Sept. 25 :: Pond Hopping for Some Hockey

If only "Heino" was "Leino"...

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
While everyone else in the blogosphere continues to suffer through the financial crisis known as the NHL lockout, TPL’s commitment to the game remains firm and unwavering. Simply: we go where the hockey is (or where the real jobs say we need to go.) So with the Nokia box on lockdown for Tuesday night, TPL is going the extra mile to keep you up to speed on as many Wings as possible, all the way in Helsinki, Finland. That’s right, I’m here in the land of Filppula, covering all things Jokerit tonight. Look, if the Wings aren’t going to give us anything to talk about, then we’re going where the real action is. So – for today – “The Tuotantolinja” is all about the pride of Helsinki hockey.

Do I have any idea what this game means for either team? Nope. Do I care? Not really. It’s hockey and Valtteri Filppula (and his hair) are (potentially) in the house. Enough said.

Jokerit v. Saipa. 18:30 hours (that’s 6:30 PM for all of you at home) Finnish time. 11:30 AM Eastern.

WHERE WERE WE?
Uh…well…since it takes a decoder ring and secret formula to work out the standings and results for the Finnish League, it’s taken me the better part of the morning to figure out when the last time these two teams played. There’s also apparently a number of “seasons within a season” here, which makes this extra complicated. However, in an effort to keep you completely in the loop, it looks like the last match (read: game) between these two was back on March 3rd, which saw Saipa take home a 5-4 win in OT.

Here’s what we do know: Saipa is currently on top of the SM-liiga standings with 12 points (4-1), while Jokerit sits in 11th place with 3 points (1-2).

THEIR LAST GAMES
Jokerit:: The good guys dropped TPS Turku by a final of 5-1 on Friday night. Matti Lamberg led the way with a goal and two assists, and former GR Griffin Larry Flip added an assist on the evening.
Saipa: It was Saipa’s turn against TPS Turku on Saturday night, and they claimed a 2-1 victory. Goals were tallied by Jaakko Rissanen and Roberts Jekimovs.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Oh man, this one’s a field day. So many Finnish names, so little time. But since we ARE here in Finland, let’s reverse our strategy, which leaves us with…

Steve Moses.

‘MEMBA ME?
Jokerit features a few familiar names, including Valtteri Filppula, Ilari Filppula and prospect Teemu Pulkkinen. Some other names you might recognize: Jarkko Ruutu and Teuvo Teravainen.

THE LINEUP
You’re joking, right? No clue and I’m not even going to bother. The only certainty is that there will be a shitload of advertising all over the ice.

5 HOLE
:: If you really think I’m going to try and pull together five worthwhile points about this game, then you’re smoking the good stuff. It’s hockey. That’s more than we can say about the NHL right now.

PREDICTION
Jokerit wins 5-3. Valtteri Filppula scores and stays healthy. Book it.

“Full” wrap-up coming after the game. Brace yourself.

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