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Timonen’s advice for Flyers? Play like Finland

Feb 27, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT

Kimmo Timonen Getty Images

After winning bronze at the Olympics, Kimmo Timonen says he knows how Philly needs to “Finnish” the regular season.


“I’ll show you the medal and maybe you change your mind now,” Timonen said, per CSN Philadelphia. “It’s a team sport. We played as a team. It was a good showing for the Flyers, too.

“You play as a team, you can beat anybody.”

Finland did exactly that en route to its fourth Olympic medal since NHL participation began in ’98. Despite losing the services of top centers Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula prior to the tournament — then losing prized youngster Aleksander Barkov during — the Finns stuck to a disciplined, hard-working and gritty gameplan. They were the only team to take Canada past regulation and racked up quality wins over Russia (3-1) and the U.S. (5-0 in the bronze medal game.)

The way Timonen sees it, that approach is something the Flyers should emulate down the stretch.

“If we play as a team, I really believe we have a good chance,” Timonen said. “The way we ended before the break with goalie playing really well and playing as a team, we have a good chance. It takes everybody.

“The way we played on Finland was as a team, and we didn’t have any big stars other than [Teemu] Selanne. You play as a team with a good goalie, anything is possible.”

Philly has 23 games remaining over the final 46 days of the regular season, and currently sits third in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points.

Looking ahead, it’s safe to suggest Philly’s final standing could be decided between Mar. 15 to Apr. 1. It’s a good-bad scenario — the good part is that the Flyers play seven of 10 at Wells Fargo, where they’re 16-10-1 this year.

The bad? Philly has extremely tough opponents during that stretch: the Penguins (twice), Blues (twice) Blackhawks, Stars, Blues, Kings, Rangers, Leafs and Bruins.

  1. missthemexpos - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Why not play like Canada?

    • Idaslapter - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Because he isn’t Canadian?

  2. sjsharks66 - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    ^^ i thought the same thing. “Play like the bronze medal team, not the gold…” I get what he is saying by it’s a team effort, because it is. The example was just poor.

    • flyerspsu - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      how was it a poor example? the banged up underdog Fins, who Timonen plays for, surpassed expectations by beating Russia and the U.S. en route to a Bronze medal they had no business getting when looking at the rosters on paper

  3. stepanup - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    The example was personal to him. The Fins overachieved everyone’s expectations but their own. It’s the NHL, there are no Team Canada’s, the difference can be commitment to the system, and effort in execution.

  4. jpelle82 - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    meanwhile the flyers captain on paper started desperately digging around the bottom of his locker looking for something shiny to talk about too….

  5. antmel30 - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Kind of hard to make team Canada with all the politics. Especially when St. Louis makes because he demanded trade after being left of by yzerman. So politics def played a role in team canada. I am not saying Marty didn’t deserve it and Thornton , stall or Neal could have been a good choice as well. But politics played a huge role

    • missthemexpos - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Thankfully politics were not involved in picking the teams representing the other countries!

    • dueman - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Tell me how “politics” are involved? Is St Louis a larger “political figure” in hockey than Giroux, or Neal, or Thorton? It was a hockey decision, and a very good one at that, when you look at the outcome. A hockey team was put together, not a government. St Louis was picked because in the committee’s minds, he was best suited for the roll they wanted him to play, period.

  6. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Ohhh I thought there was going to be a bit more to the article.

    Was waiting for him to say something along the lines…that Philly hopes all their opponents don’t show up for any game against them….just like the US team did.

  7. jbink2585 - Feb 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    He says play like Finland because Finland not the most talented team ie like the (FLYERS), but if you play like a team and in your system anything can happen, IE FINLAND in OLYMPICS. Play like Canada makes no sense because they won gold, they are the most talented team in world, and they won the gold without even playing there best hockey. they win games on TALENT ALONE, obviously which KIMMO knows the FLYERS CANT

  8. crazemastercraze - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    For the better of the team they should play like they’re trying to get holmgren fired….. Oh wait, that would never happen in a million years under any circumstance

    • jbink2585 - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      In best interest of the team the flyers should play like they are trying to get Holmgren, their GM fired. However, we all know that would never happen in a million years under no circumstances.

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