1972 Summit Series - What if ?
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01-01-2013, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Originally Posted by
A couple of points ...
Orr was always in shape. He made enough money that he stayed in shape over the Summers ..... Bobby always arrived to camp ready to go.
Sanderson had cooled-off somewhat (on-ice anyway ...) by 1972 - compared to the 1968-70 period. That doesn't suggest he wasn't unpredictable in a melee however.
I saw Sanderson play in person many times with my Dad at MLGs in the 1970's (Bruins, Rangers, and Pens) and he was just an unbelieveable defensive centreman. That skill-set would have been invaluable to Team Cannada '72.
As we know, Sinden was the Coach and Sanderson had just helped the Bruins win the second Cup in May, 1972 - so he clearly would have been on the team.
Cheevers was at his peak in 1972 - although he would play well until 1980.
Hull is a legend and the Olympic Ice Surface was tailor-made for him. Imagine a 33 year-old Hull with space ! Imagine Tretiak getting one by the ears early from Hull .... this alone could have changed the psychology of the series !
JC Tremblay, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Brad Park and Bobby Orr on D ! This again changes the series to Canada's favour.
Bobby Orr is the largest factor. Orr would not have allowed the Game One loss. And when he got to Russia on the large ice-surface, it would have been a different game altogether. The Orr of 1969 to 1972 - before the very serious 1972 knee surgery - was the Orr of Legend. He was unstoppable back in that period.
I was a huge Bruins fan and big fans of Orr and Sanderson. Like yourself I believe Derek would have really helped Team Canada.
As for Orr just a couple of points (and I believe Bobby Orr was the greatest player ever in NHL history.)
1. Bobby would have been in shape - but not "game shape." He couldn't be as he hadn't been playing. Remember Canada only had 3 inter-squad games at camp. The Soviets showed up in the same shape as we would have been in Game 7 of the finals.
2. Harry Sinden and John Ferguson did not prepare their team. Paul Henderson has said Team Canada was totally confused by the Soviet style of play. Would Orr have changed that?
3. Keep in mind as well that in the 71 playoffs against Montreal, Orr's play ranged from spectacular to poor. He dominated Games 1, 4, and 5 and was horrible in Game 2, 6 and at best average in Game 7. (He had a terrible giveaway leading to a Montreal goal in Game 7.) That Montreal team was fast and very skilled. But the Soviets were faster and more skilled. The Soviets would have been the first team he ever faced that could skate with him. So I think you would have seen Orr have a good series - but it may have been a series much like he had against Montreal in 1971. Games were he was brilliant and other games were the Soviets controlled him. Remember the Soviets were excellent hockey players and they had scouted us and prepared for us - and Bobby Orr.
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