According to the head coach, “the majority of the players were involved in the Olympics,” where the Lions celebrated gold.
Finland coached the men’s hockey national team for their historic Olympic gold Jukka Jalonen promises that all players will be on the same line at the moment when he will soon start assembling the team aiming for the championship at the World Cup.
For example, KHL’s SKA in St. Petersburg on April 2 will start the conference finals TsSKA against Moscow Olympic winners Mikko Lehtonen and Leo Komarov are in the same position in Jalonen’s papers as all the other players.
“I am currently and will continue to follow all those players who play well. I have not been in contact with either, ”Jalonen said at a seminar of the Hockey Journalists Association in Tampere on Monday.
Jalonen has already chosen the first camp group, but the names are not yet public, nor are the other details.
“The majority of the players were involved in the Olympics,” Jalonen admitted.
Selection process is known to be multifaceted. According to Jalonen, it is important to build trust between the players and the coaching staff.
“Here I called a few first-time players from the selection to the first camp group. Such calls are always pleasant. Then there are the situations when, even after the Swedish tournament, you have to call the World Cup team for those who have not been selected, ”Jalonen compared.
How many and which players do you have to expect from teams that drop out of the NHL after the first round of the playoffs, for example?
“In no case will six players be taken at that point, but one kit and one striker, for example. By the way, I don’t expect any big rush from the NHL players, ”Jalonen said.
Valtteri Filppula, who plays in Switzerland, has won the Stanley Cup and Olympic gold. If he were selected for the team and Finland won the World Cup gold, he would become the first Finnish member of the three gold club.
“I don’t pay attention to such potential achievements in my choices. If you play well, you can be on the team, ”Jalonen said.
And does the selection depend on whether the player has taken a long break since the last league match?
“Does not affect. We will play ten national matches before the World Cup, and in that time the players will be in order, ”Jalonen assured.
Finland will play two matches in Denmark before the World Cup and will face Norway twice in April in Joensuu and Kuopio. They are followed by Czech and Swedish tournaments.
One of Finland’s World Cup opponents changed when Belarus was ruled out and Austria replaced.
“Changing an opponent doesn’t matter to us,” Jalonen summed up.
Has Finland celebrated Olympic gold an even bigger favorite now, when Russia will also be left out?
“Canada and the United States can get high-profile NHL teams involved,” Jalonen acknowledged.
The Men’s World Cup will be played in May in Tampere and Helsinki.
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