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04-23-2013, 12:34 AM
Muddy Waters
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
In the article, Kulagin states in plain terms that the north american style had begun influencing Soviet hockey by that time. I'm not sure exactly what you're doubting here, nor why.
...Except for Riga Dynamo, the major teams concentrate on short, crisp passes to move the puck up the ice; then, once in the attacking end, they work what might be called perimeter pick plays, trying to isolate a man for one good shot at the goal. In essence, four players simply move the puck around while the fifth attempts to clear the route for that one good shot by picking some defenseman and removing him from the play. In the NHL , pick plays are called interference and earn the picking player two minutes in the penalty box. Riga Dynamo, the exception, plays the Westernized way, stationing its centers Phil Esposito -style in the slot and trying to work the puck directly to them for quick shots at the goal. Riga also is the only Soviet league team with the names of its players sewn on the backs of their jerseys.

Defensively, all Soviet teams ignore the standard pro tactics of forechecking and backchecking. The idea of defense never seems to enter a play until the puck-carrying team has crossed the red line. Also, Soviet players never invade the corners in search-and-destroy missions for the puck. In fact, the referees are instructed to whistle play to a halt rather than let two players jostle for the puck against the boards. ...
It sounds pretty minimal.

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