Twenty years of Soviet Hockey: 1962 - 1982
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10-24-2008, 07:49 AM
I voted for Kodos
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
Notes and comments on Firsov's career:
- Why didn't he play in the 1972 Summit Series? The old story goes that Firsov was loyal to Tasarov and refused to play when the coach was replaced by Bobrov. That may be so, but it does appear that Firsov's career had taken a sharp downward turn by the time 1972 rolled around. He placed 6th in MVP voting at the conclusion of the 1972 season, and never again got an MVP vote.
- We begin to see an interesting incongruity between Firsov's scoring finishes in the Soviet League and his MVP voting finishes in same. He finishes 2nd in goals on the way to his 1st MVP award (67-68) - ok, no problems so far. He finishes 5th in goals and again wins the MVP the next year (68-69). Ok. He finishes 5th in goals again in 69-70, but drops to 7th in MVP voting. He wins his 3rd Soviet League MVP award the next season (70-71) without placing in the top-5 scorers, and is not even an all-star.
So what's happening here? Firsov's third and final MVP award is particularly interesting, given that he wasn't one of the league's top scorers, nor was he a 1st team all-star. It is reminiscent of Ted Kennedy's Hart season, or Bobby Clarke's first Hart in 72-73, in which he was only a 2nd team all-star at center. Was Firsov that kind of player? The differences between his performances in 68-69 and 69-70 seem to have nothing to do with scoring (both times he placed 5th), and yet in one season he was 1st in MVP voting and in the other 7th. Are the Soviet MVP voters taking more than scoring into account when casting their MVP votes? It appears so. We'll follow the trends in Soviet League MVP voting as the thread progresses.
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