#35 / Left Wing / KalPa
May 3, 1990
Round 6, 2008 #163 overall
Wasama Trophy Winner, 2008-2009
Teemu Hartikainen has returned from the World Junior Championships to Kalpa in the SM-Liiga with a scoring touch. Fitting, as he was the only Finn at the tournament that was capable of generating scoring chances on his own. He's put together a three game goal streak and has five points in three games. Since ending his military service on November 25th, Hartikainen has played in ten games and the splits are noteworthy.
Upon his return from Canada, KalPa coach Pekka Virta moved Hartikainen down to the third line and flipped him to the right wing. Something is going right for Hartikainen and his new linemates center Tapio Laakso and left wing Timo Salo as Laakso has a goal, five shots and a plus two, and Salo has a goal, eight shots and is a plus two in his last three games. Kalpa has won three straight and has put some distance between them and third place JYP.
|Games 1-22: Teemu Hartikainen||22
|Games 23-32: Teemu Hartikainen||10
I asked Teemu about the championships, his play recently and his new linemates.
C&B: You seemed to play a very physical game in your own end, in front of the net and on the forecheck. Were you comfortable with the style of the North American game?
Teemu Hartikainen: I liked that style in the tournament. It was very physical tournament and every game was really hard on me because I played so many minutes, but I saw that I can play well there with my strength.
C&B: Since coming back from the tournament, you've been playing well.
Hartikainen: The same thing happened last year when I came back from the World Juniors. I scored a bunch of goals in the spring and I played really well.
C&B: I noticed that you have new linemates. Tell me about them.
Hartikainen: My linemates are very good. They do lot of work in the corners and in our own end. We all are the same kind of players, we do the tough work, we drive to the net and try to hit people.
Tapio Laakso is our center, he is strong like a bull and he can pass the puck very well. Timo Salo is our left wing, he's very fast and a great penalty killer. Usually they do a good job of boxing out opponents when we drive to the net.
C&B: Kalpa has pulled away from JYP and HIFK and is all alone in second place. What do you think of your chances in the playoffs?
Hartikainen: Our team is flying now, we have a great team spirit and every guy knows that we can do something big this year if everyone is committed 100%.
Hopefully, we'll have a great playoff and we can all celebrate in the spring.