Comment: When Pori’s guts took over – not many Finns have had such a ruthless NHL career | Sport

Comment When Poris guts took over not many Finns

of Montreal Joel Armia, 30, will remember the events of last fall for a long time. The club gave the ace player, who was preparing for his ninth NHL season, quite an electric shock by moving the player to the transfer list just before the end of the season.

This meant that in the following 24 hours, any club could have picked up the player from the roster for free. If that didn’t happen, the road would lead to Laval, Montreal’s farm team.

Armia hardly imagined that she would start her season in the Iron League, but this was a cold reality.

And to be honest, you didn’t have to look far for the reasons. Armia shined in the spring of 2021, when Montreal sensationally advanced to the Stanley Cup finals. Known as an excellent all-rounder, Armia also found his so often missing power that spring: five goals, two of which were underpowered. In the summer, the club rewarded their loyal attacker with a four-year, 13.6 million dollar extension.

However, the result plunged. In the 103 matches following the extension contract, Armia scored only 13 hits. The power statistic was also below freezing with 22 hits.

A decent wake-up call

After the training camp, the head coach Martin St. Louis by all accounts had seen enough. They wanted to give the Finnish attacker a proper wake-up call.

Hardly anyone questioned Armia’s work ethic or ice-killing skills, but the result didn’t follow the work. And the Canadiens weren’t satisfied with just one. Armia returned to the NHL at the end of October, but was sent back down again in November.

At this point, Pori’s guts entered the picture.

Few 30-year-old NHL players in their ninth year would take kindly to the farm command that came through the transfer list. For an NHL player who has seen it all, returning to the bus league is certainly a shock treatment that few are ready to deal with after almost 500 NHL games.

However, Joel Armia showed his strength of character in a difficult situation.

Various reports already told the story of a good-natured and hard-working Finn who appeared in the AHL in the fall. So Armia didn’t go to the iron league to sulk or bemoan her fate, even though the cut to her soul was certainly deep.

Armia rolled up her sleeves, worked, hit five (4+1) power points in the first four farm games and got an invitation back up. Mature and mature veteran activity.

Also on the NHL’s side, the red light came on right away in the return game. When the tap ran dry again after this, the start came down again. Four games down, four (2+2) points and back to the NHL. And again, the net swung on the NHL’s side right away in the return game. Swooped in the third and swung in the eighth.

It would be fair to say that the coaching pulled the right strings.

After the turn of the year, Armia has only accelerated his pace. After the fourth day of January, there are already nine hits. Known for his heavy shot, the winger is Montreal’s third best scorer during the period. They only edge ahead of the Finns Mikko Rantanen, Sebastian Aho and Roope Hintz.

For the first time in his career, Armia would hit the pace of 20 goals in a full season.

This is what is expected of Armia – nothing more and nothing less. Evenness of execution also in terms of the result.

Armia is an extremely reliable all-rounder and a true credit individual of the coaching team, but with a salary of three million, 15–20 urns have to be hit on the board during the whole season. Especially with Armia’s scoring skills. Armia is now on this path.

Spiritual coaching

It is known that there is more to the background of the increase than the electric shock brought by the farm command.

Armia previously told the local media that he worked on his mental issues with the coach of the team’s mental side Jean-Francois Menard with. Armia has tried and, according to her own words, learned to better let go of the mistakes she made during the match.

This has freed up energies and made it possible to succeed more often.

One way or another, Armia has earned her guts. The experienced Finnish striker has been indisputably one of the absolute best in his team for a long time and has now also received a result as a reward for that. Armian can with good reason say that he deserved every goal he scored.

The way Armia reacted to his transfer list and farm commands says a lot about him as a player and a person.

It also tells the story of why Armia has been able to make a 500 game career in the NHL as a bottom chain player. Tenacity, humility and relentless work ethic are the core value of Armia’s playing.

Ässäkasvatti will play his 500th game in just over a week at Madison Square Garden, New York. Very few people in Finnish hockey history have had such a career purely as a bottom-chain player.

Armia was previously reluctant to tell the Canadian media about the impact of the fall’s events on the bigger picture, and for understandable reasons. This also speaks of Armia’s maturity.

The Finnish striker cannot afford to start feeling the positions achieved, and he knows it himself. The leg must stay on the pedal until the end and from the beginning in the coming fall, because Armia knows exactly how tight head coach Martin St. Louis keeps the lines.

Armia is back on the right track, but spring, summer and the beginning of the new season contain a lot of anticipation.