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02-06-2014, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
....His nerves have given him problems for years... Pollock paid a visit to the Team Canada camps late in August 1972 his only fear was that Canada could lose the second game in Moscow: "If we beat them easily, particularly in the first game over there, we may let down and they'll come out angry."

Toe Blake BTW accompanied Pollock to the camp, what did he have to say about Team Canada as it was, roster and all? "Toe Blake said it was the best team he'd ever seen. 'I think my clubs of the late 1950s could take Russia today, and this team is better.'"
Aha. Very interesting & revealing finds Theo. Good job!.... I dont agree with Pollock nor with Blake at all, wouldnt have then & certainly not today, in retrospect & hindsight, but then again what did I know then or now that they didnt? Well, just what I saw, at that time. I simply wasnt at all impressed with Team Canada. Great players yes but a team of individual stars thrown together, expected to just bond & gel.

Yet if you watched it live as I did as a player myself by that time with considerable experience and a critical eye, really anyone who was a serious student of the game, what you saw was a disparate group of individuals running more wild than in any kind of unified "team" effort. Desperate hockey interrupted by moments of brilliance few & far between in terms of Canada's play. Solo efforts galore. A number of our players resorting to the lowest common denominators in terms of physicality & stickwork to slow the Russians & the frenetic pace of the game down, throw them off their game. Faced with this, the Russians capitalized however as it was all new to them, and once the awe of playing against these "legends" wore off, they would retaliate, provoked as they were. Got ugly at times & of course culminated in "the slash" heard round the World.

While I hold all of the members of Team Canada 72 in high esteem in consideration of their professional careers, and that all of them did give it their very best efforts throughout the Summit Series, I still have a problem with how that team was put together. How ill prepared. The past of course is a different country, and they do/did things differently back then. Team Canada did not have the luxury of a longer training camp, the prevalent attitudes being what they were was that if we just threw our NHL Superstars at them, no problem. Piece a cake. But no. Thats not really how it works in Tournament Hockey. All kinds of extraneous considerations & nuances one has to take into account.

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