If we can, for a moment, back off the international dick measuring competition.
The Question here is, to me at least (Someone who simply loves the sport), is will we see true trans Atlantic competition? And if so will the Stanly Cup Champs ever get to square off against the Gagarin Cup Champs?
The thing this game does prove is that (on a debatable level) the KHL can beat an NHL team...So, will this open the door to future competitive play?
Also, if this is the case, does the KHL need to play more games in a season (NHL:82 vs. KHL:56)?
Last edited by DU Pioneers: 11-07-2010 at 02:35 PM.
...across two of the most developed nations in the world...
What does Finland and Japan have to do with this?
The most irrelevant things one can throw into this topic are the statistics of players that have played in both leagues. Yes, Weinhandl is a prime player in KHL which he wasn't in the NHL, yes Lecavalier and Heatley sucked in Russia and are stars in the NHL, these facts only tell us how different these two leagues are. In KHL players with good passing-play, speed and vision are the top dogs while in NHL you must know precicely when and where you dumb the puck in order for you (or your linemate) to be able to chase it first (or atleast so that you/he is able to cross-check the opposite player to the boards and then take the puck) and then proceed to pass the puck along the boards for a couple of minutes before you then pass it to the blue line from where the defenceman then shoots it into the crowd...So yeah, different league different game.
Bottom line is that you can't compare the two. A year ago, my opinion was that KHL was vastly inferior to the NHL. But one of my buddy (a goalie who played in AHL last year) went to play in the KHL this year and he told me that the top 4-6 teams could compete in the NHL, about 10-12 teams would be good/middle pact AHL team and 6 teams who be middle pact in East coast/ bad AHL teams.
The style is also a world of a difference...especially for goaltender. In NA, lots more robotic hockey...limit turnovers. In KHL, goalier cannot challenge the shooter, has to stay much deeper in his net, lots more tunrovers/odd man rushes because there is no dump and chase style, larger surface make for a better passing game.
If you compare talent wise, yes NA is better, because most top players for every country play in the NHL. But the surface make it a completely different game.
Don't have to look to far. Last olympic, Canada vs USA in finals. USA did not have the best team out there... but where used to play on small ice surface. Russia had probably the most talented team of all, but togheter they don't play well on smaller ice surface... and coaching was horrible since they tried to play a Russian style of play.