SOCHI, Russia -- Finland’s men’s hockey team had a hard time finding replacements when standout
The team’s first choice as an alternate,
Finland on Saturday named Jarkko Immonen and Sakari Salminen as its replacements. Both play for Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo of Russia’s
Defenseman Ossi Vaananen acknowledged that the loss of Koivu and Filppula will hurt, "but we can't get stuck worrying about it because that sort of thing happens to every country," he told the Olympic News Service. "It's a tough job but we'll get through it."
One thing Finland has to look forward to is the arrival of 43-year-old
"I think it goes to show you how natural he is on the ice. He's been doing all the right things. He's a serious guy but he's also a kid at heart. He enjoys the game and enjoys hanging out with the boys."
Team Russia -- minus its NHL players -- arrived in Sochi on Saturday after conducting a training camp in Kazan. Coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov told the Olympic News Service that he brought along some extra players so the team can have a scrimmage against Switzerland on Sunday.
He said the team's mood is good. "A working mood," he said. "The boys want to play and that's very important."
He also said he’s hopeful of a return to form from
"He played one game and he will play a second. In general, he felt well," Bilyaletdinov said. "He played and there were no side effects. I hope that when he plays the second game everything will be normal, allright, as well."
Detroit plays at Tampa Bay on Saturday, its final game before the NHL begins its Olympic break.