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12-01-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by kajoo View Post
I was watching hockey since early 80s and saw Soviets win these World Championship titles back in 80s in convincing fashion. That was the most dominating team ever, so I believe they already got little cocky and took every win as granted. Not to blame them, but SKA managment too think they are Soviets 198x or what
Erm... and they are. Or he is. SKA's GM Kasatonov is the "live link" between the 2 sets of people you're talking about. And rumours say there was friction particularly between Říha and Kasatonov.

One thing is for sure: the Russian mentality and the Czech mentality are completely different. To overly simplify, Russian = "We're the big, all-powerful nation, and we're gonna crush everyone!"; Czech = "We're the small, clever nation, and we're gonna outsmart everyone!" That doesn't necessarily mean that all Czech coaches will prefer defensive hockey, but the difference in basic outlook may be there in the background all the time in one way or another, perhaps subconsciously.

I'm convinced that the difference in mentality was behind the firing of Čada from Avangard last year in a similar winning situation. They hated seeing a Russian hockey team playing in a way more compatible with the "Czech" rather than the "Russian" outlook. On the other hand, Čada's preferred style of play is perfectly suited for Slovan, a team outbudgeted by probably all other KHL teams. Slovan can't possibly think they're "all-powerful"... not in the KHL, ever. And realizing this is beneficial for the team's play. Maybe SKA should join the NHL for a season to learn some humility and get rid of the illusion of being "all-powerful".

Now let's see how the new SKA coach does. He, too, comes from a small nation, although I'm sure there are differences between the Finnish and the Czech mentality.

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