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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5809 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2014 :  12:44:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Antti Niemi, Kari Lehtonen and Tuukka Rask have been named to the Finnish Olympic team with Rask and Niemi expected to fight for the starting gig. This is some pretty impressive goaltending possibilities and that's even without the injured Pekka Rinne! I'm wondering if Rinne wasn't hurt and was playing well, where he'd stand as far as this list goes. I'd assume he'd make the team, but would he supplant either Niemi or Rask if he had similar numbers? My immediate thoughts were "yes" due to experience, but when i looked back to 2010, i realized he didn't even make that team! Though they were all playing well in 2010, it's somewhat surprising to see that Rinne was left off over Antero Niittymaki, Niklas Backstrom and Miikka Kiprusoff. He actually had better numbers that season in the NHL than both Niitymaki AND Backstrom!

Either way, he's hurt and unable to participate this time around but with Rask and Niemi playing as well as they have, it got me wondering where he would have fit in on the Finnish team this time around.

Finland sure has improved their goaltending in the past decade. Have a read of this next quote and keep in mind that it's from an article from 2009!

".....as recently as the 1998-99 season, there were no Finn goaltenders in the NHL, and now there are 7, some of them among the league's best."

Those 7 included Kiprusoff, Vesa Toskala and Niittymaki who've all retired since, however Antii Ranta and Kari Ramo are both in the mix now.

Guest7175
( )

Posted - 01/10/2014 :  16:23:05  Reply with Quote
Is there a question here? Cool story, bro.
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4607 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2014 :  17:38:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I say Rask starts. He could easily take that team to a medal, with the usual defensively minded forwards who can score leading the charge . . . it's a very dangerous team, one that can easily upset the Russians, Canadians or Swedes.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5809 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2014 :  22:33:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest7175

Is there a question here? Cool story, bro.



LOL. No, I guess there really isn't is there?

I actually was going to make a poll question regarding this and when I read more and more I decided to just throw it out there as a post but had meant to ask "Who do you think would start if Rinne were healthy" but it got too confusing because we have no idea what his numbers would be like? If he was in the midst of an unbelievable year, he'd be right up there to start but what if he had a Lundqvist like year and was struggling slightly? So, in the end, I guess I just got to rambling on? And on, and on......

Besides, It was pretty quiet around here today.

Edited by - Alex116 on 01/10/2014 22:34:30
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Shepsky
Rookie



Canada
211 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2014 :  05:45:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought the question was where would rinne be in the mix if he wasn't injured. a theoretical question, but one nonetheless lol. I personally think rinne would be the starter this year. all of these active goalies listed are great and post great stats, but one department that rinne is number one in is shutouts. but like many other things in Nashville (Barry Trotz) he's never quite got the recognition he deserves, as you mentioned with his "snub" from the last Olympics

Every day is a great day for hockey
-Mario Lemieux
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5809 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2014 :  22:31:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Shepsky

I thought the question was where would rinne be in the mix if he wasn't injured.....



Yup, kinda what I was aiming for I guess? Like I said though, tough call, because even with good numbers, does he get the gig over Rask or Niemi who've had unreal years?? Even with comparable stats, I'm not sure he'd supplant either of these two? It's surprising though, because he's been considered by many these past 2-3 years as one of the best in the game!
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markliso
Top Prospect



Canada
73 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2014 :  04:08:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't say Niemi has had an "unreal" year, it's about average Niemi numbers. Rask on the other hand, has had a phenomenal year.

Both also have great teams in front of them. This year, I would pick Rask if those were my choices.
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Guest7175
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Posted - 01/13/2014 :  07:48:36  Reply with Quote
Rask easily the starter, and likely the favourite for the Vezina this year. If Rinne were healthy *and putting up numbers which would be in line with his career-bests, then he could challenge Rask. As it stands 1) Rask and 2) Niemi is pretty easy decision.
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