Not always such a gentle giant … Happy Birthday to Joonas Jarvinen!

Source: Club Press-Office


Today is the 28th birthday of one of our true heavyweights. Defenseman Joonas Jarvinen isn’t quite the biggest player at the club, but standing 190cm tall and weighing in at 100kg, the Finn has the kind of physique that demands respect.

Off the ice, he’s very much a gentle giant. Open-hearted, generous and usually found with a big smile on his face, there’s something calm and self-effacing about him that belies his sturdy frame. This is perhaps more the Big Friendly Giant of Roald Dahl’s tales or Steven Spielberg’s movie, rather than the fearsome monster awaiting Jack at the top of the Beanstalk.

Once the puck drops, though, things are very different. With battles to fight and games to win, Joonas summons up the might of the mythical giants of legend. A ferocious warrior in defense of the net, he guarantees a tough evening for any opponent. It’s no coincidence that his haul of penalty minutes exactly matches the number of games he has played.

Joonas joined us a little way into the season, adding extra numbers to a depleted blue line. There was little time to settle in: Jarvinen’s first engagements with the club featured clashes with two sporting titans, SKA and CSKA, in a true baptism of fire.

While the results in those games went against us, Joonas wasted little time in showing the size of his contribution. Three hits and six blocked shots against CSKA introduced our guys to his 100% commitment on the ice. That fearless play has seen him top the team’s stats on both counts since his arrival, proving his value to our defense.

It wasn’t long before he unveiled a new part of his game – goalscoring. In his previous season at HC Sochi, Joonas did not manage a single KHL goal; against Spartak he scored twice in a 4-2 victory. At present, he has an eight point (2+6) tally for the season, suggesting that his move to Kunlun has unlocked an added dimension to his play.

Meanwhile, throughout the season we’ve enjoyed a series of birthday gifts from our players. Oleg Yashin scored on Severstal to mark his birthday in December, Sean Collins did the same against Admiral late last year. So how about it, Joonas? Can we make it three from three for the birthday boys?