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Leino aiming high with a healthier hip

Ville Leino says his operated hip is still demanding some extra attention, but it isn't really bothering him anymore. It only takes some extra exercise to take care of it.

"Now it feels good in every way. I keep going forward with it and hopefully it stays like that."

Despite having a strong start, Leino doesn't want to talk about personal success and calls his 12 points so far "pretty nice".

"We've been winning games and I've been getting points. It's been pretty nice."

"We've been having the kind of continuation in our game that we needed. We have the mindset that we play to win every night."

Leino says the team isn't just looking to finish the season with a playoff spot. They want to be on top of the table.

"Our goal is to be #1 all season, because that would make things a lot easier for us. It's totally different when you don't have to keep stressing about whether you can get into the playoffs or not."

Leino is happy to see the standings look different now compared to a year ago.

"It's very good for the rest of the season when you play well in the beginning. Even looking at the standings is very different from last season. Now you look at the table with the mindset that you want to stay on the top seeds at any cost."

The big story for the team so far has been rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Everyone has been impressed by the young Russian, Leino included.

"All we knew about him beforehand was that he put up excellent numbers in the KHL. Those numbers certainly didn't lie. He looked very good right from the start. He's fast and works hard every day."

"But we'll see what's going to happen when Leighton comes back."


This report was based off of a Finnish-language story in the publication Iltasanomat.