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The Malik Report

A quick chat with Kasper Kotkansalo after Finland’s loss to Team USA at the WJSS

Kasper Kotkansalo and his Finnish teammates had an up-and-down game against Team USA at the World Junior Summer Showcase on Friday. Kasper finished at -1 with a penalty and 3 shots on goal in Finland's 4-3 loss to the Americans, but Kotkansalo wasn't happy with his game.

The Finns were already looking forward to tomorrow's showdown with Sweden, which Kasper promised the Finns would win, because Finland has gone 0-3-and-1 at the WJSS, and tomorrow's 4 PM Scandinavian battle will be Finland's last chance to earn a victory.

Finland actually out-shot Team USA 40-21 on Friday, and they took a 3-1 lead before Teeam USA came roaring back with an incredibly strong third period...

After the game, Kotkansalo spoke with myself and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji and Art Regner, suggesting that his game has to improve after plateauing several games ago and going downhill over the last two, and while it is "summer hockey" and every team is dealing with bad bounces on August ice, Kotkansalo suggested that the bounces that haven't gone his way can't be tolerated for him to play up to snuff. It was refreshing to hear his candor:

Team Finland coach Jussi Ahokas preferred to look forward, not backward, but he was willing to talk about the loss to the Americans and about Kotkansalo's play (among other prospects)...

And Team USA coach Bob Motzko was his ever-engaging self while assessing the state of his team and its roster machinations (which he preferred to keep secret) ahead of Saturday's 7 PM showdown with Canada:

 
Update: Here are USA Hockey's Finland-USA highlights:
 

 

Update: DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji and Art Regner penned a World Junior Summer Showcase notebook:

"We won't leave this place without a win, that's for sure," Kotkansalo said with a determined grin. "The Swedes, it's the biggest rivalry. I'm excited and the whole team is excited. We're for sure going to forget everything about this and we are confident and ready to go tomorrow."

The Finns dropped a 4-3 decision to the Americans Friday night, despite outshooting them 40-21.

Kotkansalo was told he sounded kind of American with his guarantee after the loss.

"Yeah, I did that," Kotkansalo confirmed. "It's the Swedes we're talking about so we'll get them."

Despite his team's 0-3-0-1 record in the WJSS, Team Finland head coach Jussi Ahokas knows all can be made right with a win over their rival.

"Of course that's great," Ahokas said. "Those are the best games always, to play against Sweden. We're looking forward to it."

Continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

damndog's avatar

I still like this pick. If you watch any YouTube videos or read anything on this kid he’s a real Hammer; he can hit, he can skate, he’s good at closing gaps but he’s not going to be putting a lot of points on the board. this a good steady defenseman. Hopefully a diamond in the rough.

Posted by damndog from The Eastside of Detroit on 08/04/17 at 09:41 PM ET

Avatar

Sounds like he could be the next Kyle Quincey. Lindstrom is the next Russo. Sproul is the next Seabrook. Rasmussen is the next Sheahan. Future looks bright!

Posted by fatsavage on 08/05/17 at 11:17 AM ET

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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