Round 2, Vote 13 (HOH Top Centers)
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02-05-2014, 08:01 AM
I voted for Kodos
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
Originally Posted by
Also true for the European teams. Seventies Czech and Soviet teams played beyond their collective talent but the eighties teams rarely did.
Funny, I'd argue just the opposite with regards to the Soviets. Between Tarasov's dismissal in 1972 and Tikhonov's ascension in 1977, the Soviet program suffered through a coaching carousel which culminated in Boris Kulagin's firing during the last period of the USSR's final game of the 77' WEC-A tournament (one of the biggest, thought least known, facepalm moments in hockey history). Tikhonov reshaped the program in his image (and with an iron fist) and modernized Soviet hockey, incorporating "lessons learned" from Soviet setbacks in the 1970's at the hands of the Canadians and the Czechs.
I would say that, relative to their own level of talent, the 1980's Soviets played better as a team than the 1970's version did, especially after Tikhonov purged the last of the 70's stars following the disaster in Lake Placid.
This doesn't undermine your point vis-á-vis the Czech and NHL teams, which I agree with, but I really don't think this particular narrative applies well to the Soviets.
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