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04-20-2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
Billy, just a question on Holecek as you've had him both of the last two years:

Is there a chance that Holecek received those awards because he was more valuable to Czech team, as opposed to Tretiak whose value was always going to be limited by those Soviet teams?
I don't think so. One thing that definitely could have contributed to Holecek winning the awards is that Holecek consistently played his best hockey on the international level against the Soviets. He always played his best hockey whenever he was playing the Soviets. So, the fact that the Czechs generally had success on the international stage against the Soviets probably made Holecek look like the better goalie because he outplayed Tretiak when they went to head to head. That could be why they thought Holecek was the better goalie, because when they played each other, Holecek usually played extremely well.

Don't sell the Czechs of the 70s short. They were the only other team in the 1970s to win a Gold Medal in the World Championships besides the Soviets. They won 3, in 1972, 1976, and 1977. It was the golden age of Czech hockey with Martinec, Novy, Hlinka, Nedomansky(for '72), Pospisil, Jiri Holik, and Jaroslav Holik(for '72). Those mid-70s Czech teams were probably the best they ever fielded internationally. So, it's not like the voters saw Holecek as the only bright spot on their team, so he looked like he was the best goalie(sort of like Hiller this past Olympics).

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