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04-17-2013, 03:39 AM
  #10
flyin_finn
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From previous post came to mind that there is distinguishable difference between Czechs and Russians.

Czech:

Regardless having some high-skill players, Czechs are balanced as a team.

There is not that large discrepancy between their first and fourth line and even the star players like Jagr in his prime were not entirely build upon.

(Like in Nagano 1998 Czechs won because they were a team playing in front of Hasek, and not an all-star selection with great goalie).

One additional thing is that in international tournaments Czech defenders do their job but aside having # 1 defenseman, the numbers 2-6 are hard to tell from another.

To give concrete example on above, this season they've had 16 defensemen who have appeared in an NHL game. Anyone non-Czech to be able to list more than three names is impressive.

Russia:

Overall Russia has clearly the most wide set of skill of all European teams, partly due their demographics and that hockey is among nations two most popular sports.

Russia has been - and still is - strong on individual technique and skating. Their players tend to keep the puck way longer than for example Czechs do.

This trait becomes visible when Russian forward faces opponent in 1-to-1 situation. Where North-American one would dump the puck to the opposing end Russian tries to get past him.

Also, it is difficult to describe, but looks often like Russians actually try to score a goal. Although not entirely comparable, but think of something similar to floor hockey.

They are producing nowadays more goalies, but it is still somewhat amazing fact that Russian has never won a Vezina.

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