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Habs vs. Red Army, 1975

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03-08-2005, 01:09 PM
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Terrier
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Habs vs. Red Army, 1975

On New Year's Eve, 1975, the Canadiens played to a 3-3 tie with the Central Army Team that featured Tretiak in net. Has anyone here seen a film or video of this game? I've read descriptions of it as being "the perfect hockey game".

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03-08-2005, 02:38 PM
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Yeah I've seen it live and I saw the replay a few times last year. It was indeed the perfect game.

1- Habs were the best team in the NHL lead by Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson and Ken Dryden in nets.

2- Russians had so many great forwards who were awesome stickhandlers like Kharlamov. Their goalie however was Vladislav Tretiak the greatest soviet goaltender of all time.

3- Game was fast paced and feautured no violence what so ever.

4- Canadiens got on an early 2-0 lead but the soviets rallied back to tie it.

5- One of the soviets scored on a great play fooling both Robinson and Savard and backhanding it home past Dryden.

6- Steve Shutt scored to give montreal the early lead after a bullet shot over the arm of Tretiak.

All in all this is regarded by many as you say the best game ever.

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03-08-2005, 02:46 PM
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if not THE best, then certainly one of the best... artful skating and creative passing plays, all game long...
just recently saw the CCCP vs. Flyers game from that same tour... if you think the latter day NJ Devils are boring, then please avoid this game.
it wasn't even a trap, Philly just clutched and grabbed and cheapshotted their way through the entire game... the officiating was so bad that at one point the Soviets walked off the ice in protest (this was after Kharlamov was spun down and hammered with a ref five feet away).
not very good action, but there is one sequence where Kharlamov stickhandles through B. Clarke's skates, then through two other Flyers in transition.

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03-09-2005, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrier
On New Year's Eve, 1975, the Canadiens played to a 3-3 tie with the Central Army Team that featured Tretiak in net. Has anyone here seen a film or video of this game? I've read descriptions of it as being "the perfect hockey game".
Terrier...........

Yes I did.........I was 6 years old at the time staying at my grandmother's house while my parents went out to party for New Years......I remember that being the GAME that turned me on to watching the sport of Hockey......I remember it being fast paced.......I also remember my uncle who was a HUGE Habs fan telling me that his Habs were probably the best team alltime in the NHL but these Russians really put the Habs to the test........as a kid I always remember LaFleur skating down the ice and ripping a slapper from the wing.......Robinson was also a real standout cause he just TOWERED over everybody and I also remember reading article about that game a few years later where Viktor Tikhonov was being interviewed and they asked him who he thought the best player for the Habs that year and he didn't give you the expected response of Lafleur, Shutt, Robinson or Dryden the name he gave us was Bob Gainey cause he said Gainey was the best two-way player in North America and he did superb job against the Russians top snipers.

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03-09-2005, 10:00 AM
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I won't debate about whether or not it was a great game , I seem to remember us doing that a few months ago. If anyone has a tape of the game, watch the ending, where the Soviets go to congatulate Tretiak. My brother was at the game in pretty decent seats. As the game ended he was hit by one of those sponge pucks people used to use. By reflex, he picked it up and threw it towards the ice, where it hit Tretiak on one bounce. If you look closely enough, you can see him turning as it glances off of him. My brother was 16-17 at the time and wouldn't have tossed a real puck, before any of you condemn his dangerous behaviour. He was just tossing it towards the ice, not at anyone. He's still basking in his tenuous claim to fame.

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03-09-2005, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (lone)Yashinfan#79
if not THE best, then certainly one of the best... artful skating and creative passing plays, all game long...
just recently saw the CCCP vs. Flyers game from that same tour... if you think the latter day NJ Devils are boring, then please avoid this game.
it wasn't even a trap, Philly just clutched and grabbed and cheapshotted their way through the entire game... the officiating was so bad that at one point the Soviets walked off the ice in protest (this was after Kharlamov was spun down and hammered with a ref five feet away).
not very good action, but there is one sequence where Kharlamov stickhandles through B. Clarke's skates, then through two other Flyers in transition.
Nice homer Soviet view.

Now as to what actually happened:

Yes, the Flyers played a physical game, which was their norm. The hit by Van Impe was high, but also more of a shove than anything ... and he was just leaving the penalty box for a tripping infraction.

Fred Shero at the time was a big fan of Russian hockey and knew more about tham than any other North American coach. He knew the the Soviets would refuse to dump the puck, so he lined four men across the blueline and had just one man applying a light forecheck.

The Soviets now couldn't trap the Flyers up the ice with quick skating and passing, and since they refused to adapt and play a dump & chase game, they continued to circle and re-group in the neutral zone.

Final shots on goal 49-13 ... complete domination ... and at the time the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champs left no doubt to who the best hockey team on the planet was.

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03-09-2005, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrier
On New Year's Eve, 1975, the Canadiens played to a 3-3 tie with the Central Army Team that featured Tretiak in net. Has anyone here seen a film or video of this game? I've read descriptions of it as being "the perfect hockey game".
Pretty overrated. The Habs dominated the Russians, but a poor performance by Dryden and a great performance by Tretiak, ruined what should have been an easy win by the Habs. The Habs were quite clearly the superior side in every respect of the game, except maybe passing.

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03-09-2005, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Psycho Joe
Pretty overrated. The Habs dominated the Russians, but a poor performance by Dryden and a great performance by Tretiak, ruined what should have been an easy win by the Habs. The Habs were quite clearly the superior side in every respect of the game, except maybe passing.

Agreed, the Habs dominated tha Soviets .. this was one of the select games that got Tretiak his induction to the HHoF.

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03-09-2005, 01:00 PM
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I have the game on tape. IMO it's not as good as people say it is.

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03-09-2005, 01:06 PM
  #10
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How can a game that was so one-sided be considered the perfect game? If not for Tretiak, this game was a rout.

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03-09-2005, 01:15 PM
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Well, nice to see some unbiased opinion coming from Flyers fan. I just love the term "physicall play", it was used alot after USA-Russia game in WJHC also. I would like to say that using shots on goal stats to prove who dominate the game is wrong when you talk about Soviet teams in the 70's. Northern American and Soviet style of play were completly different back then, Canadians were shooting from almost every position while Soviet's were passing and skating waiting for a clear opportunity. Todays NHL is the mix of both styles of play. They were discussions back then and many NA experts agreed that shots on goal stats don't tell you wich team was better. If it did you could say that the Soviets were dominated in almost every game playing against NA teams. Soviets were impressed by the Montreal Canadiens and many of them said that it was the best game in their life, after the game against Flyers they had a feeling that they played against bunch of criminals. Audiatur et altera pars before you call someone homer and before you say Soviets couldn't handle "the physicall play".

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