kyyrandi: (Default)
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 08:20 pm
Team Finland just started their games at this years IIHF WC.

Usually, that'd mean the highlight of hockey season starting for me. This year, not so much. For one thing, I'm much more emotionally invested in the Wild's playoff run (even if I'm not exactly holding onto any hopes of them making it to the second round; pessimism is a long cultured survival mechanisim born out of years of cheering for teams that only ever lose).

But even if I wasn't, there's been just so much off-ice bullshit involving the tournament and our team this year for the past couple weeks or so, that I just feel like any and all exitment I might've had has been sucked right out.

But I guess I'm watching anyway. If not for any other reason, than to for once see Joni Ortio play for a team I cheer for.
kyyrandi: (Default)
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 12:03 am
 Even my cat is afraid of him. I was watching the post game interviews from last night, and she was sleeping on my lap. When Heatley's interview started up, she spooked so bad that she nearly ran to hide under the bed. :D

In other news, I'm so fucking pissed off about people who can't do any kind of sensible budjeting themselves and aren't willing to let other people help them because of some bullshit reason about not wanting to share credit. If you want to be an ass about your own money that's fine, couldn't care less. But when you are responsible for a group of fifteen getting food and other nessities for a weekend and not having to pay way too much about it, you need to think something other than your self for a moment!

And if you turn down two trained chefs who freely offer to help out with planning and preparing the food, and then come up with stuff that's more expensive, tastes worse and takes a lot more time and effort to cook, than what was suggested to you by said professionals?  At least have the decency of not complaining about how much work you have to do, and how much of your own money you need to spend!

Just, fuck. All of this is not helped by the fact that it's one of those nights when sleep just doesn't seem to be an option. Meaning that tomorrow I'm likely going to be trying to get through the day by force of willpower and caffeine alone. While pretending that I don't want to be bunching one person in particular in the face. Because it's supposed to be a party, and us getting into a fight doesn't really spell good times for everyone.

(As a background, me and said person have been having a number of issues for a while now. I just don't want to end up having the inevitable fight about those issues tomorrow and ruining the day for everyone..) 
kyyrandi: (Default)
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 08:51 pm
I'm nearing 6k in words with the Granlund/Koivu fic I'm working on. And instead of feeling like I might be maybe getting to something like a halfway point at least, I think I maybe need to be adding some scenes I hadn't previously thought I'd need. If been thinking that there's no way I'll reach 50k, much less go over it, but idek, it might be a possibility?

In any case, I just finished the most emotional/angsty scene in the fic so far. It wasn't fun? If someone wants to rec some shameless fluff to get my mind of it, that'd be fantastic.

I'm feeling somewhat nervous about today's Flames - Wild game. Mostly because Granlund is playing in the first PP unit and I reeeally want him to be great with that and also because I'm pessimistic at heart I worry about how it'll play out in the media if he's anything but great..

And it would just be nice if they'd get the damn PP going in general. And maybe score some goals. Winning would be nice too.
kyyrandi: (snafu)
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 08:49 pm
... and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”
-Neil Gaiman
“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it's always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”
-The same

Those two quotes pretty much sum up everything that's been going on for me for the past few days. Mostly I'm glad of the steady headway I'm making with the fic that I'm currently working on, but at the same time, I'm a bit miffed that I went from getting nearly 2K done in one day, to just barely breaking a thousand in the next three combined. Oh well.

At least next week is the winter break around here, meaning that I have a whole week to spend doing nothing but writing, if I so wish.

Or well, not the whole week. Since at some point in there, I do need to spend some time hitting the books as well. By which I mean that I've started cramming for the entrance exams to get to Uni. I'm trying to get in the University of Tampre, either to study English literature, filology and translation or Social Sciences. The first one has already announced their exam books (which is great, because there's three of them) but the other won't do that until April.

The book that I'm reading right now is called The Study of Language, by George Yale. So far I'm really liking it, it's really well and interrerstingly written and easy to grasp. Luckily that one is also the only one of the books that need to be studied from cover to cover. So that helps. The two others are book called Ways of Reading by Martin Montgomery et al, which focuses more on literature, where as the first one is more about filology.

A friend of mine who got in the same place and had to study the same books a couple of years earlier, said that Montgomery's book is maybe a bit more boring of the two. Then again, I'm much more interested in studying literature, where as she gets exited about things like phonetics and syntax, so I might not feel quite the same about this. We'll see.

Anyway, the last book is Introducing Translation Studies by Jeremy Munday. It's the only book I don't have yet, so know idea what it's going to end up like. But I'm really hoping it's a good one as translating is one of the areas I'm seriously considering focusing on if I get in, (the others are teaching and minoring in journalism.)

The exams won't be before the end of May, start of June, so thankfully I still have plenty of time. For now I'm trying to keep to a scheduale of studying for two hours every week day, and three to four on Saturdays.

In hockey news: The Wild beat the Red Wings! And it was really awesome! Zucker scored his NHL first! Kuemper got his first NHL win! In total, they had five rookie in the line-up! And Granlund is on a three game point streak!

I kind of hate this team, because just when I'm starting to give up on them and resign to them not winning anything ever - and that's okay, I'm Finnish, we've been raised to expect our teams to suck always, so much so that we don't know what to do with ourselfs if they don't and go batshit insane - and then they do something like this.

And then I get exited about the team again, only to have all hopes squashed all over again soon enough. (And why do I always cheering for teams like this! It's not just the Wild, I just described my SM-Liiga team's whole season too!)

It's just exhausting is all. Either suck, or don't. Do you have to do both?

Also, keeping up with my favorite topic ever. By which I mean rookies and unrealistic expectations placed on them. A while back, I was reading a finnish hockey forum, and happened to a thread about the Wild's rookies. And in there, some complete asshat, compared Brodin to Niklas Lidström of all people. I mean what the hell? Why would you do that?

We are talking about a 17 year old kid here! And you are hailing him as the "next greatest defenseman ever" already? How is that anything but setting him up for a failure?

kyyrandi: (Default)
Saturday, February 16th, 2013 02:09 pm
This post was actually started a couple of days ago, but then life interfered and I never had a change to finish it. Second time lucky?

First of, kudos for Jarmo Kekäläinen for becoming the first European GM in the NHL.

But moving on: I ran into a Finnish newssite's team Finland roster for Sochi, and well..

Tuomo Ruutu - Mikko Koivu - Valtteri Filppula
Mikael Granlund - Jori Lehterä - Lauri Korpikoski
Sean Bergenheim - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selänne
Leo Komarov - Niko Kapanen - Jesse Joensuu
Sakari Salminen

Kimmo Timonen - Sami Salo
Sami Vatanen - Toni Lydman
Janne Niskala - Ossi Väänänen
Joni Pitkänen

Pekka Rinne
Tuukka Rask
Kari Lehtonen

What ever the final roster, the goaltending will be the backbone by which this team will either rise or fall. The depth there is just amazing. Just that trio is a one you could win with, and the guys getting cut are nothing to scoff by either.

The site mentioned Bäckström, Niemi and Ortio as having the best changes. Some might add Kipper too, but he's likely to retire and in case, has already stated that he's retired from team Finland in any case, plus considering the history he has had with the team, he'd have to be riding a fifty game win streak before anyone would want him on it.

Where they are not looking so great though, is defense. They're kind of on the old side for one. After Vatanen, the youngest would be Pitkänen, whose thirty by the time the games roll by. Not too bad for a defenceman sure, but I'd still like to see some youth added in, especially when you add the fact that our would be number one pairing would be 38 and 39 years old. And that even if both of them are healthy which isn't exactly a guarenteed.

The problem is that where as goaltending is over flowing with depth, there really isn't any here. Outside of the guys mentioned, there isn't any NHL level players awailable. Hell, even having every single finnish defenceman currently playing there, and we're not even close to willing the roster.

And as for getting any youth on the blueline? Olli Määttä and Rasmus Ristolainen, the would be next great Finnish defensemen still won't have even turned twenty yet, so I'm not at all convinced that they'll be ready for the Olympics yet. Määttä maybe, but even that's a long shot.

Bottom line, I wouldn't say our blueline sucks, but it's not great either. And if any of the guys listed are unable to play for what ever reason, we are going to have problems.

And then finally, forwards. Idek where to start here. It's kind of a mess, in a freakishly awesome way? The first line is.. okay, in that Ruutu-Koivu pairing has worked well in the past, and Koivu-Filppula did nice enough at the Worlds last year. The problem you'll have with the three of them combined though, is that the line lacks a goal scorer. Which is something that would be nice to have on the freaking first line..

I have really mixed feelings about the second line. On one hand, having Granlund and Korpikoski on the same line might be a really good combination. Mostly I'm a bit on the fence about putting Lehterä there. He's on fifth place in scoring in the KHL this season, so by no means is he a bad player, but I'm just feeling a bit meh about this line as a whole.

In part it's with having Granlund on the wing. It's the safer option for sure, but unless the Wild end up playing him in that position for the most part this season and the next season, it seems both counter-productive and needless.

Personally, if Jussi Jokinen can get his play going from now on, I'd say Jokinen-Granlund-Korpikoski might be a combination worth considering.

And then we get to the third line. Obviously the fact that Selänne said after Vancouver that he wouldn't be playing for team Finland anymore is being taken seriously by absolutely no one. Then again, he has been retiring since 2006 so it's really no wonder. And for all that I complained about how old our blueline is, Selänne might be 43 by then, but it's SELÄNNE. Normal laws don't apply. Other than that, I don't really have anything to say about the line. I like it, assuming that we'd get the older Koivu of this season and not from the last season.

As for the fourth line, Komarov could maybe have a spot somewhere higher even?

As for players not on this lineup, I'd mostly just mention Barkov. I'm not saying that he's ready for a roster spot yet. But he does deserve to get considered for one. The danger here is that there might be pressure from the media to have him on the team, because it makes for a better story, but hopefully the coaching staff will make the decision about him based on skill alone.

If he does crack the lineup though, and Selänne plays, the age difference between our oldest and youngest player would be 25 years. And that'd be awesome!

It'd also be the sixth Olympics Selänne plays at. Even more awesomeness.

And then to wrap things up, some random observations about this weeks Becoming Wild:

- I wonder what the Wild's PR department used to bride/threathen/blackmail Mikko into letting a cameracrew into his home. Would love to be a fly on the wall to see that conversation go down.. :D

- THAT VIEW! Basically The coastal area in Turku is one of the most beautiful places in Finland, and I'm just jealous of that view.


And that about it. Now for a lovely day of cleaning up. Oh joy.

kyyrandi: (Default)
Saturday, February 16th, 2013 02:12 am
Almost 2k into a fic and the only contact between the main pairing so far is a reference to a conversation they've had in the past. I guess it might end up being kind of a long one?

In other news, I somehow ended up watching Jonas Brodin's draft video on youtube. He's maybe kind of cute? Why is he cute? He's a Swedish hockey player, they aren't allowed to be cute, god damn it!

A couple of weeks ago Alexander Barkov made SM-Liiga history by becoming the youngest player ever to record forty points or more during a season. He now has 19+22=41 in 44 games, is second on his team in scoring and ninth in the league. He's also +17, also second place on his team, and fourth in the league.

And he's yet to play less than 15 minutes in a game, and his current average TOI is 19.25. Other than the time he spent at the WJC, he hasn't missed a game this season.

The kid won't even turn eighteen before September! I just don't know anymore, if one should be fucking impressed with all that he's done or really really scared that he's current team is about to ruin an incredible future star by overplaying him. So for now I'm settling for doing a lot bit of both.

kyyrandi: (Default)
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 06:09 pm
So a couple of days ago, [ profile] arctic_comet commented about Granlund, and the amount of media attention the start of his NHL career has been getting here in Finland, and I started to answer it, and well, it got kind of long-ish. To the point that I just decided to make a post about it, because apparently this is something I have lot's to say about.

As a background, Russo, Wild's beat writer did a really good article about it for the Star Tribune: "Homeland has Wild rookie Granlund well-covered." It's really good, and I strongly recommend reading it, but to those who prefer the clip-notes version: three tv-stations, two news papers and a dozen other various reporters - most of them, if not all, btw, really major news out-lets, as in, the biggest national tv-channels and so on - were present for the Wild's opening night. In comparison, there are Championship tournaments that get less coverage, to even talk about single games.

And the reason for them being there has nothing to do with Minnesota being somewhat of a hockey hot-bead, or even their Finnish captain or starter goalie. The only reason for them being there, and in such hordes even, is one rookie.

Then there's the case of Samuel Savolainen, a reporter for one of the biggest sports-magazines, who moved to Minnesota, just so he can cover Granlund (and supposedly the Wild in general, at the side) full-time. As far as I know, before now, there's been one hockey reporter, who lives in North-America full time, and he runs a weekly column covering the entire league.

So yes, the amount of media attention Granlund is getting is crazy. Now, you might make the argument, that part of it is just NHL growing in popularity and having a better profile on this side of the pond, and Granlund being the perfect poster child for that, and while true, I don't believe that's all there is to it. The argument about him being the biggest future star and the best prospect we've had in so many years, is also valid, but still falls somewhat flat in explaining the whole picture.

The thing with Granlund's career, from a media stand point, is that it makes for a great narrative. Starting with the David-Goliath angle, of him always playing against older and bigger players, and having to fight for his right to play in leagues meant for older kids to him scoring The Magical Goal, and in between overcoming the contract mess with his junior team (btw, raise your hands when you notice the parallels between Granlund's and Crosby's media narrative).

Now, with Granlund starting his NHL career, at least part of that narrative reaches it's climax. And it won't be complete unless one of two things happens. Either he lives up to every single expectation ever laid upon him, scores hundred points including the Stanley Cup winning over-time goal and wins the Hart, Conn Smythe and Calder trophies, or he is a bust who crashes and burns in just a couple games, gets sent back down to the AHL and in a few years returns home in disgrace.

And as horrible as that sounds, if you are member of the media, whose only intrest in the matter is the way you can sell papers, it doesn't matter which option is the reality. The headlines are there, no matter which way you go. Nor does it really matter if either one is the real truth, as long as it's somewhat close enough to it that you can make it true.

Or maybe this one time, media will listen, when told by virtually everyone in the Wild organization, from players to coaches to management, to have patience. Or then maybe not. Because if there's one thing Finnish media has shown in the last few years, is that they love nothing more, than the change to be tearing Granlund to pieces.

When his SM-Liiga team struggled last season, they made it sound like Granlund was to blame, because of his scoring slump. During the World Champions last spring he was pulled as a healthy scratch for one game, and that's the only thing anyone remembers about that game. Why? Because the next day, two of the biggest tabloids both had huge headline articles about it. Little trivial things like who won, or what the score of the game was, were hardly even mentioned.

As to what I said earlier about Granlund being first high end prospect Finland has had in a long time, the worst about that, is that it in a sense, he is very much alone in it. It's very much likely, that the trend of media attention on NHL and even more so, focusing a lot of that on rookies and young guys. Granlund, Teräväinen and Barkov are sure to sell more than Olli Jokinen, Leino or Lydman.

The difference with Teräväinen, Barkov and other Finnish prospect on the verge of breaking in to NHL is, that when they do that, it's so much more likely, that a lot of them will be doing it at least nearly at the same time. And so they'll each take some of the pressure of each others. Or to quote [ profile] arctic_comet :" If they want to give all these boys the same media attention as Mikke, they'll have to hire like 100 new writers." Well, it'd surely be one way to resolve our unemployment problems.
kyyrandi: (Default)
Sunday, January 20th, 2013 09:30 am
A little under two years ago scored the goal that took Team Finland to World Championship Finals and made the whole country fall in love with him.

And now, last night he got his so very long awaited NHL deput, and scored his first career NHL goal. He's all grown up.

Discounting the first period the game was a really great watch all in all. The power play looks like it might have the potential to be really deadly, especially once the second line truly get's it going. Getting goals from three different lines was really promising and if someone was wondering if the chemistry with the Parise-Koivu-Heatley line would work out, I'd say based on the opening night performance, it's working just great.

Other highlights: Spurgeon and Brodziak getting assists, Granlund getting the second star of the game and the overall look of the penalty kill.
Here's to hoping that they keep at it in the same manner with the Stars. Koivu and Parise getting their first goals of the season would be nice. ;)

Meanwhile elsewhere on the league: Selänne opened up with 2 goals and 2 assists against the Canucks. Not bad for a 42 year old. If this is the stage of things to come, we might see him break 700 career goals this season. And that'd be so very very awesome indeed. 
kyyrandi: (Default)
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 06:26 pm
 And one of them happens to work at a local theater. Which is how yesterday, I went and saw opera in person for the first time in my life. And I only had to pay one euro for the tickets, since it was a pre- opening night showing. The opera in question was Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio, which had been adapted and set to modern day Finland. I'm not in anyway a huge opera fan, but overall it was really fun experience.

Also, since the friend who had gotten us the tickets just had a birthday, we went out afterwards, just to play some pool and hang around. Can't even remember when's the last time I've had so much fun going out.

I keep meaning to write about all the things I'm looking forward about the upcoming NHL season, but then I get distracted by new videos and and articles and putting it off. (For all my complaining in the previous post, I am so very happy that there are once again actual hockey news to read.)

But here are some very jumbled thoughts on it:

A) Teemu Selänne cracking the top 10 career goals scored. Being that he only needs six goals for that, it shouldn't be an overly long wait, thankfully.

B) Granlund's first NHL goal. For everyone's sake I'm really hoping this comes as soon as possible. Saturday's game would be best. And not just because the kid deserves all the good things happening to him, but also because I can already see the way at least portions of Finnish media will make out like he is a bust with no future what so ever, if he hasn't scored by his fifth game. And then I'd be annoyed, because would it kill these people to have some patience! and all in all I'd just rather not.

C) Wild making the playoffs. No reason why they couldn't do it, as long as they stay at least somewhat healthy. Which leads me to..

D) Mikko Koivu having a full, injury-free season. Just, please hockey gods, make it so.

E) Seeing Crosby score and score. And then score some more. By the time I started watching the NHL last spring the Pens were already out of the playoffs. So all I've ever really seen of the wonder child is highlight reels, and while those are all well and good, I can't wait to finally see him in action for real.

and finally

F) Pekka Rinne having a career best, Vezina winning year. Not really holding my breath on this happening (not the Vezina at least), but one can always hope.

Been doodling around with some writing ideas once again. The Carter/Richards Second-trade-never-happened!AU is at a point where I have a complete plot outline for it. I think? I'd just need to decide just how depressing I want the ending to be.

And then there's the Koivu/Granlund fic i should get around to completing, especially now that those two are finally in the same continent and playing for the same team. Mostly my problems with that is, that on one hand, the fic I originally had planned is going to end up loooong, and I get frustrated with it and just want to jump right to the sex. But then on the other hand, every time I try and write any sex scenes with the paring I feel like a creeper, what with Granlund being the Official Little Brother of Finland.. So that's something I need to get over.

While on the subject of Koivu/Granlund, Mikko's first post-lockout interview on WildTV gave me so much feels. Talking about lockout being over and how exited everyone is and how it's good to be getting back to playing hockey? No facial expressions what so ever. Getting asked about Granlund? Instant smile. (Careful now, you're adoration is showing.)
(The vid in question.)

Also, if I've looked correctly, based on the interviews, Kyle Brodziak sits between Mikke and Mikko? Meaning that there should be a fic about how they are constantly hassling each other because of UST, and Brodziak, the innocent by-stander gets caught up in it, until one day he can't take it anymore and lock them in a closet (because locked in closet is a great trope and there can never be too much of it!). And then sex happens. But the hassling doesn't stop, if anything it gets even worse, and Brodziak despairs. Someone, please make this happen!

In not fic related writings, I've been thinking about a Barkov primer, because everyone should love him, and then thought that while I'm at it, I might as well do a primer on baby Finns in general. (And yes, it's because I want to gush about Salomäki, shut up. :D). So if anyone out there has any specific Finnish prospects in mind that they want to know more about, let me know.

Oh right, almost forgot, if there's someone out there lovely enough to to some betaing for me, I'd be so very very grateful. One of the reasons I've been stuck with my writing is that I get overly conscious of all the hang-ups of my second language english and having a beta would really help with that.

Finally, and also on the list of things I almost forgot: a very big welcome to all the new people on my friendslist!