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03-29-2013, 05:09 PM
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Location: Czech Republic
Country: Slovakia
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Originally Posted by Atas2000 View Post
Why would that be?

There are only two real rivalries for Russia. It's with Canada for obvious reasons and with the Czechs. The Czechoslovakians basically taught other Europeans and the Soviets hockey. When the hockey program was started in the USSR they used to learn from the Czechoslovakians in thiose days.

After that it was the battle of two systems. The soviet speed and offence against tight and suffocating czech defensive system.

It's cooled off a bit now because of a somewhat decline in Czech hockey in recent years which is a sad thing. We need more Jagrs!
From Czechoslovak POV, the rivalry was more about politics than some "battle of systems", like here:

It still is, to some extent, although probably only with the oldest players. For example this video from Slovak locker room after the semis in 2002. The players already knew that they would play against Russia in the finals and you can hear one of the players (I think it was Radoslav Hecl) shout: "****ing Russian ******! They've been ****ing us for 40 years, now we will **** them!" About 0:50 and 1:07

I'm sure it is similar in Czech Republic.

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