Loose Change: You must be Jokinen

Loose Change: Where exactly is Kalajoki, Finland?

Jussi Jokinen: From Helsinki, hang a left. Three blocks past Nona’s Baltic Herring factory.

LC: Have you played hockey your entire life?

JJ: No. Only during hockey season.

LC: Jussi, I’m dying to askÂ…do you have a brother named Tangy?

JJ: No. I have a sister named Meeti.

LC: Is Dallas a lot different than Finland?

JJ: It’s much warmer in Texas. And the only Lapps I see in Dallas are at strip joints.

LC: What are your feelings on the death penalty?

JJ: I guess it’s warranted if they really feel the need to crack down on obstruction.

LC: Why did you choose the No. 36?

JJ: My favorite player growing up was Jari Kurri.

LC: But he wore No. 17?

JJ: And he played for the Oilers so wearing one of those jerseys would look really stupid wouldn’t it?

LC: You’re 9-for-9 in shootouts. To what do you attribute that?

JJ: Putting the puck in the net. If you score, they count it as a goal. If you miss, they don’t count it as a goal. I would have thought you’d known that already.

LC: But why are you, personally, so successful in the shootout?

JJ: I think it’s a lot of mental and physical preparation. You have to be ready for anything.

LC: Like what?

JJ: Like if a goalie starts shooting poison darts at you or a dyslexic midget riding a near-sighted pony suddenly appears on the ice, I’ll be ready.

LC: How do you prepare for something like that?

JJ: Mentos, mainly.

LC: Do you have a favorite move?

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JJ: Well I like to circle around the glass a couple of times, tilt my head downwards slightly and peer deep into her eyes.

LC: On the ice?

JJ: Oh. Well, as I get close to the goalie I go all cross-eyed which usually works pretty well.

LC: He thinks you’re going five-hole?

JJ: Or he feels sorry for me and lets me score. I call it my Kid From The Short Bus move.

LC: Did you have fun at the Olympics?

JJ: Lots. We got so close to the gold medal we could almost taste it. In fact Mats Sundin actually let me taste his and frankly, it reminded me a little of an old phone cord. The silver is more of a tangy brie.

LC: Still it must have been quite the thrill playing for your nation?

JJ: Nothing matches the feeling of hearing your national anthem after a victory, except maybe one of those Szechuan foot baths.

LC: Would you care to sing a couple of bars?

JJ: Of Maamme? Our Finnish national anthem? It’s rather emotional you know?

LC: Go ahead. Give it a shot.

JJ: All right. Here goesÂ…

O Finland, you’re so fine
You’re so fine, you blow my mind
Hey Finland!

CT: Wow. It’s really beautiful isn’t it?

JJ: When you get to the clapping part it’s almost impossible to keep it together.

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN’s hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Thursday, only on

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