A troubling season for JYP?

A troubling season for JYP?

Markus Nisius14 Nov 2015Markus Nisius»

The former European Trophy winner is currently sliding down the Liiga standings and hit rock bottom by finding themselves in a non-playoff spot today for the first time this season. Can they turn it around?


In our season preview we already highlighted that JYP Jyväskylä will have a more difficult task this season to come close to winning the championship. Right now, however, it seems to be even worse than we thought. JYP could only win one game out of their last eight matches and since consistency hasn't been their biggest quality in the first place this year, this got them into trouble. With today's loss against Tappara they ended up in 11th place, mainly because two other teams continue to collect points they weren't expected to pick up.

Following a 2-4 loss in Helsinki just yesterday evening, KooKoo Kouvola could upset the first placed team from Rauma today with 4-1 and check in three points that got them past Jyväskylä. After Josh Green and Teemu Nurmi provided the game with a 1-1 tie entering the last 15 minutes, it was Toni Hyvärinen finding the back of the net twice before Juha-Pekka Haataja added an empty netter.

The other team surpassing JYP on the weekend and kicking them out of the play-offs for now, was the second youngest team in Liiga. Vaasa Sport dominated Ässät Pori especially in the first two periods with a shot advantage of 26-13. So it wasn't surprising to see Vaasa lead into the last 15 minutes with a comfortable 5-1. Aleksi Saarela (with his second tally of the afternoon) and Masi Marjamäki could adjust the score a bit in Pori's favour, but the three points stayed in Vaasa. Together with thursday's 4-0 shutout over Ilves Tampere that made 6 points at week's end for Sport and consolidates the opposite trend of JYP's outlook for the next weeks.

Ilves should turn around the table one day later in the city rivalry against Tappara. Tapio Laakso scored both short-handed and on the powerplay to give Ilves a 2-0 lead after 2 periods. Jukka Peltola could cut the gap half with a nice breakaway move, but a 5-on-3 powerplay gave Markku Flinck the opportunity to reestablish the old margin before Joonas Vihko added number 4 for Ilves.

The rollercoaster ride through the weekend continued in Tampere today with Tappara's win over JYP to close the cycle. This time Tappara was on top of things and pulled away to a 3-0 at second period's end through goals by Jere Karjalainen, Nick Plastino and Jukka Peltola. Jani Tupparainen (2) and Mikko Luoma could answer with three goals for JYP, but Jan-Mikael Järvinen had another goal for Tappara in the 49th minute to keep the points in Tampere.

One could argue that this was already a better performance by JYP compared with the 1-4 blowout a night before against Espoo. In that game Samson Mahbod, Ville Korhonen and Jari Sailio could establish the 3-0 after only 10 minutes, a shock for JYP they could not come back from. So at least they showed more team effort against Tampere, the question remains though how to get back in the play-offs. A huge concern might be their 4th worst defense in Liiga. But other areas are also alarming. First and foremost they should face the question why they don't win at home anymore. In 10 games they could only collect 9 points on home ice, making it the worst record in the league.

For Tappara the win against JYP also marked their return to the top of the league. They are tied in points now with Lukko.

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