When we last checked in on Jannik Hansen (like, four hours ago), the locked-out Danish winger had recommitted to Tappara for the duration of the season and was in the midst of his first game as an SM-Liiga first-line centre. Well, that contest is over, and it didn’t go well. Tappara’s first game after the Christmas break was a 5-1 loss at the hands of HIFK. However, for our purposes, the game was a rousing success, because unlike Hansen’s previous 15 games, he was very visible in this one.
In Hansen’s debut in the middle, his line combined for 15 shots, with Hansen registering 5 of them. What’s more, he finished a goal shy of the Gordie Howe Hat trick. He assisted on his club’s first and only tally early in the game, a nice setup on a 3-on-2 rush where Hansen used his speed through the neutral zone to draw both defenders to him before feeding Ville Neiminen for the goal. And as for the fight, the first Finnish fisticuffs of Hansen’s SM-Liiga career: that was the result of Hansen taking a nasty run at an HIFK defender late in the game, once it had become a blowout.
Both the goal and the fight are included in this six-minute highlight package (which also features the abysmal Tappara goaltending that cost them the game). The goal comes at 1:10, the fight comes at 4:10, and I remind you that Hansen is wearing his usual number 36 for Tappara:
Hansen wasn’t penalized for the run, but he did receive 5 minutes for “violence”, as well as as a 20-minute match penalty for “behaviour”. (I love Google Translate. According to the clunky program, Elmeri Kaksonen is known in English as “Elmer Fudd Gemini”.)
I’m not sure why Hansen was so upset. Was it just because his team was losing? If so, he needs to take a little positivity from whoever does the game recaps on the Tappara website, which is sunny as all Hell despite the 5-1 shellacking. Even with Google’s clunky translation, you can sense the absurdly slanted reporting. Tappara lost numerically, the report reads, but it was an ”excellent business-like” game and they “dominated” the first period “at will”.
As Canuck fans know by now, Hansen is pretty even-keeled most of the time, but he has a tendency to lose it, especially overseas. Back in July, the honey badger received a one-game suspension from international play after a game versus Norway in which he got into a fight (or “fisticuffs”, as Google Translate reported) and then, according to the IIHF in a statement that we really hope isn’t just hyperbole, “could not be calmed down“.
That’s still funny to us.
Anyway. Maybe not the best result for Tappara, but a good sign that Hansen is beginning to find himself in Finland. Of course, we’d prefer if he were finding himself in Vancouver. But we’ll take what we can get at this point.