Twenty years of Soviet Hockey: 1962 - 1982
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10-31-2008, 02:34 PM
I voted for Kodos
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
Notes and comments on Maltsev's career:
- Maltsev's career seems to have been somewhat a compromise between Kharlamov's and Mikhailov's. On the one hand, his style of play and scoring-to-MVP voting results are very Kharlamov. On the other hand, his career looks a lot more like Mikhailov's in that he has a brief peak of true dominance (69-70 through 71-72 in Maltsev's case) and a long career at a very high level.
- Maltsev is perhaps the greatest international forward (leaving Tretiak and the defensemen out) in Soviet history. His achievements on international ice outshine all of the players thus far profiled, and there is a good argument that he was superior to Makarov, or at least on the same level.
- given the similarities in overall quality between Maltsev's career and that of Army Line bookends Kharlamov and Mikhailov, it is strange that he goes largely unheralded among North American fans. This is probably due to nothing more profound than a lack of press. Maltsev didn't stand out like Kharlamov in 72 (though his 0-5-5 was good for 9th in scoring in the tournament, tied with Mikhailov, Cournoyer and Park), and was never a member of a famous line, nor Soviet captain like Mikhailov. He played for Dynamo and not for CSKA, and was never a Soviet champion. In short, Maltsev's greatness was quieter than that of his better-known countrymen. There is good reason to believe, however, that he was of similar quality.
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