I had set my mind before the match, Ilves was a walking corpse, stripped of its soul and therefore unable to sustain a 60 minute blitzkrieg from their city rivals. I should learn to shut up. Toni Koivisto carried this one and even if it was a close one, the Bobcats deserved the points they got, no contest. You can see highlights here if you are the visual type.
As for myself, I will step back a little, give some time for this season to unfold a wee bit more and then set my mind if one of these two squads requires closer attention and has what it takes to be a contender. You can label me a mercenary but allegiance is normally not something you build in your Thirties, you're way too critical to summon the necessary passion and excitement over a bunch of kids mainly younger than you, so I'll take my time and pledge to the most impressive crew sometime during the winter.
Yesterday's matchup was Ilves' affair. Often a team that does not bring so much new faces around for a new season and sticks with the continuing chemistry within the men in place bet on the right strategy. Although I might add that the addition of Sami Torkki paid instantly with the beauty he served up to Peltola in the second. Torkki, coming back from 2 seasons with Linköpings we could call disappointing if we go by the numbers, seemed right at home on the second unit.
I often have a way to jinx my own predictions. If I cheer for a team, betting on them losing would bring you good odds. I even jinx my analysis of players. During the match, I turn around to my buddy and say "Look at Anttila, number 61, it's fuckin' Frankenstein, impressive alright but damn that guy is useless, look at him, he's gonna do nothing, just circle around and wait for his shift to end." Next thing you know, he grabs the puck, gets the D off his back in a subtle twist and drives to the net all alone. He couldn't get a decent shot but it seemed to be my remark that sparked his brief flash of talent. Goes to show. It stopped there by the way, we never saw him touch the puck again and he'll remain in my opinion only a tool, useless piece of meat like one would say. He'd be better off in a Broadway show doing his own version of Puttin' on the Ritz.
One last word on the goaltending. Tappara owes their one point to one man. Tommi Nikkilä, second best in saving average last year in the league, is off to a good start and hopefully for the team, he can steal the odd point here and there like he did last night.