One Finnish team is left to play the second round of the European Trophy; Oulun Kärpät. They’ve went down to Hamburg to face Hamburg Freezers. Difficult games in any kind of way also important game for survive of the tournament. They have to win to get a hang on a top position in their group and reach the playoffs.
Jokerit Helsinki, Helsinki IFK and Tappara Tampere have lost 2 games in a row. TPS Turku and KalPa Kuopio has now 1W and 1L. Only JYP so far have 2W of 2 games. Let’s see how it goes with Kärpät tomorrow (read Saturday). If they catch up a victory they will have 1-1.
It’s all right numbers. Nothing to complain about really but a bit of a surprise as well that JYP is the Finnish team who seems to be fit and ready for the tournament. Jokerit, HIFK and Tappara are disappointments so far, especially Jokerit that I expected a lot from. KalPa and TPS is so-so with their performances.
Unnecessary I think by TPS to drop the 1-4 for lead to 5-4 at the end of the game in Stockholm against Djurgårdens IF, who plays normally in the Swedish second division. I was on spot and saw the game. Thought after 2 periods that the game were pretty much over but the home team bounced back and pulled the winner trigger in the SO competition.
TPS Turku has produced a lot of players by the years. Most famous are the Koivu brothers, Saku and Mikko also the Kipprusoff’s: Marko and Miika. Other talents from the club are for example Sami Salo and Aki-Petteri Berg. Recently upcoming star is Rasmus Ristolainen. Not to forget, the legend Petteri Nummelin.
They also were once during the 90s one of the top Euro teams. It was a utopia for many opponents to beat them.
Nowadays they are one of the LIIGA-teams that use to struggle in the bottom of the league. Far from the fame and glory they achieved in the past.
Will they find their way back?
Hard to tell, but I hope so. It is always somehow sad that a big club like TPS has dropped down like a rock for many known and unknown reasons. It will take to build up the team at the same level as before. More difficult than before I suppose much because that there is now so much more options for a hockey players to choose. If the team is not winning enough, then it is quite easy to skip further to another where they also probably pay better. That’s how it works today.
I suppose they have to find out something that keeps the good players to be loyal to the team over 3-4 years and fill with new players when they are leaving. One answer what that “something” might be is of course: money. Perhaps also bid something else than can’t be count in money, such as good social environment and other privileges.
Shall be interesting though to follow the team this year and see what Coach Kai Suikkanen can do with the material this year. I really wish that they would come back to the top one day.
/Arto Palovaara, from Arena Kalevala, Betsafe
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