The lockout is finally over and the last of the domestic lockout players are leaving Finland this week. There were total of 32 NHL players, who visited the SM-Liiga (Finnish National League) during the NHL lockout. Read more on the summary of how the NHL players made an impact in SM-liiga.
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. Read more here.
HIFK won against Tappara 5-1 in the last home game of 2012. The game held particular significance to both teams as they were separated by only two points in the league. Tappara had won both of their previous encounters this season.
HIFK travelled some 300 miles north from Helsinki all the way to Oulu for tonights game against Kärpät (The Stoats/Ermines in English). The game was the last match for the club before the Christmas break. The two teams have a history this season already with back-to-back games in October. Kärpät won both games 4-1 and 4-5.
(Photo credit to Tomi Hanninen/Jatkoaika)
HIFK returned to action in a home game against TPS. The teams had played against each other already two times this season. TPS won the first encounter in Turku and HIFK won the second at home. Before tonight's game, TPS was at 3-2 (last 5) and HIFK on the opposite was at 2-3. Both teams are desperately fighting their way back to earn a playoff seed. Before tonight they were separated by only three points in the league so the evening's game held particular significance for both teams.
As Dynamo Moscow and the rest of the KHL are on a break, it was only a matter of time before pictures of Ovechkin would surface of his where abouts. Based on sightings, he became chummy at an MMA fight (Battle of Moscow 9) earlier today (12/16) where he was seen sitting with Maria Kirilenko, Joe Rogan and a Russian DJ. Ovi stepped up into the ring during a the event in Moscow, Russia as the result was read donning a Mike Tyson tee. The match was between former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and Mike Hayes in which Arlovski was declared the winner. Ovechkin and his girlfriend Maria Kirilenko take pictures with their table mates Joe Rogan (looking elsewhere) (Photo via iamgeegun) Research credit goes to The Luke Thomas tumblr
A huge disappointment at Tampere. Ilves tops HIFK 1-0 despite the support of thousand HIFK fans.
After the win on Friday, HIFK traveled to Tampere to face Ilves. Some thousand fans had also traveled to Tampere to give their support. Ilves' season has been a bad one. The team is stuck on the last position in the league troubled also with financial problems. However earlier this week Ilves got major reinforcement to its roster, as Daniel Paille (Boston) joined the squad on Wednesday. Max Talbot (Philadelphia) had joined the team earlier in the autumn.
A glimmer of light for HIFK during dark times. Perreault & Perrault dominate on power play. HIFK wins HPK 4-2. HIFK's 1 and 4 from last 5 games was the starting point for tonight's game. With few key players still missing from tonights roster, the crowd at Helsinki hand't too high hopes for the game. Only 6751 spectators showed up tonight (total capacity at 8500)
It was an all too familiar story for HIFK this season. SaiPa outskated HIFK to take an easy 3-1 win. Perreault assisted HIFK's only goal on power play on a pass to Joel Perrault (no direct relation other than they are good friends). HIFK had 6 key players missing from the roster tonight, including the team captain Ville Peltonen. Surely that was a factor to the poor performance, but not an excuse.
In Matheiu Perreault's debut game with HIFK Helsinki, since signing with them earlier in the week, he was able to get an assist in HIFK's 4-2 loss to JYP. Wearing his signature 85, Perreault had a TOI of 16:20. Perreault started things off with an assist to open the match at 6:10 but was no help in the long run due to JYP raining shots on goal with 68 on the match. HIFK was only able to get the puck on net 31 times which proved to be fatal.