong with a system (again).
     
  6. FiLe

    FiLe Mr. Know-It-Nothing

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    Those numbers mean nothing without looking at how many of 'em actually made a career in the NHL. As far as I recall, in those years, for every Ruutu, Lehtonen and Pitkänen we got up there we produced five Jesse Niinimäkis, Kevin Kantees and Tuukka Pulliainens who heard their name called in the late rounds but never made the transition.

    This is because there's whole another entity not in direct relation to the Finnish junior mill that has also developed - the NHL scouting machine. So saying "yeah, we were a draft monster back then" is fooling oneself without examining the NHL-to-bust ratio. While fewer Finns hear their name called these days, these ones actually have far better odds of making it, even if falling a round or two.

    So... I'd be inclined to say that we are already at the level of development we were in the early 2000s. What's truly interesting is if we can even pick up from here.
     
  7. JJTT

    JJTT Registered User

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    High draft pick numbers in early 2000's where because lots of overagers(over 22 year old's) got picked.

    Lets look back at "early 2000s" without overagers:

    Only NHL'ers we produced (over 150 games or currently in NHL)

    2000(81-82 age group): Miettinen
    2001(82-83 age group): Koivu, Jokinen, Ruutu
    2002(83-84 age group): Lehtonen, Pitkänen, Bergenheim, Filppula
    2003(84-85 age group): (Kukkonen if you count him)
    2004(85-86 age group): Korpikoski, Nokelainen, Lepistö, Rämö, Rinne
    2005(86-87 age group): Rask
    2006(87-88 age group): Joensuu, Komarov
    2007(88-89 age group): None
    2008(89-90 age group): Lehterä

    So 18 NHL'ers in 8 years.

    I'm sure 2009-2017 will be better than that
     
  8. Hasa92

    Hasa92 Registered User

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    Exactly and it's not just NHL draft picks but Finns are doing well in almost every other section as well, KHL, CHL, international tournaments etc.

    I doubt we have ever been so competetive before, at least
    not in so many different levels and age groups at the same time and i don't see this trend stopping anytime soon.
     
  9. Jean Luc Discard

    Jean Luc Discard Registered User

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    Actually I was about to make thread with similar topic... It's really a beginning of an exciting time in Finnish hockey where a early stage of the "produce" from a continuum of Finnish prospects have started/about to start their NHL careers e.g Barkov, Granlund, Vatanen, Määttä, Ristolainen. And were not just talking about borderline NHL players that'll be sent back to European leagues basically after a few games, but guys that could be bona fide top players for the NHL (not just goalies anymore). Canadians usually boast that they could send out their B-squad to international tournaments... but you know what? We could also have an abundance of quality NHL players (not just 3rd liners) in the future too if everything goes well.

    Kekäläinen said in a one interview that it's not about the overall amount Finnish draft picks but that there's couple Finns drafted in the first round which constitutes a quality players for the national team, and I have to agree. One pick in the first round - average draft, two first rounders - successful draft. However, I'm not so much into how low the number of the draft pick is as long as its up in the list. Actually, I'm glad that only Barkov and Ristolainen have gone into perennial bottom feeder teams (to be blunt), because they are tough sob's and they just might have the ability to figure out on their own on how to be a major factor to yank the Cats and Sabres into the playoffs. Teräväinen, Määttä, Vatanen co. are in good teams that have all-star players on their teams who can demonstrate what it takes to be a winner in the NHL.

    I'm still unable to fathom how the swedes are able to churn 1st rounders in a conveyor belt-style, but... more power to 'em, I guess. I think that Canada, Sweden, USA and Russian are going to be the favorites for international tournaments (historical inclination), but the Finnish team is going to be a different breed when it consists of three lines that can actually score instead of just one.
     
  10. QnebO

    QnebO Wheel, snipe, celly

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    [​IMG]

    We are definitely entering golden age. Very good young players coming up and already breaking thru.

    Vatanen, Granlund, Maatta with stellar games last night. As a victim of NuSU and team play first coaching, it is great to see we are producing individual talents again.
     
  11. Urbanskog

    Urbanskog Platinum Member

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    HJK play in the Europa League, similar to KHL's Nadezhda Cup and they are bound to lose all their matches.
     
  12. warkkila

    warkkila Registered User

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    I too believe that "scoring winger" might be our new export product. Pure offensive skill and goal scoring seems to be important in this new junior system. When the Selänne Academy opens its doors things get even better.
    Its like total turn around from past, from two-way grinders to offensive minded danglers.
     
  13. FiLe

    FiLe Mr. Know-It-Nothing

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    Posts like these can derail a thread pretty quick... let's try not to turn this into another hockey vs. soccer peeing match. Would much sooner talk about the bright future of Finnish hockey.
     
  14. Gaps

    Gaps Registered User

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    It's great that we have top talent again, but we shouldn't be satisfied. We should examine the reasons that have made our top prospects/young players as good as they are.

    What makes JYP (seemingly) so good at developing defensemen? Vatanen, Määttä, Honka. Is it a coincidence that they're all from the same junior team? Or are they doing something differently? It could certainly still be a coincidence, but 3 high level young defensemen from the same team in a relatively small country that hasn't exactly developed many D lately seems unusual.
     
  15. BOB3000

    BOB3000 Registered User

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    Well making top quality players is not the same thing as making a top quality team. I dont know why people are so upset with the game system Finland has employed over a long time?

    Thats what I always liked about our nationalteam that we didnt stand or fall with some players.

    The future is exciting to say the least. But we dont really know if our youth are going to get as good as hyped.

    Remember the hype around Granlund? I sure dont hope that the whole nextgen will be more granlunds... And just to be clear, im not saying hes a bad players. He is really good. But he was hyped as the next selänne type of guy.
     
  16. warkkila

    warkkila Registered User

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    JYP is one of the "rebel" teams that did not obey the NuSu regulations after they figured out that system is not working (around 04-06). This at least is how P.Sihvonen explains it on the JA's NuSu topic...
    I think that "Our Game" is copy of 90's swedish tactic. Sweden at the time did play very similar cautious and well organised neutral zone trap. 90's Finland on the otherhand was way more aggressive and "immature" tactically...
    Just like Sweden in 2011 and 2014 finals.:sarcasm:
    On Granlunds junior days most finns didnt believe that there was anything wrong with the system.
    Patrik Laine would have got frustrated, killed his coach and retire to asylum well before Junior A if he had to go through the NuSu system on it's glory days early-mid 2000s.
     
  17. FiLe

    FiLe Mr. Know-It-Nothing

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    We actually discussed this quite a bit following last spring's WHC. Yes, we do have a game plan in place that pretty much makes us better than we appear. However, totally buying into that system also makes as always the bridesmaid and never the bride. So near, yet so far. Almost, but not quite... you get the idea. In plain English, it helps us capture medals, but we never seem quite good enough to take gold. For that, you arguably need players who are capable of taking charge on those final yards and dragging the team over the line all by themselves.

    Take a gander back to most of the finals we've played. How many times have you heard Mertaranta say something in effect "now, there is a big mantle for someone who wants it... who is that hero who's gonna decide the game? who?" Yet one never rose. And only later, I came to realize that it was because there wasn't one to begin with. Having egos bigger than the team... may not be entirely a bad thing.

    I'm not saying we should completely scrap what we have, but more like adopt the best of both approaches. In that effect, I yet again have to bring up our latest gold-winning WJC team, that does appear to be something of a textbook study in both executing the game plan and inner team dynamics. Yes, it was a coherent team that bought into the game plan as a whole. But it also had two players who were miles above everyone else and always there when Kivi wanted something to happen: Teräväinen and Ristolainen. What makes this remarkable is that they weren't on that pedestal because you couldn't keep 'em off it. They were up there because Kivi put them there. While the coach was setting up a seamless team, he was also fully aware that for said team to really function, it does need players everyone else can look up to.

    And well... we all know the result.

    While I'm not defending the NuSu system in the slightest, on the contrary, let's get our years and facts straight at least. Granlund's junior years were actually not spent in the NuSu system. The "black hole" created by the NuSu system covers classes 85-90. Granlund may have started in it, but he's no more a product of it than Laine is. He was around 13 years of age when the system was scrapped.
     
  18. Jean Luc Discard

    Jean Luc Discard Registered User

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    I agree. I'd like to see more NHL players and coaching in the NT because it has been so agonizing to watch the national games in previous years when the majority of the plays takes place in the corners with everlasting cycles whereas I'd prefer a straight forward approach with fewer passes and a whole lot more quality shots to the goal and picking up the garbage. It much more exciting to watch creating havoc in front of goal and it is much effective when considering how much effort goes into creating a goal scoring opportunity.

    Maybe a bit off topic...However, besides having guys that possess a good wrist/slapshot, I'd like to see younger guys having a willingness to go in front the net for clean up duty. Even on the powerplay, the finns usually have only one guy in the proximity of the net. Guys should be really in the face of the goalie and have the ability to park in front the net. Hell, one can make even career out of that, like Holmström. Ofc, guys like that rarely gets picked up in the first rounds, if at all, but those kinds of guys are vital for much easier goal scoring.
     
  19. warkkila

    warkkila Registered User

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    No, Granlund spend his most important years on it. E- and D-juniors is where you get your basic "tool set" that your are supposed to improve from C-juniors onwards. And it's not like things change overnight. The 83s allready have certain symptoms, but they are not necessarily caused by NuSu, but flaws in our system generally. Even if NuSu never happened we would have still produce grinders, just better ones.

    Small number of games per season is one of the NuSu symptoms.

    Junior-C SM:
    1992-1993 38gp
    1993-1994 34gp
    1995-1996 34gp
    1996-1997 32gp
    1997-1998 30gp
    1998-1999 30gp
    1999-2000 20gp
    2000-2001 14gp :cry:
    2002-2003 14gp :cry:
    2003-2004 24gp
    2004-2005 24gp
    2007-2008 24gp
    2008-2009 34gp
    2009-2010 35gp
    2010-2011 37gp
    2011-2012 38gp
    2013-2014 47gp :)

    Regular season Games as 14yo:

    Granlund 2006-2007 22GP :shakehead
    Laine 2012-2013 43GP
    Puljujärvi 2012-13 51GP
     
  20. FiLe

    FiLe Mr. Know-It-Nothing

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    So you appear to count classes 91-93 as NuSu victims as well... yet, contrary to the black hole of the late 80s, things were considerably better with players like Granlund x2, Haula, Pulkkinen and Armia popping up. And more.

    Either somebody does not really know what he's talking about (which would not be a surprise, since you seem to take those Sihvonen ramblings as gospel), or then NuSu was good for something after all...
     
  21. Gaps

    Gaps Registered User

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    Exactly. In retrospect, the WJC gold last winter was won with similar strategy as the WHC gold in 2011. Good system that everyone believed in combined with some exceptional individuals who were put on a pedestal because it was needed. Erkka attempted the same thing in Sochi with Teemu because he was the only choice left by then, but came up short. I don't expect this to change in the near future. Some players will and need to have a special status to make a team (at least for now) full of quite mediocre players the best in a tournament. The positive thing is that none of the players that have received this special status so far are known to have insanely huge egos, which is why we haven't ended up in situations like the Russians with their Pepsi Bros.
     
  22. FiLe

    FiLe Mr. Know-It-Nothing

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    I don't think I fully buy that comparison, as I don't think there was a designated difference maker in the 2011 team. Koivu was set up as its leader, but he wasn't really the guy Jalonen was counting on to decide a single game. A bit ironically, the biggest impact player in that team was one he wasn't counting on plenty at all.

    In regards of your comment about the Pepsi boys, I'd say it's a good situation to be in when you've got players you can raise above others but who don't really take it for granted. Ie. guys who have no issues being just another cog in the machine but whom you can also set up as the shining example if need be - and they deliver.

    Future will show how many such options we end up having a few years down the line, but ATM we only have one guy I'd be willing to thrust into that role without reservations. That's Mikael Granlund. He wasn't set up to be anything in Sochi either, but still ended up being our most important skater. Again. (Our most important player overall was, of course, Rask.)
     
  23. QnebO

    QnebO Wheel, snipe, celly

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    Producing flashy and good individuals brings more ticket sales ect, it helps the whole league.

    Kasperi Kapanen is coming back to KalPa tonight, ticket sales have sky rocketed compared to earlier games this season. Talk about importance of offensively skilled player production.
     
  24. BOB3000

    BOB3000 Registered User

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    I never disagreed on that?
     
  25. Esko6

    Esko6 Registered User

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    If this is a golden age, Sweden must be having a platinum age that is covered in diamonds. We are starting to recover after some horrendous years where finnish junior production was seriosly damaged, it will take time.
     

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