Pekka Holopainen’s column: The great king of Finnish ice hockey in the toughest place of his career – Heaven or hell awaits Ville Pelto | Sport

Pekka Holopainens column Would Finlands best endurance runner get a

If HIFK, which has invested hugely in a mediocre team, is left out of the medal games again, the continuation of Ville Peltonen, who breathes the logo, looks special, writes Pekka Holopainen.

Pekka Holopainen sports reporter

HIFK’s second generation big player Ville Peltonen had more than 30 years ago established his place in the elite of the SM league and also in the A national team, when towards the same caste he started pushing on the other side of the Nordenskiöldinkatu ice rink, i.e. the Jokerien booth corridor, wearing his equipment Juha Lind.

His father is the most respected employee in the history of the media company that publishes this column, a news anchor who retired twenty years ago Arvi Lind“Finland’s most reliable man”.

Around 1993, in the name of my employer at the time, I proposed a story idea to the younger and older Lindi, in which the two would be filmed in ‘s news studio, each in their own military room. Lind Senior gave the green light, Junior a very red one.

Maybe young Juha Lind thought that Finns imagine that his place in the top ranks of the country’s best ice hockey team is due to the fact that his father reads the news from a teleprompter on TV at 8:30 p.m.

A story project that ended with a boomerang came to mind on Tuesday On March 26, when the HIFK fan group, which lost 0-3 against the Pelicans in the quarter-final series, demanded that Ville Peltonen, who is in his third season as head coach, leave the team immediately.

Rare patience

The 6th place in the regular season with sloppy performances and the path to the medal games that seemed blocked had matured the supporters, who have even shown rare patience to Peltos out of sheer respect and past feats.

However, now it had reached a situation where more and more people were openly asking if Peltonen and another HIFK dynasty raised, would be the sports director elected in 2017 Tobias Salmelainen no longer in their positions without the family backgrounds mentioned above.

Already announced in October At that moment, Peltonen’s two-year extension didn’t look like a genius, either from the sports director or from his superiors.

It was easy to forget that the series the absolute top end with the player budget, it was remembered to get the head coach a first-choice goalkeeper who meets the dimensions of an organization on the level of HIFK, or so-called foot defenders.

Status did not protect

Peltonen breathes the logo and gives his all to the club, but this status did not protect him at the time Walter from Immo in Jokers, Hannu Virtaa in TPS, Pekka Iron rock Ace or From Raimo Helmi In sneer. Mono swung.

But when the calendar turns to April 2nd, Peltonen’s immediate exit sheets have been burned and Finland’s best club community is full of hope again.

Having been saved twice through overtime, HIFK has risen from the brink of the abyss and will go into the seventh game of the Pelicans series as the favorite.

When a person is both as an athlete and as an individual has been and managed in such tough places as Ville Peltonen, it is a very high threshold to claim that one single match would define him decisively.

But that’s exactly the kind of match Tuesday night is about for both Peltonen and several other core members of the HIFK family. The third time in a row out of the medals and already the second time in the quarter-finals is probably not what was expected from the club messiah recruited as the head coach of the 2021 dreams.

Ville Peltonen is wearing a well-fitting suit in the toughest position of his hockey career.

When looking at HIFK’s recent history, it is also necessary to ask whether there is enough fire and flint to achieve regular top-level sporting success in the background of a masterful community driven by the country’s finest fan base in the sale of its products. The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t make it either, but they are the number one franchise in the NHL and have permission to print money.

Head coach Peltonen knows very well that as a top sports collective, HIFK is a very incomplete pump. He has enough development ideas, plans and know-how.

But will there be enough time if the medal games remain a dream again?