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10-28-2008, 08:09 AM
I voted for Kodos
Sturminator's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
Country: Ukraine
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Notes and comments on Petrov's career:

Here we see a very strange correlation between scoring and MVP voting results. Before the 72-73 season, Petrov had already finished 1st and 3rd in Soviet League scoring in two of the three seasons before the Summit Series, and yet had never placed higher than 8th in the MVP vote. Why not? And why did he start to factor into the voting more heavily later on in his career? Perhaps the key to answering this question, and perhaps to unlocking the mystery of the Soviet League MVP voting in general, lies in this quote from chidlovski's Summit Series profile of Petrov:

Vladimir Petrov was a great offensive force throughout his career, but he credited playing against the Canadians for making him a complete player.

"By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman. Phil Esposito and Bobby Clarke forced me to play a more defensive style. The experience made me a better all around player," he said.
After 1972, Petrov's work as a scorer doesn't really change much, but we see him get a lot more MVP love from the voters for his efforts. In 72-73, he again wins the points crown, and places 2nd in MVP voting. 73-74 is a poor scoring year for Petrov, but he does garner a few MVP votes, enough to place 13th, which is better than he did in 71-72, when he was third in the league in points. In 74-75, Petrov leads the league in points again, and places 4th in the MVP vote. In 75-76, he is 5th in points, and places 9th in MVP voting. In 76-77, he is 2nd in scoring and MVP voting. In 77-78, he again wins the scoring crown, but is not an allstar, and places 8th in the MVP vote. In 78-79, Petrov wins the scoring crown for the last time and is an all-star, but MVP voting beyond Mikhailov's win is not available.

So what is going on here? If you believe Petrov's own comments that his defensive game improved after the 1972 Summit Series, that goes a long way to explaining certain voting trends in the Soviet League MVP results. Only the 77-78 season seems to be an outlier from this point of view, but perhaps he wasn't backchecking much that year? Reading between the lines, the statement: "By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman," could easily read: "I was considered a floater." Are the Soviet League voters taking a player's 2-way game into account when assessing his ultimate value in the MVP voting process? It certainly appears so.

Last edited by Sturminator: 10-28-2008 at 08:18 AM.
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