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03-27-2013, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
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.
In terms of hitting and fighting, that's true. I think the hitting part had more to do with the players at his disposal, but he definately did discourage fighting and needless rough play.

I think our team reflects that very well. Our tough players are guys like Earl Seibert, Jarome Iginla, and Vic Stasiuk, and they are all guys who didn't engage much in the kind of play Tarasov doesn't like.

Red Sullivan seems to be the only player on our roster that would draw some ire in this area.

- 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.
The Soviets were definately puck-possession teams, and that is defiantely one of Tarasov's staples.

We feel this also fits our team well. With a group of very fast and skilled forwards, as well as a mobile and skilled defense core, we're be able to play a good puck-possession game.

Bob Goldham would be the only defenseman who would struggle to play that game, but I think he can just hand it off to Gonchar.

On forward, our top 3 lines are all well-suited to the puck control and carrying game. Only the 4th line seemd to be more suited to a dump-and-chase style.

- 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.
That may be true of later Soviet teams, but Tarasov was a big believer in aggressive puck persuit. He believe initiative won hockey games. One of his quotes about forechecking is in our bio. He said they "hunt in packs".

As discussed above, his teams weren't big on running guys on the forecheck, but that's not the same as puck pressure.

Again, I think this fits well with the players we have, especially the top line.

- 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.
Like any team of the same style, they'd struggle against trapping teams, but I think we can count on the coaches in the ATD to be able to adjust their systems. They are the best of the best after all.... and Tarasov is among the best here.

I think we have the skill and speed to do some effective trap-busting.

- are 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.
Our defense core is pretty huge, so that is an advantage down low. Seibert, Stuart, Goldham, and Seiling are pretty much huge - likely averaging close to 6'5" if adjuting their sizes for era. Even Gonchar and Liapkin are big guys.

The puck-support from our 2nd and 3rd line centers could be an issue in our end though. Bowie is pretty small, and Turgeon ain't exactly a defensive specialist.

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