HIFK loses to Espoo Blues 5-2
(Photo via Jatkoaika)
After a humiliating 8-1 defeat to Jokerit on Saturday, HIFK returned to action this evening. They had won tonight's opponent Blues, two out of three times this season. The teams were separated by two points as Blues was on the 9th place in the league right after HIFK.
After the Jokerit game, HIFK received even more bad news as 1st line center Joël Perrault had fractured his ankle and is going to be away from the roster for at least four weeks. Perrault had only been in the roster for nine games scoring 4+2 points after he had recovered from his previous injury that occurred in preseason.
At the beginning of the first period there was even more bad news for HIFK as Iiro Pakarinen injured his ankle too. After a clean contact with Blues defender, his full body weight seemed to fall down on his left ankle that was left in to a bad position as he fell. The ankle twisted in to an unnatural position and it didn't take a doctors degree to see that he will be away for some time. The replay of the incident was truly dreadful to watch.
As Mathieu Perreault had left the team and Joël Perrault injured, HIFK is once again missing solid 1st and 2nd line centers. According to a source within Finland media organization Jatkoaika, it looks as if Matty P will not be back. Gone with the leading centers seemed to be HIFK's self-esteem tonight. After the first period the game was already 3-0 to Blues.
For the second period, HIFK had changed the starting goalie Joni Ortio to Mika Norja. In long term, another worrying fact is that Joni Ortio, who has clearly been the best player in HIFK this season and played almost every game of the season, is clearly suffering from fatigue. This was already evident on Saturday against Jokerit and again tonight.
Blues' fourth goal in the beginning of the second settled the game. Lennart Petrell's 4-1 goal happened too late in the period and HIFK's good momentum was cut short as the period ended too early for them.
In the third HIFK tried to risk it and get back to the game, but this time the risk backfired and Blues got their fifth goal. HIFK got its second goal half way to the period, but the actual chase never happened as HIFK's frustration again led to penalties.
As a side note, new Capitals player Mike Ribeiro played for Espoo during the 2004-05 lockout.