HOH Top 70 Players of All Time (2009)
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10-28-2012, 04:36 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Originally Posted by
But the Russian NT did NOT play together year round! Just two examples: in the 1972 series, the famous Kharlamov-Petrov-Mikhailov line did not play one minute together. In the 1987 series one line was from Dynamo, one from the Soviet Wings, and two from CSKA. Yes, the clubs practiced for 11 months together, but the NT was far from being a "machine": composed from different players from different clubs with different systems.
What I said was that if Canada did play together year round that they would have been much better, which I don't think anyone can deny.
The problem the Soviets faced was that obviously there weren't enough international tournaments in a year to provide their best players with the competitive experience they needed. Since they had absolute control over the Soviet league and their players they divided the top players up into a few teams so they could benefit from competing against each other. As you said they tried to place complete lines together on these teams so they would gain experience playing together. Also it should be noted that despite the massive size of the USSR all the top players played in one city so that full national team practices could be easily held when ever they wanted and the national team played together in as many tournaments as they could. There is no disputing that the Soviets had in effect a full time national team program.
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