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 The Finns are coming! Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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HawkinOilCountry
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
318 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2009 :  08:30:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=511597

Above is the link to NHL.com's Finnish roster release, and Damn... These guys are going to be solid between the pipes. Probably the best goaltending outside of Canada for this tournament.

This team rouds out my top 4 picks for these Olympics. I put them behind Canada and Russia, but easily tied with Sweden.

The arena wall in chicago should be credited with a goal.

Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8173 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2009 :  08:47:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is the roster for those that don't like clicking links.

P.Player NameDomestic Club
GNiklas Backstrom (NHL)
GMiikka Kiprusoff (NHL)
GAntero Niittymaki (NHL)
DLasse KukkonenAvangard (KHL)
DSami Lepisto (NHL)
DToni Lydman (NHL)
DJanne NiskalaFrölunda (SWE)
DJoni Pitkanen (NHL)
DSami Salo (NHL)
DKimmo Timonen (NHL)
FValtteri Filppula (NHL)
FNiklas Hagman (NHL)
FJarkko ImmonenAk Bars (KHL)
FOlli Jokinen (NHL)
FNiko KapanenAk Bars (KHL)
FMikko Koivu (NHL)
FSaku Koivu (NHL)
FJere Lehtinen (NHL)
FAntti Miettinen (NHL)
FVille PeltonenMinsk (KHL)
FJarkko Ruutu (NHL)
FTuomo Ruutu (NHL)
FTeemu Selanne (NHL)


Easily tied with Sweden?? I don't think so personally. I see Canada, Russia, and Sweden as a full step up on everyone else. Then you have Finland, USA, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic next. I don't see this team with enough size and strength to compete with the big teams (like Sweden) nor the defensive abilities to stop a group of forwards like Russia has.

However, that keeper group is sick. I would agree the Keepers for Finland are better than Sweden as a group. But the rest of the Swedish Squad is over the Fins by a lot.
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irvine
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1315 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2009 :  11:56:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Honestly, I thought the Finns would look better on paper than they do.

Looking at this roster, i'd place USA, Czechs, Slovaks & Swedes above this team. Of course, Canada & Russia too.



Irvine/prez.
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4575 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2010 :  13:11:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, let me finally get to the Finns, and I'll put together some lines to get a better idea of what they look like:

Goal:
Backstrom, Kiprusoff, Nittymaki
(it's a battle between Kipper and Backstrom, both excellent goalies who can steal games)

Defence:
S. Salo - Timonen
Pitkanen - Lydman
Kukkonen - Niskala
Lepisto

(Big, bruising, and very sound defensively with pretty good offence to boot)

Forwards:
T. Ruutu - Jokinen - Selanne
Hagman - M. Koivu - Miettinen
Peltonen - S.Koivu - Lehtinen
J.Ruutu - Filppula - Kapanen
Immonen

(no superstar scoring skill as Selanne's career winds down, but the best defensive forwards on one team, no doubt. Lots of feistiness, grit and experience)

Finland has always been a 'different' team . . . they almost never measured up to the top teams in terms of top line skill, but they always played very well as a team, and the whole concept was very sound defence with an agressive forechecking style. And this team is built no differently, with excellent goaltending, excellent defence, and a very understated offence that is the most defensively sound of any team I'd wager.

Will it work against the powerhouse offences of Canada, Sweden, Russia and the US? Only time will tell, but I think they will give any of those teams an extremely tough out.

This is my darkhorse team.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8173 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2010 :  14:25:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Although I don't share the dark horse label on this team, it is very typical that thye Finns ice a team that everyone kind of looks at and says, "Nope, they aren't gonna medal." But on the last day of the tourney, they are usually on that podeum. Since 1980, here is the Medal Listing at the Olympics

Russia/CIS/Soviet Union - 6
Sweden - 5
Czech Republic/Czeckoslovakia and Finland - 4
Canada - 3
USA - 2

Furthermore, the Fins have medaled in 3 of the last 4 games (Silver and 2 Bronze).

I dunno this year though. I just don't see that team having the stank to take down 1/2 of the Big teams in the tourney to find a medal. However, they are in a pool with Sweden, Belarus, and Germany so it's nearly a forgone conclussion that they will be through to the medal round. They play well in prelims and they can do as much as anyone I guess.

I just don't see it.

So this is your dark horse, my is Slovakia. You want a friendly wager on this one??? I say Slovakia finishes ahead of the Fins in Men's Olympic hockey.
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4575 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2010 :  04:49:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sure, let's add a friendly wager, sounds good. You think the Slovaks are a darkhorse, I think they'll disappoint. It's a short tourney, so anything can happen I guess, either way.

Slozo takes the Finns to finish higher than the Slovaks for Beans. Writing this out, I almost wrote slozaks there, lol.

So . . . what's the wager? Edmonton already looks like they're on their way to finishing lower than the Leafs although it'll be a close race at this point - and it's bad enough that you'll have to have a Maple Leaf avatar for this year's playoffs.

So the avatar change is probably out . . . any other ideas?




"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Porkchop73
PickupHockey Pro



640 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2010 :  05:19:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Finns always, and I mean always give Team Canada fits in the Olympics and World tournies. This squad would be no different.
There is enough talent on this Finn squad to play a shutdown low scoring style of game. They are supplemented with small amounts of scoring power but if don't get into run and gun games with teams that have potent scoring power then the Finns make out just fine.
Finns and US and Czech battle for 4,5,6.

Slozo, as you can tell from above I too think the Finns are better then the Slovaks. Perhaps for your wager with Beans, he should have to add the comment "I am the Maple Leafs #1 fan" to each one of his posts for 1 month after the Olympics.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5787 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2010 :  09:37:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Finns goaltending is good enough on it's own to steal a game or two at the Oly's. That's what's so scary about a tournament like this. It's easy to see that a team like this could really damage a favorite's medal hopes if they can squeeze into the medal round!
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