In Jukka Jalonen’s opinion, the media and the public put pressure on the Lions’ top players. Finland defeated France 5–3, but according to the head coach, France was tougher than Sweden.
The Lions’ World Cup tournament, which got off to a slow start, continued in Tampere on Wednesday evening.
In the end, Finland kept their face and defeated France 5–3 after a hard fight. The last goal did not come till the end.
– A very difficult game and a challenge, as already known. Damn tough game. Tougher than the game in Sweden. France was a tougher challenge than Sweden. it’s a fact. You can ask the players, announced head coach Jukka Jalonen.
– France fed up with us. Yes, you saw that game. Well fought, fought, torn, scrapped and really well gone, Jalonen continued.
The start of the tournament has been tough in terms of results. Are you worried at all?
Worried is probably too strong a word. But as a coach you always think. But I’m not worried like you. or the general public. It is clear that you can panic, but we are not, Jalonen told the group of journalists.
– We cannot assume that we are the best all the time if we have won the first few championships. Now there is a new team and new tricks.
The Lion Chains did not work as expected at the start of the Games.
For example, the number one series Timu Hartikainen-Sakari Manninen-Mikko Rantanen has accomplished almost nothing compared to expectations.
Jalonen, however, has consistently relied on his chains.
Is it time for a chain change?
– We can think about it, but I don’t believe that if something doesn’t work, it’s from changing something … If you can’t handle it yourself, it will suddenly conflict and better with others way forward. It does not work that way.
– For example, in the first round against Sweden the score is 10-0. It was now definitely 6-1 on equal ground. Totally better in terms of stats, but not efficiency. At some point it will happen.
We can change, but we don’t change much.
The three most famous NHL forwards, Rantanen, Kapo Kakko and Kasperi Kapanen, have yet to score in four games.
– Yes, there is a place for boys. We believe that patience will definitely pay off at some point or the other. As we have now seen, these games are not a piece of cake.
Maybe you put more pressure on them. It doesn’t matter to us who scores those goals. For example, the Lamiko series has been doing really well in terms of statistics. The goal should have been 7-1.
Several parties have publicly hoped to try Rantanen and Kako in the same series.
– Definitely. They are both from Turku. Maybe this way it’s better to put the good ones in the same thread. Maybe we’ll get to put them together at some point, but does putting them together make both games better?
– That number one series of ours is really great. There are not many such chains in this tournament.
Against France, Legionat scored one goal with three overtime attempts.
Although Finland has been hit by ten points three times in games, no spark has been seen in that category either.
The striking feature of Finland’s number one dominance is that it has five left-handers.
However, Jalonen doesn’t see a problem with having a higher number.
– Same as last year, when (Mikael) Granlund was in place of Rantanen. 40 professional is probably yv percent.
– Yes, it works great. In the old days, the Soviet Union played with five left-backs, and it worked out well, with Jalonen reminding of Punakonen’s exploits.
However, Jalonen admitted that the Lions were not at their best against France and gave away too many chances to score.
– Four games have been played. We are still in the early stages. The game clicks forward a bit throughout.
– We are patient. We are building the team and the game for the time when we start playing even more important once-in-a-lifetime games. We have been very good with them in recent years and I believe we are still, Jalonen said confidently.
The Lions tournament continues on Friday against Hungary at 16:20.