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03-27-2013, 07:49 AM
Hobnobs's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Yeah...I don't know that westerners ever really got to see the old 2-2-1 in action. They were definitely not playing such a system by 1972, and I don't think it was because of wholesale changes wrought by Bobrov, though this is possible.

Yeah, I know, though Bobrov only lasted a couple of years, and Kulagin (who was a disciple of Tarasov's) changed almost nothing about the tactics and composition of the team after taking over in 1974, which suggests that Bobrov was likely running at least something close to Tarasov's system, to begin with. This is hardly conclusive evidence, but as so little can be said about Tarasov through direct observation, I think it is fair to draw inferences in cases like these.

I think TDMM has adequately answered this question. Personnel obviously play a role in the ultimate success or failure of every coaching system, but Blake and Patrick are two guys who won Stanley Cups with distinctly different team styles at various points in their respective careers.


Onto Tarasov...insofar as we can divine Tarasov's system from the jumble of Soviet hockey in the years between he and Tikhonov, I would say those (his) teams all share a few characteristics:

- they were not physically aggressive.

- they were puck possession teams, were built to enter the offensive zone either through a break or through quick, careful passes in the neutral zone. When held up in the neutral zone, they did not dump and chase, but rather started moving laterally looking for holes in the defense through which a puckcarrier could skate after a quick pass.

- they were very passive forecheckers, almost never sending more than a single forward deep, and for the most part (Mikhailov and Alexandrov being the most notable exceptions) didn't hit anyone when they got in on the puckcarrier.

- they had great offensive success against classic defensive schemes, but struggled against trapping teams which overloaded the defensive blueline as the Czechs did in 1976-77' during their run of back-to-back world championships.

- they were solid defensively in transition, but suffered from breakdowns when defending against aggressive forechecking/cycling teams, especially those which were good at working the puck quickly back and forth between the forwards and the points.


How much of this is a reflection of Tarasov's philosophies and schemes, and how much is the work of his successors? It is impossible to say with certainty, but I personally think those teams were largely the product of Tarasov's system - that is, at least, the prevailing opinion among the European hockey fans I know.
I thought it was pretty rare in the O6 to use the dump and chase tactics... Isnt that mainly a product of the talent drain eras?

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