Now a loss would be a disaster for both HIFK and Pelicans – was this the real reason for Tommi Niemelä’s fit of rage? | Sport

Now a loss would be a disaster for both HIFK

Ice hockey tour at Areena on Tuesday 2.4. The match starts at 18:30.

The dizzying quarter-final series between Lahti Pelicans and Helsinki IFK culminates in Tuesday’s stalemate in Lahti. HIFK was already losing by winning 0–3, but has tightened up in the series of matches.

Only one team in the history of the hockey SM league has advanced from a 0–3 situation to the playoffs. In the spring of 2012, Espoo Blues lost the first three matches against Kuopio KalPa in the quarter-finals, but advanced to the semi-finals with a 4–3 victory.

Now HIFK is looking for a similar miracle.

– A very interesting and rare situation in the SM league. The feeling and flow modes of the moment are definitely on for IFK and Pelicans, on the other hand, the fear of losing. HIFK has a mental advantage for this match. They have gone through some tough times in this series of matches. But in one match, anything can happen, Urheilu’s expert Top Nättinen thinking.

The Pelicans were already marching to the semi-finals, but now the people of Lahti will be measured by the real thing.

– Now it’s a result or out. Three match balls have yet to be lost. The Pelicans have the advantage of playing on their home field. Statistics and history show that the home teams have been strong in tie games. But in a single match, statistics and history do not matter in themselves. Now is the last chance, Nättinen punted.

Was Niemelä’s rampage just theater?

Pelicans head coach Tommi Niemelä went after Saturday’s sixth match with heavy rounds.

Niemelä raged at the cameramen and MTV’s production team that there was a microphone from the TV crew behind their bench, but not behind HIFK’s audience. He told about experiencing Niemelä Evening News.

Nättinen sees that Niemelä could have deliberately sought attention for herself.

– I would believe that Niemelä is such a smart guy that he wanted to draw attention to himself and at the same time away from criticizing his team. Of course, there can be emotional babbling and focusing on silly things. But it can be a semi-conscious way to shift the attention to himself, so that the team gets peace of mind, says Nättinen.

Saturday’s struggle was decided in the overtime, when Jori Lehterä scored his first goal of the playoffs.

Lehterä told In an interview with MTV, that the fighting look was dug up from the “Peltonen ulos heti” signs. The pained HIFK supporters expressed their opinion in the fourth match, when HIFK was still losing 0-3 in the match series.

Nättinen also believes that the harsh criticism has made HIFK’s team feel better.

– There is certainly some truth in that. The team has gained strength from all doubt and criticism. If this is the case, then it is good for IFK. It has been proven in history that the desire for the screen and playing with one’s back against the wall, when no one believes anymore, is where strength has often been drawn from.

The required shoe for Pelton throughout the season

HIFK’s head coach Ville Peltonen sacks have been demanded loudly throughout the season. Nättinen points out that unnecessarily simple solutions are often sought for complex issues. The head coach is usually approached first.

– Sport is quite brutal in the sense that you always want to find the culprit. In Ilves, all the arrows now point to that Antti Pennanen was to blame for the fact that Ilves was eliminated from the continuation. In HIFK, Ville Peltonen and Tobias Salmelainen (sports director) are to blame for everything, Nättinen states.

At HIFK, every head coach is always in a special spotlight. Even Pelton has experienced that this season.

– IFK is the toughest place for a head coach in Finland in terms of pressure and expectations. It is a privilege, but also a burden, Nättinen describes.

“The fall of HIFK would be a bigger bomb”

It is clear that relegation on Tuesday would be a disaster for both Pelicans and HIFK. Pelicans is threatened by one of the meltdowns of all time, on the other hand, being out of the medal games with HIFK’s resources would be a crushing disappointment.

– If IFK is already relegated at this stage, there will be nothing left but a good match and a great series of matches. However, the final ranking would be poor. That would be a complete disappointment and a miserable performance from IFK, Nättinen summarizes.

Pelicans finished third in the regular season and had a great start to the playoffs. However, the season will have a bitter taste if the people of Lahti melt in the claws of HIFK.

– The beginning of the Pelicans’ season was difficult, the situation looked like a crisis, at least from the outside. But with a 3-0 lead in this series, relegation would be a big disappointment for them. If you think about the whole season, the relegation of IFK at this stage was a bigger bomb, Nättinen reflects.

Lahti’s stalemate is likely to be a tight and low-scoring game.

– All the matches in the match series have been tight. If IFK gets there anyway, the match can even be torn apart. But if the Pelicans get the lead again, I don’t think IFK will break. It is difficult to predict individual matches, Nättinen anticipates.

Ice hockey tour at Areena on Tuesday 2.4. The match starts at 18:30.