Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Previewing Finland's men's hockey team

Martin Rose

Will Mikael Granlund be able to step up and carry his country to victory?

2010 Olympic Performance: 3rd (W) 5-3, Slovakia - Bronze Medal

Winnipeg Jets' representation: Olli Jokinen (C)

Players to Watch: Mikael Granlund (LW), Teemu Selanne (RW), Kimmo Timonen (D), Tuukka Rask (G)

Tournament Dark Horse: Olli Maatta (D)

Schedule
DATE TIME EVENT
February 13, 2014 2:00AM FIN vs. AUT
February 14, 2014 11:00AM NOR vs. FIN
February 16, 2014 11:00AM FIN vs. CAN

Roster
NAME POSITION AGE LEAGUE TEAM
Juhamatti Aaltonen RW 28 SM-liiga Karpat Oulu
Aleksander Barkov C 18 NHL Florida Panthers
Sakari Salminen RW/LW 25 KHL Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod
Mikael Granlund C/LW 21 NHL Minnesota Wild
Jussi Jokinen LW 30 NHL Pittsburgh Penguins
Olli Jokinen C 35 NHL Winnipeg Jets
Jarkko Immonen C 31 KHL Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod
Leo Komarov C 27 KHL Moscow Dynamo
Petri Kontiola C/RW 29 KHL Chelyabinsk Traktor
Lauri Korpikoski LW 27 NHL Phoenix Coyotes
Jori Lehtera C 26 KHL Novosibirsk Sibir
Antti Pihlstrom LW 29 KHL Ufa Salavat Yulayev
Tuomo Ruutu RW 30 NHL Carolina Hurricanes
Teemu Selanne RW 43 NHL Anaheim Ducks
Lasse Kukkonen D 32 SM-liiga Karpat Oulu
Juuso Hietanen D 28 KHL Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod
Sami Lepisto D 29 KHL Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg
Olli Maatta D 19 NHL Pittsburgh Penguins
Sami Salo D 39 NHL Tampa Bay Lightning
Kimmo Timonen D 38 NHL Philadelphia Flyers
Ossi Vaananen D 33 SM-liiga Jokerit Helsinki
Sami Vatanen D 22 NHL Anaheim Ducks
Kari Lehtonen G 30 NHL Dallas Stars
Antti Niemi G 30 NHL San Jose Sharks
Tuukka Rask G 26 NHL Boston Bruins
Injuries
STATUS PLAYER Professional Team
IN Jarkko Immonen Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod (KHL)
OUT Mikko Koivu Minnesota Wild
IN Sakari Salminen Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod (KHL)
OUT Valteri Filppula Tampa Bay Lightning

Strengths

Teemu Forever: Though his production is starting to slow at the tender age of 43, Teemu Selanne will be asked to lead his Finnish teammates in this his sixth and final Olympic appearance. You won't find a better leader than the elder-statesman who has won at nearly every level he's competed at. He's the perfect fit to guide a relatively young roster to a podium placement, so long as he's not asked to be their leading scorer.

Tuukka Time: You'd be hard pressed to name a goalie that has performed as consistently as Tuukka Rask these past three NHL seasons. He's a two-time Stanley Cup finalist, winning the 2010 Championship behind then starter Tim Thomas. He's played in plenty of big games and knows how to handle the pressure. In the event he falters, Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi are both more than capable of picking up the slack.

Weaknesses

Injuries at forward: When injuries force two of your better players to withdraw from the Olympics, it immediately puts you behind the 8-ball. This was the case for Finland as they will play without the services of Mikko Koivu and Valteri Filppula. Now it will be up to players the likes of Mikael Granlund and rookie Aleksander Barkov to pick up the slack of their lost countrymen.

Lack of goal scorers: Upon first glance, no one on the Finns roster jumps off the page as a pure goal scorer. Granted, this has never been their modus operandi as they're more likely to beat you 1-0 than 5-4, it will be difficult to make it all the way to a gold medal final without putting pucks in the net.

In This Article

Teams
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