Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

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Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Pensfan4life8771 on Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:11 pm

What is everyone's thoughts on this guy? From everything I read and saw so far he is making the team.

My question becomes though whose spot does he take? Does he take #7 D and we trade Ruhwedel?

Just wanted the boards overall take and solutions.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby PENGUINS UK on Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:25 pm

He is not a bottom four defensive player, so unless he is on the top two parings he should go to Wilkes Barrie to get lots of minutes. However every thing i have read leads me to feel like he should be here. Ruhwedel could / should be the odd man out.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Jim on Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:36 pm

He is not going to bump Oleksiak's size and physicality out of the #6 spot. He should bump Ruhwedel from the #7 spot but as Rikkola doesn't need to pass waivers, he will most likely go to WBS. (Barring injuries)
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby no name on Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:51 pm

No need to rush this guy, since he doesn't need to pass waivers you start him in WBS, you know an injury is going to happen at some point then you can send him up and see if he can displace someone and get a spot in the top 6. Rudy is sufficient to play the 7th D for now. I don't put Riikola in the 7th spot since he would be better off get top line minutes in WBS.

No doubt its nice to have some depth D in the waiting.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby FLPensFan on Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:23 pm

no name wrote:No need to rush this guy, since he doesn't need to pass waivers you start him in WBS, you know an injury is going to happen at some point then you can send him up and see if he can displace someone and get a spot in the top 6. Rudy is sufficient to play the 7th D for now. I don't put Riikola in the 7th spot since he would be better off get top line minutes in WBS.

No doubt its nice to have some depth D in the waiting.

This. Pretty much 100% this. He's better than Ruhwedel for sure at this point. Ruhwedel has two years experience in Penguins system and right handedness going for him.

It doesn't make sense to have Riikola sit on the bench as the 7th defenseman. He'll get little benefit by not playing. Also add in that if Riikola is your 7th, you likely have waived Ruhwedel for the purposes of going to WBS, and he likely gets claimed. Ruhwedel is good enough to be a 6th defenseman on a lot of teams with weak defenses out there.

Riikola can be recalled at any point there is an injury, and leapfrog Ruhwedel into the lineup. The hard part for Sullivan will be to manage an injury situation on defense, and make sure both Ruhwedel and Riikola stay fresh.

It's still very early, but I still maintain my hot take that Riikola, through a domino of events, could push Justin Schultz out of the lineup down the road (trade deadline or over the summer). Schultz has the least amount of term remaining of the Penguins current 6 starters, and, at 5.5M, not sure the Penguins can afford to re-up Schultz when his deal expires after next season....and, if they have thoughts of keeping Brassard or Hagelin, plus resigning Jake, the Penguins will need to clear some cap space. If Riikola can continue on his current trajectory, than Schultz could be trade bait to open up cap space and/or used to get needed pieces for the team at the trade deadline.

Dumo-Letang
Riikola-Johnson
Maatta-Oleksiak

Biggest downside there is Letang would be the only RH shot in the lineup. Plus side is that Riikola, Johnson, and Oleksiak all can play both RD or LD even as left shots.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Daniel on Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:08 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
no name wrote:No need to rush this guy, since he doesn't need to pass waivers you start him in WBS, you know an injury is going to happen at some point then you can send him up and see if he can displace someone and get a spot in the top 6. Rudy is sufficient to play the 7th D for now. I don't put Riikola in the 7th spot since he would be better off get top line minutes in WBS.

No doubt its nice to have some depth D in the waiting.

This. Pretty much 100% this. He's better than Ruhwedel for sure at this point. Ruhwedel has two years experience in Penguins system and right handedness going for him.

It doesn't make sense to have Riikola sit on the bench as the 7th defenseman. He'll get little benefit by not playing. Also add in that if Riikola is your 7th, you likely have waived Ruhwedel for the purposes of going to WBS, and he likely gets claimed. Ruhwedel is good enough to be a 6th defenseman on a lot of teams with weak defenses out there.

Riikola can be recalled at any point there is an injury, and leapfrog Ruhwedel into the lineup. The hard part for Sullivan will be to manage an injury situation on defense, and make sure both Ruhwedel and Riikola stay fresh.

It's still very early, but I still maintain my hot take that Riikola, through a domino of events, could push Justin Schultz out of the lineup down the road (trade deadline or over the summer). Schultz has the least amount of term remaining of the Penguins current 6 starters, and, at 5.5M, not sure the Penguins can afford to re-up Schultz when his deal expires after next season....and, if they have thoughts of keeping Brassard or Hagelin, plus resigning Jake, the Penguins will need to clear some cap space. If Riikola can continue on his current trajectory, than Schultz could be trade bait to open up cap space and/or used to get needed pieces for the team at the trade deadline.

Dumo-Letang
Riikola-Johnson
Maatta-Oleksiak

Biggest downside there is Letang would be the only RH shot in the lineup. Plus side is that Riikola, Johnson, and Oleksiak all can play both RD or LD even as left shots.


Unless Johnson fails so badly that he gets bought out, he won't be gone for a few years. As much as a lot of us would like Letang gone, it's unlikely that he will be traded it Dumoulin is the one true 'shut down" defensemen they have and Oleksiak adds much needs muscle and snarl to the backend. That leaves Maatta and Schultz, with Maatta being younger and better all around.

I think we're a long way before the Pens have to make that call, but I can see it as a discussion next summer if Riikola has a monster year at WBS. If Letang has as bad a year as last year, will the team lose patience with him? Would it be good to trade Schultz before losing him to UFA after 2019-20 (I think that's the last year of contract)?
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Hatrick on Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:23 pm

there isn't really a dilemma as far as im concerned. Rikkola might be better than ruhwedel but rikkola can be sent down to WBS and get regularly playing time, if somebody gets injured than he can be called up to replace them. Rather than riding the bench as the 7th defenseman until then he should benefit from regularly playing.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Penspal on Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:56 pm

I am cheering for him like hopefully everyone else is..... but the hype is getting a little thick.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Antonio on Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:22 pm

Uhhh wasn't this guy a, we weren't even sure he was going to make the team type pickup to suddenly he's the 4th d on the team? Seems like **** got escalated real fast on this guy.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Jim on Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:02 am

Antonio wrote:Uhhh wasn't this guy a, we weren't even sure he was going to make the team type pickup to suddenly he's the 4th d on the team? Seems like **** got escalated real fast on this guy.


People have fallen off of the Sprong-wagon and the Riikola-wagon just happened to be right behind it.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby DelPen on Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:00 am

Seems like anyone who doesn’t have to go through waivers will start in WBS. There’s just too much depth right now.

But injuries always happen so he will get a chance.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Pitts on Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:52 am

Antonio wrote:Uhhh wasn't this guy a, we weren't even sure he was going to make the team type pickup to suddenly he's the 4th d on the team? Seems like **** got escalated real fast on this guy.

In all honesty, he's earned it in camp. Remember, this isn't some freshly drafted kid. He's played in the Finnish elite league for 3-4 years now.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Puck-Lurker on Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:14 pm

Gotta believe anyone with a waivers exemption is sent to Wilkes. It keeps the largest number of apples on the cart.

Ruhwedel is okay, just okay. Not bad, but not particularly good either. A player that moves between a C minus to a C plus as a defenceman. Riikola is an interesting offensive-minded fellow, more upside, but less experience as a Penguin (duh) and a natural LD.

IMO, if Letang or Schultz goes down for more than a game or two, they might call up Riikola for some games. In other scenarios, they'll go with Ruhwedel.

No chance Riikola unseats any defencemen not called Chad this season.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby DelPen on Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:44 pm

Oleksiak doesn’t need to play every game with JJ in the lineup. Riikola is better on every other part of the game that matters.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby wondermoose on Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:04 pm

However well he has been in training camp, he has never played on the small ice before. Send him to WBS to get a solid 10 games in, playing a lot of minutes in different situations, and I figure we'll have our first injury on the blue line by then.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby DelPen on Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:23 pm

Are you watching tonight? He’s been more than solid again and Oleksiak and Ruhwedel are a train wreck.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Pruezy11881 on Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:52 pm

DelPen wrote:Are you watching tonight? He’s been more than solid again and Oleksiak and Ruhwedel are a train wreck.

Agreed
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Hatrick on Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:59 pm

DelPen wrote:Are you watching tonight? He’s been more than solid again and Oleksiak and Ruhwedel are a train wreck.

not watching but dozens of regular season games outweigh what a few preseason games tell us, Oleksiak seemed to be pretty good last year so not gonna undo that with 5 preseason games.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby LimerickPensFan on Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:34 am

From DK's piece:

Rutherford hinting Riikola may stay up:
I asked Rutherford, following the game, to assess Riikola’s overall showing.

“Yeah, you don’t know how long the adjustment’s going to take. And he’s obviously made that in the preseason,” Rutherford told me. “He needs to build on what he’s doing, but he’s had a terrific preseason.”

Has he made the call tougher on the GM than he’d thought it might be?

“Not at all. Not at all. I mean, I knew he’d be here to start the season.”

Wait, what? To ‘start the season?’ As in start out in the NHL?

The man politely declined to elaborate.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Puck-Lurker on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:05 am

LimerickPensFan wrote:From DK's piece:

Rutherford hinting Riikola may stay up:
I asked Rutherford, following the game, to assess Riikola’s overall showing.

“Yeah, you don’t know how long the adjustment’s going to take. And he’s obviously made that in the preseason,” Rutherford told me. “He needs to build on what he’s doing, but he’s had a terrific preseason.”

Has he made the call tougher on the GM than he’d thought it might be?

“Not at all. Not at all. I mean, I knew he’d be here to start the season.”

Wait, what? To ‘start the season?’ As in start out in the NHL?

The man politely declined to elaborate.

Riikola gets sent down. Sprong gets to spend time on line 4 when healthy. ZAR gets bumped down when everyone's is healthy. Simon moves into Sully's basement.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby brwi on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:28 am

wondermoose wrote:However well he has been in training camp, he has never played on the small ice before. Send him to WBS to get a solid 10 games in, playing a lot of minutes in different situations, and I figure we'll have our first injury on the blue line by then.


That's pretty much it, he'll go to WBS to start this season and back up as soon as first injury occurs. Best for him and the Pens at this point.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby LimerickPensFan on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:36 am

brwi wrote:
wondermoose wrote:However well he has been in training camp, he has never played on the small ice before. Send him to WBS to get a solid 10 games in, playing a lot of minutes in different situations, and I figure we'll have our first injury on the blue line by then.


That's pretty much it, he'll go to WBS to start this season and back up as soon as first injury occurs. Best for him and the Pens at this point.

The first injury has come. Dumoulin left the ice in the second period last night with an upper-body injury and Sullivan is being vague about his status. Usually, if it's not expected to be significant, Sully says so.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby murphydump55 on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:22 pm

LimerickPensFan wrote:From DK's piece:

Rutherford hinting Riikola may stay up:
I asked Rutherford, following the game, to assess Riikola’s overall showing.

“Yeah, you don’t know how long the adjustment’s going to take. And he’s obviously made that in the preseason,” Rutherford told me. “He needs to build on what he’s doing, but he’s had a terrific preseason.”

Has he made the call tougher on the GM than he’d thought it might be?

“Not at all. Not at all. I mean, I knew he’d be here to start the season.”

Wait, what? To ‘start the season?’ As in start out in the NHL?

The man politely declined to elaborate.



He knew so well that he went out and signed Jack Johnson and created a road block for Riikola.

Right he knew.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Pruezy11881 on Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:50 pm

murphydump55 wrote:
LimerickPensFan wrote:From DK's piece:

Rutherford hinting Riikola may stay up:
I asked Rutherford, following the game, to assess Riikola’s overall showing.

“Yeah, you don’t know how long the adjustment’s going to take. And he’s obviously made that in the preseason,” Rutherford told me. “He needs to build on what he’s doing, but he’s had a terrific preseason.”

Has he made the call tougher on the GM than he’d thought it might be?

“Not at all. Not at all. I mean, I knew he’d be here to start the season.”

Wait, what? To ‘start the season?’ As in start out in the NHL?

The man politely declined to elaborate.



He knew so well that he went out and signed Jack Johnson and created a road block for Riikola.

Right he knew.

You can't say he didn't. At one point after the pens signed him, JR stated something to the effect that he wouldn't be surprised if Riikola pushed for a spot on the roster.
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Re: Juuso "Cough Drop" Rikkola Dilemna

Postby Jim on Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:39 pm

Do you people hear yourselves? When did Riikola become Nicklas **** Lidstrom? Who gives two **** if a guy that will be turning 25 in two months yet has not played a second of regular NHL hockey starts in WBS for a little while. I know that it has been a long off season but christ...
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