To what extent would a healthy Bobby Orr have affected the '72 Summit Series?
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02-04-2014, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Originally Posted by
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.
Not in terms of on-paper talent.
Originally Posted by
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.
Yes Canada was unprepared, but don't mythologize team USSR as being this 'well oiled machine'.
Summit Series was the apex of the Bobrov/Kulagin/Tarasov power struggle. In the early 1970s it wasn't uncommon for players to be omitted from the NT, or coaches strong-arming the Federation into forcing line-up changes that ran counter team strategy. Much of this time period is highlighted by rival coaches attempting to settle scores rather than icing the best, most cohesive team possible. (It wasn't until Bobrov was fired from NT for drunk behavior at 1974 WC dinner did this period end.)
Obviously Canada was at more of a disadvantage, but let's not blow that level out of proportion.
Heck, tactically speaking, the Soviets had only 2 years experience of checking in the offensive zone (it was illegal in international play up till 1969 or 70).
Last edited by Zine: 02-04-2014 at
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