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03-04-2013, 01:36 AM
Amate misericordiam
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
There is a lot of evidence that Krutov was the weak link of that unit as an individual and only had success due to the structure and nature of the Russian systems.
Where is this evidence? Let me guess; his failed NHL career? Try to come up with something else for a change, okay, and try to analyze in what way he was the weak link of that unit. In the early 1980s, Krutov was a bit inconsistent, but around the 1987 Canada Cup, he was so good that even the Canadian media was calling him "the best player in Europe" (or at least the color guy in the 1987 CC Ron Reusch was).

The weak link of that unit as an individual, are you kidding me?
In 1980, the US Olympic team picked the 19-year old Krutov as the player they feared the most, and you're saying he was just a team product??? I'm hoping you're not talking about talent here, because if you are, you really need some, er, education. Between 1981 and 1989, Krutov was better player than Larionov; it's not just about the stats, but it's also about accolades and eyewitness account. He may have had weaknesses in his personality, which then ruined the rest of his career, but he was one of the most talented Soviet players ever. Dat's roight.

What can I say about Larionov? I would put it like this (yes, I'm exaggerating slightly): he had a nice little career in Soviet Union and then he had a nice little career in the NHL; his longevity and adaptability being by far the most impressive thing about his career in my opinion. Did the unit's play suffer at all when Larionov wasn't centering them (the 1985-86 Super Series) or when he wasn't contributing much (1987 Canada Cup)? I can answer that for you: not a one bit. IMO USSR missing Fetisov in the 1984 CC, for example, was a much bigger loss for them.

PS. Anatoly Tarasov (a some sort of authority, eh?) once called Krutov "the best forward we've ever had"*. Now, I don't agree with that, and Tarasov might have been a bit hyped (maybe this was after the 1987 CC or something), but after all, Tarasov was the guy who nurtured Anatoly Firsov and Valery Kharlamov.

* Viktor Tikhonov says this in his book. The book was written in 1988, when Tarasov was still very much alive; there's no way Tikhonov would've dared to put it in the book, if he hadn't said it

Last edited by VMBM: 03-04-2013 at 03:17 AM.
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