Joni Pitkanen and Tuomo Ruutu both skated at the Rec Zone today. You have to believe that countryman, Jussi Jokinen can not be far behind. Over the summer, there were a couple of interviews that a friend of the blog, Markus Timonen, was kind enough to recently translate for us. He also translated the latest interview on LTD's fanpost dated just yesterday. Many thanks to Markus for his generous assistance!
Ruutu said that the Finns are quite popular in Carolina.
- Yes, we seem to be appreciated. In the past there (Whalers/Hurricanes) has been only two Finnish players and currently they have three players from Finland, so yes, they seem to appreciate us, Ruutu thinks. [smiling]
- Finns are the guys you can trust on, Ruutu continues.
He said that after the last season he tried to do nothing in next couple of weeks. Just relaxing. And as the summer goes on the training became harder and harder (also skating) so that he will be in good shape when the season begins.
Tuomo said that he has set the goals for himself, but usually he likes to keep them just in his head. He has noticed that the best way to fill all these goals, is that he keeps his goal into next game.
When asked about the Olympics Ruutu said that the goals of the Olympic Games has not yet spoken, but certainly he is very interested in the Olympics.
Last time (2006) Ruutu didn’t get a chance to play in Olympics, because he injured only a couple of weeks before. He said that it was like "a bomb" back then. And now the games are in Vancouver, and the best players are involved, so there isn’t a better place to play.
Tuomo Ruutu looks forward to a great NHL-season and also the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
- I would lie if I said that the Olympics wouldn’t be in my mind. Yes, I want to be there and be successful, said Ruutu.
Ruutu also thinks that Finland has very good players and the team has been almost the same during many years and tournaments. Tuomo said that it’s nice to see that everything clicks into place so easy. It is certainly Finland’s strength.
Tuomo thinks (and hopes) that the team Finland is competitive. He likes the chemistries in general and thinks that it will be Finland’s strongest asset. When asked about the line T.Ruutu- M.Koivu - Filppula he admitted that it sounds nice. But he wasn’t sure if he can keep up with the speed of other guys. [joking]
Ruutu said that it will be tough season ahead because of the Olympics but it is really fun to play hockey right now.
He’s also very happy about the contract with Carolina. And the success of last season is a good stepping stone for the upcoming season Like Pitkänen also Ruutu is glad that the roster is basically the same (only couple of changes). He admitted that he's playing right now the best hockey of his life. Ruutu really waits the next season and thinks that every game is an opportunity.
(Markus notes that "The Voice" is a Finnish radio station mainly dedicated to young people and young adults. There is much more humor in this interview)
When asked why he doesn’t like to play golf as much as many other hockey players do, Tuomo told that he thinks that he hasn’t so much nerves (patience) because it takes so much time to play. He has also other things to do. [joking] He said that he plays for example tennis. But sometimes he lost his nerves in that too…
Tuomo told that he has broken his tennis racket once. Although it was an accident. He tried to jump over the net, but the jump wasn’t high enough so he fell on the racket and broke it. But he said it is the only time he has broken the racket. He just try to show to his buddy that he could fly over the net when they were changing sides. And of course it was his brothers (I think Jarkko‘s) racket and he tried to fix it but it didn’t work like it should be. [joking]
Ruutu also tells that during the NHL-season he broke about 50 hockey sticks. There has been discussions with the team that they should control that because sticks are nowadays so expensive. Ruutu said that they could go back to the wooden sticks. It doesn’t break so easily and it hurts more. [joking]
The interview (text and video) is mostly about the Finland’s Olympics summer camp and the Olympics.
Pitkänen is very excited to play in team Finland because he hasn’t played in Finland’s national team since 2004, when Finland was second in World Cup. Pitkänen has had couple of injuries back then that has prevented to join in tournaments. He hopes that he will be in good shape to play in Vancouver.
Pitkänen told that it is glad to see everyone at the camp and that everyone is pretty excited about the coming Olympics. He also expressed that he is pleased with the new head coach of team Finland. Joni thinks that Finland has a good chance of winning because there are great young players but also important veterans to complete the roster. However he said that there are 5-6 teams that have a change to win, but with a little luck everything is possible.
Pitkänen said that he had a good last season and he looks forward to next one. Hopefully he (and Carolina) will get a good start in the NHL so that it will be good to go to the Olympics. Pitkänen tells that everyone has been talking about the coming Olympics in Vancouver. He thinks that it’s going to be great and one of the kind hockey season.
About Carolina Hurricanes...
Pitkänen thinks that the Hurricanes played the great last season and he's really looking forward to the next season. He hopes a good start to NHL-season. When asked about the chances of winning the Stanley Cup next season, Joni told that there are many good teams in NHL but anything is possible. He is also glad that there were only couple of changes in Hurricanes. He hopes that this year is going to be OUR year.
Once again, thank you Markus for your time! Excellent job.