From these hot settings we will go to the semi-finals of the SM league – see the match schedule | Sport

From these hot settings we will go to the semi finals

‘s hockey expert Top Nättinen considers Tapparaa to be the clear favorite against KalPa in the semi-final series, although he emphasizes that the king of the regular season is currently at his most vulnerable.

– Tappara’s game ceiling, the team’s potential is even higher than the champion teams of previous years. In the past, its championships came with super-confident, low-goal play. Tappara’s train was just pounding on its tracks, describes Nättinen.

The expert sees that Tapparaa can be wounded with a speed kick this time, especially if his opponent’s flow goes in the right direction right from the start.

– Before, Tappara kept its opponents’ scoring chances to a minimum, but now its opponents get more scoring chances. TPS showed, especially in Turku, that the defense of Tappara is not – at least not yet – as balanced as before.

The playful roof at Tappara is bigger in both directions. A weaker game can be weaker than before, but a better game can be better than the previous ones.

– Tappara’s players have more championships in adult leagues and success in national teams than KalPa’s players. Of course there is an advantage to this.

“Even more urgency for the Tappara defenders”

The TPS series was already a mental test for Tappara – also game-wise – but now a different game-like test is coming.

– There will be more momentum, and Tappara’s defenders will have even more urgency, Nättinen reminds.

At the same time, KalPa has found the core of its own playing and its excellent Alivoima perfectly tamed both Ilves and Sport. The Kuopio team now has a total of 23 understrengths in the playoffs, and no setbacks. How far does it go?

– KalPa took a lot (too much) of ice in the Ilves series, and at some point the underpower tubes always break. Tappara has had the opportunity to learn things from the Ilves series. In terms of the balance of the game, it would be important for KalPa to be able to play as much as possible five-on-five.

The teams’ mutual wins in the regular season are 2–2. KalPa has also beaten Tappara in Tampere. There are no statistical trolls on the shoulders.

– It’s great in sports, if you find that emotional state at the right time and in the right situation, it can carry you no matter how far. Everything is possible, says Nättinen

The first two semi-finals will be played on Friday and Saturday. The series can be already 2-0 in wins for either of them after only 24 hours. Tappara took care of TPS in the quarterfinals always in Tampere and got to Turku three times from the lead position. How would Tappara react if it was in a losing position against Kuopio?

It is also exceptional that KalPa, coming from the 1st playoff round and standing in the regular season, does not even have the number of games as a burden when going to the semi-finals. Tappara has six playoff games below, KalPa has seven. People from Kuopio also have one extra flute day compared to Tappara.

– A really credible challenger is now in the best mood. In boxing terms, an old, really tough champion is facing, but still he can be knocked down, Nättinen describes the settings.

The league’s smallest and biggest rink as the theme of the semifinal pair

Although the Pelicans have a home advantage in the semi-final series against Kärppi, Nättinen makes the team from Oulu a slight favorite.

– Pelicans have the home advantage. From a tactical point of view, it’s nice to see the teams play, if you think about the fact that Kärpät has brought activity to its own play.

Special situations tip the scales in the direction of Kärppie in advance. The Kärppie’s superiority has been the best A class in the playoffs, when it has scored five goals out of the 12 superiority it has received with a wild percentage of 41.67.

Similarly, the Pelicans’ superiority has succeeded in the playoffs only 10.53% (2/19). Already in the regular season, the same steps were visible, when the Kärppi’s superiority was the second best in the entire series, the Pelicans’ only the 10th best.

At Kärpi, freshness has been dug even from the lower chains, which are capable of solutions, big goals. The pride of the north does winning things in the rink and has decisive players. Until now, the Pelicans have mostly relied on the first court.

– Both have firepower for three chains, including the Pelicans, compares Nättinen.

Kärppi’s contract player as Pelsu’s credit guard

Kärppie’s contract player is blocking as Pelicans’ credit goalkeeper Niklas Kokko, who could not play in Oulu. When the answer is Tomi Karhunen, so what is Koko’s display desire? Or does the feeling even go beyond?

Instead, Kärpät has to weigh whether it will still alternate with Karhusen and Niclas Westerholm sometimes in the goalkeeper department.

Both clubs were in the bottom mud of the series in the fall, in the dark hours of November. Considering that one of them advances to the finals of the SM league, it is an almost unbelievable achievement.

Nättinen thinks that a coach other than Tommi Niemelä might have had to leave the Pelicans in the middle of the season.

– Patience is rewarded here. The flies had to come off Lauri from Marjamäki, but they still did it early enough, midway through the series. Both clubs are feeling good now, only things to win and the sky is open.

Having taken the reins of the flies in his hands in a difficult place Ville Mäntymaa get compliments from an expert.

– Quite a historic change of direction, that the club that fired the coach in the middle of the season improves both the game and the results. The whole of Oulu and the home crowd are now behind the team, a terrible full turn! The Kärppie’s tendon has still withstood the challenge of the playoffs and was able to end the series in the away bowl.

Nättinen admits that it is difficult to find a clear favorite from this semi-final series. In the regular season, the wins were divided 2–2.

– Pelicans were left with uncertainties from the HIFK series, while Kärpi was left with the image that they took care of Jukur with honor. But you have to remember that the Kärppie’s place in the next round was decided in the overtime, in its sixth game, and even then the stalemate was not too far away.

SM-LIAGAN SEMI-Rounds (with 4 wins to the finals):

Fri 5.4.
Tappara – KalPa 18.30
Pelicans-Kärpät 18.30

Sat 6.4.
KalPa – Tappara 17.00
Kärpät-Pelicans 17.00

Tue 9.4.
Tappara – KalPa 18.30
Pelicans-Kärpät 18.30

Fri 12.4.
KalPa – Tappara 18.30
Kärpät-Pelicans 18.30

If necessary:

Sat 13.4.
Tappara – KalPa 18.30
Pelicans-Kärpät 18.30

Mon 15.4.
KalPa – Tappara 17.00
Kärpät-Pelicans 17.00

Wed 17.4.
Tappara – KalPa 18.30
Pelicans-Kärpät 18.30