HIFK’s Juha Jääskä has developed his game with hard work. He admits that the early season was difficult for HIFK.
- Juha Jääskä has become the second center of HIFK and the third of the internal stock exchange.
- Jääskä sheds light on the ways in which HIFK, which finished in 12th place, is looking for a remedy for the inefficiency of scoring.
Having started playing ice hockey in Oulunkylä Kiekko-Kerho Juha Jääskän can count HIFK as its own tumor. As a native of Helsinki, he represents the kind of consequentiality that at the league level is already starting to become a disappearing folklore.
Jääskä debuted in the league in the fall of 2015 when he was only 17 years old, and in the same season he won the U18 world championship in Pikkuleijon. Now, at the age of 24, he is already playing his eighth league season
Jääskä has profiled himself as a fiercely brutal two-way Duna attacker.
There is a lot of value in the definition that he wants to hold on to, even though at the same time he aims to rise to a “new level”.
– For me, everything is based on skating, fighting and energy. It will be an identity for the rest of my career, but I want to add more spice to playing on the puck and scoring goals.
Jääskä rationalizes that he can improve these qualities by further developing his skating.
– When you get a little more time, it becomes easier to play with the puck. Even if the hands stay exactly the same, they will also improve when skating improves.
– We also practice a lot of passing games in small spaces. I feel that through that I have learned to play more with my head up and to find those passing gaps.
Last season gave a clear signal that the man is working in the right direction. The career record for points and goals of 12+11=23 was created despite the fact that a knee injury cut short the season in February.
However, the start to this season was weak – like the whole team – but as the autumn progresses, Jääskä has caught up with the plot again.
– Loukin after I have always had a hard time coming back. I gained a lot of strength in the summer, but at first I couldn’t refine it on the ice. I myself made a mistake in that.
– Now I’m gradually starting to find the kind of tats I had last year, he rejoices.
– Moving again starts to feel easier.
The versatile attacker, previously known as a winger in the lower chains, leads HIFK’s second chain from the center position, where the wings pedal Julius Nättinen and Sebastian Dyk.
– When I play well, we play well as a chain, because we make so many dunks and get to the puck better than the opponent, Jääskä holds the line.
As a team, HIFK has not solved its goal-scoring problem in any convincing way yet, but Jääskä’s 20-game performance of 3+6=9 predicts a steady pace of a 27-point season in the table – i.e. another record.
The scenario is also supported by the fact that his scoring pace has not been steady but steadily accelerating.
At the league level, of course, we are not talking about top scores yet, but in the congested HIFK, Jääskä has, as if unnoticed, risen to third in the internal stock market and equal points with those ahead Eetu Koivistonen and Ilari Melartin with.
– It is not enough to just work a lot. You have to find exercises that work for you, “Jäky” knows.
Jääskä has never shied away from hard work when it comes to training. When he was younger, he focused more on endurance.
– The bases are built really well. I’ve always liked to train with a lot of volume, and now I’ve started doing more maximum strength as well, and through that I’m looking for the ability to break away.
Jääskä describes that he has used his capacity.
– To put it cliché, I have started to know my own body. Before, I was often really stuck.
Jääskä admits that he also made mistakes in training that caused stress-related injuries. In the statistics, it shows in broken seasons: his single-season record is 47 regular season games from a few years ago.
– More serious injuries – like last February – are such that shit happens. But if you train hard and get hurt because of it, it’s your own fault. Then you haven’t listened to your body.
– If I broke myself now, I’d be damn disappointed in myself, because the years have taught me and I’ve learned to value health.
A cure for impotence
HIFK will have league leader Luko as its guest when the League returns from the international break today.
The mutual match is the second of the season for the teams. Lukko won the first in mid-October in Rauma 2–0.
It plunged HIFK into a streak of five defeats, which had time to change to three consecutive victories before Ässät sent the players to the break with a loss on their neck.
In the league table, HIFK’s ranking is only 12th. It has scored the fewest goals (37), and the possession game has been the worst in the series (8.62%).
Inefficiency is mysterious in the sense that HIFK has been at least seemingly on the back foot in most matches. It is the overwhelming number one in, for example, the difference in shots in the flat field (+254).
– Everyone is pressing work, but to score a goal you also need to be relaxed and cunning. We wrestle with it here in the hall every day, Jääskä assures.
In training, HIFK has emphasized even more shots coming directly from the pass and winning one-on-ones both with and without the puck.
– We try to challenge in the middle and get runs to the goal, so that we don’t spin around outside.
– We shouldn’t be too interested in whether we win some games. Goals are decisive, and goals are scored from good goal positions.
The goals remain
Jääskä admits that the season has been difficult.
– At least there won’t be any lulling.
The team will not compromise on its goal, because nothing has been lost yet. Jääskä strongly believes that the championship is still possible.
– But there’s no point in looking that far. The focus is now on raising the ranking there to the playoff spots. Let’s go one game and one week at a time.
Jääskä doesn’t compromise on his goal either. He lacks an NHL reservation, but that’s even a positive thing at this point.
– There have been others who have gone there at an older age, he reminds.
– However, I don’t think about it too much. I think that if I do everything as well as possible today, then the NHL can be possible.
Ambitious goals are not a shame in elite sports, but a virtue.
– A person tends to go towards what is there in the subconscious.