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08-17-2010, 12:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2010
Country: Canada
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I would disagree that Russians play more individualistically. Historically Russians were able to dominate opponents through possession (passing) and were able to execute the goals through their skill.

This goes way back in that Russia has a different way of raising their youth.
In Canada, you move constantly. From midget, bantam, junior etc... ultimately a player will spend about 1-3years in CHL juniors them go to NHL with a 3 year enrty level, and could eventually end up anywhere anytime. By the time a player is 25 it is reasonable for him to have been in more than 5 cities including his youth school.

In Russia, this is the opposite. Every pro team has its own hockey school and everything. For example, a player enters the CSKA Moscow Hockey Club at age 6. He will spend a number of years in their sport school. Then will move on to CSKA-2, and eventually make it to the main roster of CSKA. By the time he's 30 he will be playing with teammates hes known since before he could skate. He will be at the CSKA site all his life and will know the style and coaching by heart.


All members of CSKA

I believe that since Canadians dont have that same intuition and club style, they play a more 'by the book type of hockey'.

Russian hockey is also less physical because the rink is much bigger there than here, so going all the way to the boards to hit someone is impractical and could compromise the play.

All that being said, Russia hockey is changing very much. Many Russians grow up having their goal being the NHL. Therefore you see many plysical players such as Ovechkin. I think the individuality also comes as a result of the fact that you cant create the intuitive passing plays with someone you only play with for a year, let alone the 3 week national team practices.
Also, some come to play junior Canadian hockey as teens so dont really have distinct Russian style.

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