Fly skillful striker Juhamatti Aaltonen will play a big role when his team faces Helsinki IFK in the league quarterfinals. While playing at HIFK, Aaltonen’s goalless season became a big topic in puck writing.
Skillful winger Juhamatti Aaltonen hugged Kärppie’s players in the spring of 2017. A moment earlier, Helsinki IFK had knocked down the Oulu Grand Club in the playoffs.
The clubs will face each other again when the league semi-finals start on Monday. The expression, on the other hand, fits well with this, as from 2017 onwards, the teams will face for the fourth time in the play offs.
In the playoffs of 2018 and 2019, Kärpät overthrew IFK, but at that time Aaltonen played elsewhere.
Something had gone wrong when two domestic puck giants generally encountered in pity players four years ago.
Now Aaltonen recalls that perhaps he himself went wrong the most. Aaltonen didn’t know at the time of the Kärpät matches that his goal for that spring had already been scored.
The last hit clicked against the Turku Ball Club in February. Then the faucet closed.
“It was a difficult season and didn’t get the game going. I didn’t score a goal. It was via dolorosa. ”
The media began to squander Aaltonen’s paintlessness. Counters went to each wafer delivery. Days and matches were counted.
Aaltonen did not read the news but knew without reading that the red light did not burn to the previous pace. By the beginning of the season, 19 goals had come, but in the spring, the tube got stuck.
“When it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Ite failed in the players and I couldn’t be a topper. I knew without reading that it was not going very well. ”
Four years later, Aaltonen says that he has always been a player about whom the media has liked to express his own opinion. He says it has never been as good as it is written and never as bad as it is claimed.
“It’s probably torn there,” he says writing from an unpainted pipe. “I know if it’s going well or badly.”
This spring is different. Goals and points have come, even though there are a few fewer goals than the skilled artist would have liked. That’s what it does when you try to fuss as a playmaker, even if you have to shoot when the situation comes.
In autumn everything looked a little different. The league started in October, but Aaltonen was part of a group training in Salmisaari Hall. There were a large number of unemployed hockey players around and in addition NHL players waiting to be called back to North America. Aaltonen belonged to the unemployed.
After the previous season, Aaltonen had contract offers, but he did not want to grab them and waited.
The situation became even more difficult in the autumn. The money of the clubs began to run low, and they took players into their ranks with expenses, that is, without pay. The unemployed remained unemployed. Some went to get civilian jobs, and some ended up doing them.
Aaltonen was not worried but admits that certainly many were.
“Yes, you knew the place would come when the market calmed down. We had an experienced group with players who have made their money, so to speak. ”
For a long time having played a career, Aaltonen calculates that he has received the size of a pension fund, but that does not mean that he would like to play for free.
“There was an opportunity to make a deal in the summer, but I wanted to measure value, and it hit my own ankle.”
The flies offered a contract in November, and Aaltonen grabbed the bait. In the current market situation, everyone has to compromise on their income, and Aaltonen made no exception when he put his name on paper for the rest of the season.
“Considering this, what I normally play, I had to make a really, really big surgery. Probably bigger than anyone else. ”
Playing money became more important. It wouldn’t do any good for a 35-year-old to miss a season, and besides, Aaltonen likes to play. At his best, he sees how the game slips. You will see if you do not pass.
If successful, Aaltonen will be one of the players who can solve matches. There is a screen.
Kärpät won one of its Finnish championships in the spring of 2014. The final series stretched to the seventh game, although Tappara probably led 3–1.
It took an extra time for the seventh game, when Aaltonen mowed the puck in his own words with a “mouthful” to the finish. There were also successes in a couple of previous finals.
Success The flies are fetching again. First we had to find out about Vaasa Sport. It went easily, and now it’s IFK’s turn.
Of the teams four years ago, IFK has been brand new. Only Micke-Max Åsten played for the current team against Kärppi.
The flies have a little more permanence. Captain Mika Pyörälä was then involved, as were the defenders Shaun Heska and Mikko Niemelä as well as an eternal fighter Jari Sailio.
Attackers from the then Fly team Ville Leskinen and Jesse Saarinen play in the ranks of IFK.
“Now that there is no audience, what the emotional level of the matches will be like. IFK always has great fans and a good mood, especially in the spring. A lot of skill in both, it knows a fast-paced series, and there will probably be a feeling, ”says Aaltonen.
Getting started is not only a very interesting match series but also a very special playoff spring. Games are still spinning, but the shadow of the coronavirus extends everywhere.
Fly players live in bubble-like conditions. Aaltonen accommodates a furnished rental apartment, and apartments have been acquired for family players.
You can walk or play ice rink in the ice rink. Food is ordered from the store, unless you are familiar with who could bring shopping from the store.
The puck cannot be played remotely, but this is as close to it as possible.
While taking a day off on Saturday, Aaltonen loaded the washing machine to spin, put the counters in the machine and planned to put something in if Kärppi’s playmate Jussi Jokinen will visit.
“Legs on the right couch, but it’s a bit long these days.”
What makes the situation even more special for Aaltonen is last spring’s family event. Aaltos gave birth to a baby of the coronation period. The final round of the regular season was played on March 12, and the next day there was a announcement that the season had been beaten to the package. Three days later, Aaltosten’s firstborn son was born.
“It was a bit like forgetting the season when we started living everyday life. It was a happy feeling, ”says Aaltonen, and this is easy to believe.
The family then stayed in Oulu for about a month, when the baby was small and the coronavirus spread in Helsinki. Only after waiting did the trio return to their home in Helsinki.
Now the wife is in Helsinki and spends her daily life at home when the man plays the puck, ie works in Oulu. The spouse takes care of the boy, feeds and walks. He has the responsibility and the burden.
“Ite walks around the cabin and drinks coffee. Wives find themselves in a dull situation. I have to appreciate them a lot. ”
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