1974 Canada/Soviet Summit
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10-01-2013, 05:45 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Jersey
Originally Posted by
... ah, not so fast there. I consider myself (a Canadian) to be ethically & morally centered, and I certainly dont "hang my head in shame" because of Clarkes' slash on Kharlamov nor any other atrocities any member of Team Canada 72 nor any other version & the players that followed thereafter may or may not have committed. You have to look at these thing properly & put them into context. The context of the era & times, from sociopolitical to sport and beyond just hockey itself. You'd had years of Cold War frustrations. East vs West. Transcended just hockey. The Russians every bit as dirty as Canada though I will say the Canadians definitely started much of it. You cant hold them up to todays standards & then excoriate their wicked play as that is exactly how the game was played from Junior through Pro at that time. What Clarke & Ley, all of them were brought up with.
Didnt matter if your name was Boris or Brian to Bobby Clarke or Ricky Ley, either tactically or in retribution you, the opponent, were goin down. Cant beat you with skill? We'll beat you by hook or by crook and if that means getting down & dirty so be it. Thats the way hockey was in Canada back then. Or if evenly matched in talent & some guy breaks The Code? Drop em. Nothing new in targeting the opponents top player or players and if you can, put him out of the game. Thats just the way it was & still is with some. Why should I or any other Canadian feel shame for that? I dont think so. Was it right what Clarke et al did? Of course not & had the Russians been playing by North American rules & standards shouldve been a bench clearing brawl with Clarke being sent off on a stretcher. But to feel "shame" for what members of Team Canada did if your a Canadian or "shame" for what some of the Soviet era players did if your a Russian? I dont think so. No reason to be putting that hair shirt on & forever Crucifying the actors involved. The past is a strange place, they do things differently back there.
This post has huge contradictions, bordering on bipolar. First you are saying that Russians were every bit as dirty as Canadians, then you say this is the way they played in Canada (and only in Canada, presumably) at the time ("brought up with it").
You say that what Clarke and Ley did was wrong ("despicable," in fact) and then in the same breath say that it wasn't at all shameful, although the chain of logic is clear: "doing something wrong in a game" = "breaking the rules of the game" = "cheating" = "shameful" (especially in a victory *this* close).
When you describe their play as "winning at all costs," you give an example of "putting the opposing player right through the boards if possible." Even you didn't list breaking one's ankle as part of "winning at all costs." Clearly, what Clarke did was beyond the "whatever it takes" justification.
You call him "the product of the era" yet he stood out head and shoulders in the nastiness above (or should I say "below") his peers. Ferguson / Sinden asked *him* to eliminate Kharlamov, not Esposito or Cournoyer.
The bottomline is: Canada's dirty play was a huge factor in this series. If you think it's OK to goon it up if you are losing, resolving to "the lowest common denominator" (your own words) and deliberately injuring top players of the opposition, I'm sure you'll find plenty of people agreeing with you (including Esposito and Clarke themselves). If you think what they did was wrong, then it's AUTOMATICALLY shameful and disgraceful.
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