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04-10-2012, 12:07 PM
  #68
Triffy
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Helsinki
Country: Finland
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Vladimir Petrov

I am very happy to see that Helmut Balderis is starting to get more recognition here. His value has been discussed quite thoroughly during the current ATD, and I feel his value has become very well known to the ATD participants. I have noticed that there is going to be a huge player ranking project in the history section. It is probably going to become an influental list, so I would like to make a case for Vladimir Petrov who I feel is still heavily underrated here, to get him proper recognition.

This is a thread I started a couple of years ago. It lists the most well-known Soviet players by their top 3 and top 5 points finishes in the Soviet league. It must be noted that not until mid-1970's were assists properly recorded in the Soviet league. Anyway, I think it is quite obvious that Makarov had the most illustrious Soviet league career. That is already well known. However, what I think is not well known is that looking at that list from my thread a couple of years ago, Vladimir Petrov has the second best scoring resume from the Soviet League (not counting Guryshev). He was a balanced offensive threat. He led the league in goal scoring twice (1970, 1973) and in assists four times (1975, 1977, 1978, 1979). All of the assists titles I have credited him with are from the period when assists were already recorded.

Here is another thread. The following table is a summary of Vs. #2 Numbers for several well-known Soviet players from that thread.

PlayerH5AVGH3AVG AVGXCLW
Makarov 1,266 1,303 1,195
Alexandrov 1,185 1,321 1,185
Petrov 1,154 1,237 1,034
Starshinov 1,094 1,180 1,005
Balderis 1,005 1,040 0,923
Krutov 0,986 1 0,969
Firsov 0,985 1,097 0,881
Mikhailov 0,974 1 0,927
Almetov 0,969 1,009 0,969
Maltsev 0,955 1,018 0,952
Kharlamov 0,927 1,001 0,957
Larionov 0,907 0,973 0,879

H5AVG tells the average of the five best seasons the player had.
H3AVG tells the average of the three best seasons the player had.
AVGXCLW tells the average of the seasons the player had in top 10 (or top 5, depending on the information available), except that the worst season is not taken into account.

Now Venyamin Alexandrov jumps second. However, his numbers are highly affected by his one gigantic season (1963), when he scored 53 goals, when the second best had 27 goals (it's quite remarkable that Makarov still beats him). I think this table again shows that Petrov was the second best Soviet league scorer, after Makarov. Only Starshinov is close to him.

Also, looking at the same thread, I have compared the world championships scoring results from Kharlamov, Petrov and Mikhailov and Maltsev for the tournaments they all played in (1969-1975).

Combined their stats look like this:

PlayerGPG A P
Kharlamov675053103
Petrov665349102
Mikhailov676542107
Maltsev696146107

The differences are minimal, and it is impossible to make arguments in favor of any of these players over the others.

Here is an all-time world championships scoring list. It's still close, but now there's at least a notable difference in favor of Mikhailov.

In Olympics, Kharlamov is head and shoulders above his linemates (I wonder if this is one of the main reasons for his reputation). However, for reasons unknown, Petrov and Mikhailov only played 7 games at the Olympic stage

The most significant drawback of this purely statistical evaluation of Vladimir Petrov's career is that he has a worse MVP voting record than both of his linemates. MVP Voting has been shown to be influenced by performances in national team. It remains unclear why Petrov has as bad MVP voting results as he does (here is the data), but I think it is something worth looking into. More precisely, I think it is likely that especially Olympics performances have had high significance in the MVP voting, but that should be more thoroughly looked into. That would explain Petrov's relatively poor MVP voting results.

So to conclude...

Petrov has the second best Soviet league scoring resume after Makarov. I think that's the most important thing to remember from this post. His success in world championships was also similar to his linemates. Petrov and Mikhailov only played 7 games in Olympics and Petrov's success in those games was worse than Kharlamov's and Mikhailov's. Petrov has a rather poor MVP voting record, but that is probably explained by his bad Olympics stats, and he should not be punished twice.

Questions that I'd like to hear your opinion on...

How would you rank Petrov and his linemates, and why?

Peter Stastny is an European center, usually ranked quite high among centers. How does Petrov compare to him?

Kharlamov is usually regarded at least a top-5 LW of all time. That would make him comparable to players such as Dickie Moore and Frank Mahovlich who played with or against players such as Henri Richard and Norm Ullman. How does Petrov compare to them?

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