Soviet League MVP Voting Results (1968-1991)
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01-10-2009, 02:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Originally Posted by
Originally Posted by Thornton_19
Their league at the time played a style which was unselfish in terms of individual scoring, passing their way into the zone and finding holes while playing a defensively sound game. It was hard for players to stand out in scoring the system they were playing, much like it is today hard to outscore the competition by a large amount or have consecutive #1 years.
After the Summit series, and super series towards the early 80's, the Russian began to seriously incorporate the higher scoring Defensemen jumping into the play methods of NHL hockey and created a blend that was fierce to play against. Makarov's numbers compared to Kharlamov's in the RSL look like he blows Kharlamov away, but you had to be there to understand the change and why he was scoring so much. It was similar to how the NHL jumped in scoring when Orr Revolutionized the game.
Tikhonov also pillaged most of the top talent from the Olympic team into the Red Army full time so they could play together and know each other inherently year round, so come Olympics time, they were never unfamiliar with any of the other players.
The 70's Red Army team was like an NHL Dynasty in the RSL. The 80's Red army team was, well, just stacked with all the best players and other teams had little chance against them.
It led to the ability to put up gaudy personal numbers in a way that was not possible in Kharlamov's heyday. Kharlamov's heyday was also a bit shorter since he was seriously hampered by a car accident which left him a lesser player than he was after 76(But still great).
Shouldn't all of this apply to guys like, say, Firsov, Maltsev and Mikhailov who have all those scoring titles and MVP's/Best Forward awards (in the Soviet L. and/or WCh) over Kharlamov??? It doesn't hold water IMO. Maybe in Makarov's case, but...
Having said that, I wouldn't take Mikhailov or Maltsev over Kharlamov. Kharlamov had definitely more skills than Mikhailov, and their numbers, well, are reasonably close. As far as Maltsev goes, he was in many ways just as skillful as Kharlamov, but there's something about him that fails to impress me, when I'm watching the old games... lack of toughness, maybe? Anyway, he was never truly impressive vs. Canada's best.
I'd still argue that Firsov, Fetisov and Makarov at least "have a case" vs. Kharlamov!
Last edited by VMBM: 01-10-2009 at
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