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02-04-2014, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Yeah, it was always a TOTALLY different story, when Canada and USSR met in subsequent years?
I mean, did the Soviets get so much better post 1972 that when Canada (supposedly) had better teams & were better prepared & had home advantage all the time (remember CANADA Cups?), it was still as close as you can get between the two teams?
IMO the Soviets did improve in a few areas (defensive play, physicality, 'offensive versatility') after 1972, but did Canada at the same time get worse - or were they always unprepared/in lousy shape, or how do you explain e.g. 1981 CC and 1987 CC?
Yes I believe the Soviets improved quite a bit between 72 and 87. I'm talking specifically about 72 and only about that series of games. There was still a bigger gap between Canadian hockey and the Soviet game than the results of the 8 games showed. Nobody seems to mention the fact that the Canadian team went to Moscow in the middle of the cold war, on large ice and won the series in the Soviets backyard. They also could have very well swept the 4 games there.

The facts are the facts The NHL team was not prepared to play the Soviets. They were not in good physical condition nor were they in game shape. Their attitude was one of maybe they would lose one game if that. The Russian goalie was scouted by Toronto Maple Leaf scouts (maybe that says something) and said to be very weak. Not really the ideal way to approach the series. Nor was it the best team that Canada could have iced and in retrospect there were poor choices made in personnel. Also too many players were picked to be a part of the team and all were promised playing time. Again not really the way to approach the series.

My point is not to downplay the talent of the 72 Soviet team but to say that the series was closer than it should have been for a number of different reasons.

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