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10-17-2011, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Hmmm, was it just Tretiak who won those Olympic golds? I know he was very good in the 1984 Olympics (though playing on a rather superior team), played well in 1976 too, but did they really need him to win; i.e. did he have to stand on his head or something?
And what's the big deal about Winter Olympics pre 1998 anyway, hockey-wise? I know they're held only every four years, but for instance, the 1976 Winter Olympics was arguably a weaker tournament than any of the Hockey World Championships in the 1970s. Sweden didn't even bother to send a team there, and I think Finland too had some of their top players missing. The only real opposition for the Soviets was Czechoslovakia, and many of CSSR's players were apparently suffering from flue when the teams met on the ice (the de facto final although there were really no finals or semi-finals played back then). It was a reasonably tight match and Tretiak played well, but I wouldn't say it was him who won the game for the Russians.

PS. I don't understand the love for Igor Larionov. He was a very good, smart hockey player, and he showed some great adaptability and longevity in the NHL, but throughout the 1980s, he was considered the 3rd best player of his famous line with Vladimir Krutov and Sergei Makarov, with Makarov being the clear #1. I remember those times, and he was simply inferior to his linemates (according to me and almost anyone I knew).
I strongly agree about Larionov! I always felt that he was highly overrated, especially by NA fans. He had really smooth puck skills, but he never really accomplished much, either with CCCP, CSKA or the NHL. He was a center who did a good job in feeding two explosive wingers, Krutov and Makarov, but he gets more credit than he deserves IMHO.

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