Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hockey in Finland

I took a bus from Prague to an airport in Germany and flew from Germany to the small city of Tamperes in Finland. In Finland I had the opportunity to see a hockey game in another small city close by Tamperes with a Finnish and a French Canadian architecture student. 

The Finnish league--SM-Liiga--did something unique that I thought added to my enjoyment of the game. The leading scorer on each team wore a gold helmet. I found this to make things more interesting, especially for someone unfamiliar with the players. My anticipation rose when the gold helmet players were on the ice as I was waiting for them to do something exciting—by scoring a goal or making a pretty pass—and I found myself at the edge of my seat.

To add to the excitement, with the home team down by one goal with time dwindling down on the clock in the third and final period their leading scorer –the gold helmeted player—had not one but two break away chances! That is to say, he was stopped on both chances and disappointed all the fans that were cheering him on. Would these plays have been as exciting without the special lid on his head? 

I know one thing, I felt more disappointed because he was supposed to be the best player, exactly the player your team would want to have on a breakaway in such a situation. He choked under pressure. I am not very familiar with the league, nor with the players in the league so the helmet helped highlight the players worth coming to see and the players I would expect to come through in clutch situations.
Had it been the NHL the helmet would be unnecessary for me because I already know who these players are and who to have my eyes on. It would still be interesting to see. I also think it would be an interesting dynamic from the team perspective, especially where the top point producer on the team changes from game to game. I think it would also make the game more interesting for the casual fan, for the same reasons the helmet made the Finnish game more interesting for me.

The only standout comment I had about the game play was how poor some of the line changes were done.

No comments:

Post a Comment