Say what you will about that American team, but they were able to put six bona fide NHLers into their lineup. When it comes to Finns, however, the Sens have traditionally avoided them. They were able to put a team together, unlike some teams that we’ll get to in a moment, so we’ll run through the motions before we move onto the better teams.
Upfront the team is led by Jarkko Ruutu, making me the first person in history to type that sentence. Ruutu was a regular on Ottawa’s bottom-six in the post-2007 decline and was part of a fun checking line with Chris Kelly and Chris Neil. The rest of the franchise’s Finnish forwards combine for 33 points however so he won’t get much help. Juha Ylonen is the only one listed as a centre so he’ll get the spot just so someone can take faceoffs, while Jarmo Kekalainen could also serve as GM and get this team some much-needed help.
The blueline looks solid though, with Laukkanen and Salo serving as a poorer man’s Phillips and Redden respectively. While they’re a very capable duo, they’re here mostly by default as the only other competition is three games from Jyrki Jokipakka.
If Finland wants to somehow compete with the other countries, the defence will have to be spectacular as they shouldn’t expect much help between the pipes from Jani Hurme. Hurme spent two seasons in the early 2000s as Ottawa’s backup before spending one year in Florida in the same role. He’s the only Finnish goalie the team has ever had though, so there’s no other option.