#35 / Left Wing / KalPa
May 3, 1990
Round 6, 2008 #163 overall
Wasama Trophy Winner, 2008-2009
KalPa is getting more of a fight than they expected from Tappara in the SM-Liiga playoffs. Though they are up 3-2 in the series, two of KalPa's wins have come in overtime and KalPa only has a 15-13 advantage in goals scored thus far. The big story of the series has been Teemu Hartikainen's performance. When I posted my last update of the series, Hartikainen had thrown ten shots on goal and scored once in a KalPa overtime win. He had a goal in each of the first three games of the series. What I missed, however, was that Hartikainen had been promoted to the first line to begin game three as Sami Kapanen was struggling and KalPa coach Pekka Virta decided that Hartikainen was the best bet to get Kapanen going.
In game four, Hartikainen scored again. Four goals in four games and KalPa had only scored eleven total goals in the first four games. Hartikainen also found himself in the penalty box for fourteen minutes in game four - twice for minors and a ten-minute misconduct for arguing a high-sticking call.
KalPa lost forward Tuomas Kiiskisen for the rest of the season when he broke his hand - requiring surgery to repair the damage. Kiiskisen is a versatile right wing for KalPa and his loss puts a dent in their chances for a title.
In game five, Hartikainen again skated on the first line with Sami Kapanen, and responded with an assist and five shots on goal and a +3 as Kapanen finally heated up with a hat trick in another overtime win for KalPa.
Five games, four goals, five points and twenty three shots on goal. Hartikainen is on a roll right now in the playoffs, and he's doing it against tough competition. For those of you that love tournaments of small sample sizes, try to catch the Hartikainen bandwagon before it leaves town.
Teemu Hartikainen vs. Tappara SM-Liiga Playoffs
In other Hartikainen-related news, Teemu did an interview with Kuopio newspaper Savon Sanomat, which can be viewed here. In it, Hartikainen says that he's undecided on next season and that he hasn't made any plans either way. As if there isn't already enough excitement about the Oklahoma City AHL team next year, now there is a possibility that Hartikainen will join the squad.