|Juhamatti Aaltonen||RW||28||SM-liiga||Karpat Oulu|
|Aleksander Barkov||C||18||NHL||Florida Panthers|
|Valtteri Filppula||C/LW||29||NHL||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Mikael Granlund||C/LW||21||NHL||Minnesota Wild|
|Jussi Jokinen||LW||30||NHL||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Olli Jokinen||C||35||NHL||Winnipeg Jets|
|Mikko Koivu||C||30||NHL||Minnesota Wild|
|Leo Komarov||C||27||KHL||Moscow Dynamo|
|Petri Kontiola||C/RW||29||KHL||Chelyabinsk Traktor|
|Lauri Korpikoski||LW||27||NHL||Phoenix Coyotes|
|Jori Lehtera||C||26||KHL||Novosibirsk Sibir|
|Antti Pihlstrom||LW||29||KHL||Ufa Salavat Yulayev|
|Tuomo Ruutu||RW||30||NHL||Carolina Hurricanes|
|Teemu Selanne||RW||43||NHL||Anaheim Ducks|
|Lasse Kukkonen||D||32||SM-liiga||Karpat Oulu|
|Juuso Hietanen||D||28||KHL||Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod|
|Sami Lepisto||D||29||KHL||Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg|
|Olli Maatta||D||19||NHL||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Sami Salo||D||39||NHL||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Kimmo Timonen||D||38||NHL||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Ossi Vaananen||D||33||SM-liiga||Jokerit Helsinki|
|Sami Vatanen||D||22||NHL||Anaheim Ducks|
|Kari Lehtonen||G||30||NHL||Dallas Stars|
|Antti Niemi||G||30||NHL||San Jose Sharks|
|Tuukka Rask||G||26||NHL||Boston Bruins|
If Finland is going to make the medal round, they'll do it with team defense and excellent goaltending in Sochi.
Both Antti Niemi and Tuukka Rask are capable starting goaltenders for Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Neimi has a Stanley Cup to his credit thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks run in 2010. Rask is no stranger to playoff pressure having reached the finals last year with the Boston Bruins. Statistically, Rask has the edge with a 2.12 GAA and .928 S%. The Bruins netminder also leads the NHL in shutouts with five through 41 games. Niemi’s numbers are decent at 2.38 GAA and .913 S% with two shutouts, which still leaves him a ways behind Rask.
Finland's Olympic roster also features a handful of players from the KHL and SM-liiga which could give Finland an edge over their competition. With nine players acclimatized to the large ice surface, including six players already playing in Russia, Finland will be more comfortable than teams laden with NHLers.
Whether or not they can supplement the depth required to compete with powerhouses such as Canada, USA, Russia, and Sweden remains to be seen. Beyond the Gold Medal, if any of the European-based players have an interest in moving (or returning) to the NHL in the future, the 2014 Winter Olympics represents a stage in which to showcase their talent.
Scoring will be a problem for Finland in Sochi. The team will really need to wring out their roster for offense, especially if the Koivu brothers miss the show.
For Habs fans, the news that former Montreal Canadiens Captain Saku Koivu withdrew from the Olympics in Sochi is disappointing. At 39-years of age, this would have been Saku’s fifth appearance representing Finland at the Winter Olympics, and surely his last.
Koivu's message: "I feel that in my case dreams and reality are conflicting. I would prefer to be replaced by a better-prepared player."— Matias Strozyk (@MaStrozyk) January 7, 2014
Saku Koivu’s absence is a tough blow to Team Finland both in terms of leadership and at the center position. Things could get worse for Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics if Saku’s younger brother, Mikko, remains sidelined after undergoing surgery on his fractured ankle on January 6.
If Mikko Koivu is unable to go, pressure will be on Florida Panthers' rookie Aleksander Barkov to produce offensively. At only 18-years of age the experience will be valuable for Barkov's future, but not necessarily Finland's present.
The Finnish fountain of youth that will undoubtedly revitalize Teemu Selanne to his 76 goal NHL debut during the 1992-93 season. The winter games marks Selanne’s sixth Olympic appearance, which ties an IIHF record set by fellow Finn Raimo Helminen.
We all love Teemu Selanne, but he isn't the scoring threat he once was. At the ripe playing age of 43, he’s been protected by the Anaheim Ducks this season so not to wear out as "coach Bruce Boudreau has rested him on the road in back-to-back games and given him fourth-line minutes." So how will Selanne fair among the best in the world in a compact schedule that includes back-to-back games?
Finland is a clear underdog going into Sochi and a role their comfortable with, which only makes them all the more dangerous in a short tournament. So don’t count them out just yet.
- Olympic rankings: Finland in 5th (Jan. 10, 2014)
- Team Canada's Olympic roster
- Team USA's Olympic roster
- Olympic rankings: Finland no. 5 (Jan. 4, 2014)
- Team Canada's Roster Surprises
- EOTP selects Team Canada
- Naming Team Canada's "B team"
- Subban and Price make Team Canada [gif party!]
- Captain Plekanec
- Markov, Diaz, Budaj, Emelin: Sochi bound