Friday, December 8, 2023

Fateful moment at hand! Will Legion Hit The NHL Jackpot?


Lions GM Jere Lehtinen is excited about Dallas.


The Lions’ World Championship team is drawn without a single stamp. The defending world champion has so far stamped race passes for 24 players.

Tapara striker Valtteri Merella is currently the only one not to have his race pass stamped. The final rushing pass went to Harri Pessonen, who joined the Lions’ lineup against Germany on Saturday.

The shape of the final contest lineup is affected by the fate of the NHL’s second round playoff series.

The Dallas Stars and Seattle Kraken will meet in the seventh and deciding game on the night between Monday and Tuesday. The hunt for the Stanley Cup is coming to an end.

Dallas is one of the “finish teams” of the NHL. There is a lot of Finnish information in the ranks of Tähtipaita. The team’s number one defender is Miro Hiskanen and Roop Hintze shines as the number one attacker. Defenders Asa Lindell and Jani Hakanapa and winger Joel Kiwiranta also play in Dallas.

Seattle has a Finnish player in its ranks, winger Eli Tolvanen.

From the Lions’ management team, GM Jere Lehtinen enthusiastically follows what is happening in the NHL.

– There are exciting moments here. We will see how the situation unfolds after the games are played tomorrow. Don’t feel like getting too ahead of things. There are other things that play a role here, too. It also affects what the situation is here in the team, Lehtinen tells Sanom.

Lijonat initially did not mark two passes, which indicated he wanted to leave room for NHL reinforcements, but the absence of Antti Suomela brought a spiral.

READ MORE: The Lions’ most important player mysteriously disappeared from the lineup – here’s why

Initially, there was no need to stamp all passports. When Finland couldn’t play against Germany, we wanted to get four fields at once, so we stamped another pass, explains Lehtinen.

Lions GM Jere Lehtinen.

Lions GM Jere Lehtinen. Photo: Timo Martila

Last spring, Lejonat led Dallas out of a playoff for a World Cup team between Heiskanen and Lindell.

If Dallas loses the deadlocked game on Tuesday night, the Lions could have a world-class reinforcement heading into the World Cup.

Hintz is having the spring play of his life. The 26-year-old number one center from Dallas is third on the playoff points market with 8+10. Hintze was the third most efficient Finn in the regular season with 37+38, behind Mikko Rantanen and Aleksandar Barkov.

When we went to meet the players in North America in March, everyone showed a lot of interest. Of course, all kinds of things have happened here since then, but the message back then was that games are interesting, Lehtinen says.

Hintze, who hails from Tampere, will be a top class confirmation for Legion as the Jukka Jalonen-led side’s mid lane takes shape at the start of the World Cup tournament.

Suomela, who started as the second centre, was dropped from the ranks before the second match. At the moment, Jere Salinan manages the plot of the second center.

– I can say about Hintze that he wanted to come a year earlier, but just before that he got injured. Hintz has been interested in playing home games, but now we’ll see what the situation is when stalemates have been played, Lehtinen says.

Hiskanen is the game engine of Dallas on the back lines. The 23-year-old from Espoo, who plays big minutes, was the seventh most effective defender in the regular season with 11+62.

A completely different question is the state of the game. In the triple play of the Seattle series, Hiskanen was hit in the face by the puck so hard that he had to leave the game. Hiskanen returned to the ring in the next game, and has been playing in Kokoplex ever since.

Miro Heiskanen plays most of Dallas' guards.

Miro Heiskanen plays most of Dallas’ guards. Photo: Steph Chambers/AFP

Who will be more fascinated by the number one striker or the number one defender?

That’s the kind of speculation you always want to make. Of course, both would be top confirmations. Hintz and Heiskanen are both at the top of their positions in the NHL. Likewise, Lindell is a top-class defensive guard, Lehtinen responds.

The Lions’ GM admits that in next night’s tie game, the sympathies are in Dallas’ direction. Lehtinen, who won the Stanley Cup in his playing career, is a legend of the Dallas club.

– Now we’re excited to see how Dallas fares. I had a dream of going to Dallas to watch the finals. I expect Dallas to go much further this spring, but we’ll see.

– Otherwise, it’s a very good situation for the Finns, when a “Finnish team” from the east (Florida or Carolina) goes to the Stanley Cup finals, Lehtinen thought.

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