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08-10-2012, 02:19 AM
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Assists and Corner Work

Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
"In all parts of the ice" I definitely agree with. Especially in goal-scoring he was miles ahead of Cashman. Ditto for a more versatile skill set.

But I have to disagree about their corner work. From what I've seen, that was Cashman's main job - at least when he was playing with Esposito - i.e. dump & chase and then fight for the puck in the corners, and get the puck to Espo (--> "Espo shoots, he scores!"). Mikhailov's main job, however, was to stand in the slot and score goals (rebounds, deflections). In other words, he was the Espo rather than Cashman of his forward line(s). Look at his G/A ratio, for example; always clearly more goals than assists (especially early in his career, but usually later on too, with some single exceptions).

The dump and chase thing was much bigger part of the North American game in the Seventies. Watch the CSKA vs. the Flyers game, for example. I don't remember Mikhailov showing his authority in the corners at all in that game. He was soundly beaten in that area.

Players like Kharlamov and Makarov created a lot of space for their linemates. Simply because usually one player/defender was not enough to stop them; it required two or even three. Mario Lemieux, hmmm, I think both Kharlamov and Makarov were closer to Lemieux than Mikhailov, though none of them were that skilled or dominating, obviously.

My appreciation of Mikhailov is based mainly on his play in NA or against NA teams. When Mikhailov went into the corners or behind the net he was more efficient than Cashman at getting the puck and getting it to one of his four teammates. Cashman did not use the three other teammates as well as he did Esposito.

Assists were very sparsely awarded in international or Soviet hockey so they are not the best indicator when comparing to NHL players.

International rink is too big for the dump and chase to work effectively so Mikhailov had little opportunity to work the corners in the international games. Likewise in the Flyers game which was played in the Soviet half of the ice with little exception.

Kharlamov and Makarov had a reciprocal space creating situation with their linemates.However none of Makarov's linemates would occupy the defense in front of the net or screen the goalie like Mikhailov could.Lemieux's linemates like Rob Brown never drew attention from or created space for Mario Lemieux.

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