Tracking the Storm

Jokinen Snub Surprising

Wednesday, 12.30.2009 / 8:56 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
X
Share with your Friends


Jokinen Snub Surprising
On a day where Hurricanes Joni Pitkanen and Tuomo Ruutu were both selected to play in the Olympics, it’s unfortunate that most of the attention will be turned to countryman Jussi Jokinen’s surprising snub from Team Finland.

Paul Branecky
Index | Archive
Not to steal any thunder from the two very-deserving players that will represent Carolina at the 2010 winter games, but they were widely expected to make the team. Therein lies the problem – so was Jokinen.

The omission is an eyebrow-raiser for several reasons. First, he’s such a versatile player that it’s difficult to imagine how he would have trouble fitting in to any setup at any forward position. If he were strictly a center and the Finns felt they had four who were better, that would be one thing. But do they have 13 forwards who are more deserving of a spot? That is questionable with the inclusion of two players in Ville Peltonen and Jarko Immonen who are not currently playing in the NHL, although they have in the past. When also considering that Jokinen can play on both areas of special teams, the whole thing is a little baffling.

Second, each and every game in the Olympic competition is subject to a shootout, following an overtime period of five, 10 or 20 minutes, depending on the stage of the tournament (somewhat complicated tournament rules can be found here). Whether it’s picking up points in the preliminary round or facing elimination in the playoffs, can Finland really afford to leave arguably the best shootout man in the world at home? The team’s organizers will certainly hope it doesn’t come to that.

Finland has also undoubtedly irked two of its core players in Ruutu and Pitkanen, who surely thought their Carolina teammate would be accompanying them to Vancouver. That may not be much of a factor once the puck drops, but it’s at least worth noting.

So, how could it happen? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, and guesses will be rampant due to the sometimes political nature of the selection process for national teams. Perhaps Jokinen will have some insight on that at today’s practice – we’ll have updates on that, on the two selected Finns and hopefully some good news about Eric Staal’s participation on Team Canada around noon.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72