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08-12-2012, 06:20 AM
Don't waste my time
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defenseman Igor Romishevsky, the two-time Olympic gold medalist (1968, '72), four-time world championship winner (1968, '69, '70, '71) on the Soviet national team from 1965-1972, a three-time Soviet all-star (two 2nd team all-stars and a 3rd team all-star) in '68, '69 and '71, a 9-time league champion on the Red Army blueline (1961, 1963-66, 1968, 1970-72). He scored three points in each of the 1969, 1970 and 1971 World Championships. He scored at least a half dozen goals per season over a 5-year span up to 1966, with only 11 over the following half decade:

...absence of several world-class players affected the performance of the Soviets in the 1972 Summit Series. Obviously, the Olympic Champions Igor Romishevsky, Vitaly Davydov and, especially, Anatoly Firsov could have been a powerful addition to the Soviet team in the 1972 Summit.

The great Soviet coach Anatoli Tarasov, in his Road to Olympus(1969), describes, praises and criticizes Igor Romishevsky very astutely. Romishevsky was part of the fastest unit on the Red Army team in 1965, Tarasov says (pg. 30 of RtO). Tarasov goes on and on about the value of passing and decision making, after first introducing the topic with an example of Romishevsky's play: "... to Romishevsky who picks up speed and the line spreads out for the attack. The Spartaks fall back. There is an opening in front of Romishevsky, he can go in by himself, but he passes..."

Tarasov chose Romishevsky to be the 'halfback' in a new 1-2-2 system which had 1 defensive defenseman, 2 forward wingers and 2 'halfbacks' which - on how he describes it seems a lot like the 'halfbacks' were basically offensive defenseman and backchecking center. Romishevsky was chosen for the 5-man unit for his 'speed stamina' and 'explosive qualities' (111):

"Igor Romishevsky performs his role of 'halfback' with a creative approach. There is something in him that makes his game thrilling, above all, his ability to transform himself in a split second" (116)
This praise is followed by a long paragraph description of the skill of transformation, as one of good decision making and capitalizing on opportunities for transition, immediately followed by a short paragraph:

"I remember how in an exhibition game against the national Swedish team, Romishevsky, displaying unparalleled skill and daring, went down the whole rink, outplaying four Swedes and changed the score to 2:1 in our favour. I think everyone who saw that game will never forget that goal."(117)
Tarasov said the unit came undone when the players tried to switch roles, as Romishevsky like the others couldn't make all the key decisions outside of their strengths and well practiced roles. Romishevsky as the 1 in the 1-2-2 system made mistakes trying to counterattack too early when his role was to be the defensive '1' in the system. Tarasov accepts the blame for the unit's poor play in a game and then regains his pride when the unit went +3 in a game back in their original roles, Romishevsky as a halfback, in the role of rusher who determines when to pass and when to carry the puck deep (basically a precursor to the modern day offensive defenseman it seems to me).


Aside - interestingly:

Plante was forced to come up with the big save on Igor Romishevsky just before the two-minute mark, after Andre Boudrias had missed the net twice from close in for the home club.

The above quote is from arguably one of the most important games in Soviet hockey history as the Soviets took on the Montreal Junior Canadiens in 1965, dominating the play but losing 2-1 because of spectacular goaltending by Plante, the game important because it is said to have taught the Soviets the importance of improving their goaltending (it is said set the priority and focus to find and develop a Tretiak).

The roster included a lot of all-time greats. On defense: Ragulin, Kuzkin, Romishevsky, Davydov. Forwards: Loktev, Almetov, Alexandrov, Starshinov, Mayorov, Firsov, Vikulov, Yakushev.

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