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09-17-2012, 05:46 AM
  #138
VMBM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrace View Post
Where's Larionov indeed? I you were going to predict which of the Soviets would be most likely to have NHL success based on this series he would be nowhere near the top of the list. I can't find any reference to him playing injured, so I'd guess it's something to do with having to go up against Gilmour and/or Gretzky every shift. His lack of footspeed and size don't help either. It's a shame, because his linemates do pretty well without him but I'd expected more extended periods of KLM dominance in the series.
The color guy Ron Reusch mentions something about an injury a couple of times, but it's all very mysterious. I think Larionov plays well in the 1st final, but after that, he is basically a non-factor. Actually, I remember Larionov saying in his book something like "Messier made my job very difficult", but he doesn't say anything about himself being injured. Krutov and Makarov were brilliant, though. IMO Larionov was never as good as Makarov or Krutov at their peak anyway, but the difference definitely wasn't as big as it seems in this series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrace View Post
I'd agree that Fetisov plays just fine though. When you're up against that Canadian forecheck you're going to turn the puck over sometimes, but he generally makes the simple, effective plays while also matching up physically to the bigger Canadian forwards.
There were a couple of really bad giveaways (remind me of Alexander Gusev!), although I'm not sure if any of them led to a goal (obviously this would not 'excuse' him). But I'd agree with your overview.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrace View Post
And the Soviets' second line is incredible. I'd forgotten how explosive Kamensky could be; the goal in game two where he blows by two Canadian defencemen is a real beauty. Khomutov is the real star of the show for me though. I really didn't know much about him when I started watching the games, but did he ever blow me away. Such a beautiful combination of the traditionally Soviet style of playing as a cog in a unit combined with the ability to put on individual shows of absolute brilliance. Love his minimalism too, he never overdekes or tries to put on too much of a show, only turning on the flash when it's absolutely necessary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrace View Post
Speaking of that line, I only now realised that the Nordiques / Avalanche could almost have had a Russian five of their own if Bykov and Khomutov had opted for NHL careers as Kamensky and Gusarov did. What a dimension that could have added to the Wings - Avs rivalry.
Bykov and Khomutov were born in 1960 and 1961, respectively, so it would not have been an ideal situation for either of them, even though both seemed to age pretty well. But you never know.

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