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Soviet Union beat Canada (4-3) 1991 Canada Cup

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03-06-2013, 10:17 PM
  #126
Mr Kanadensisk
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If you Google "Alan Eagleson, Dag Olsson," you will bring up a link called "Name In The Game," from www.apnewsarchive.com. Check the entry for September 13, 1991. It is a story about the Swedish coach in the 1991 Canada Cup blasting Alan Eagleson for hiring Paul Stewart, an American, to referee games in the series. The Swedish coach called Stewart "a clown." Dag Olsson from Sweden, who refereed a number of important games in the Canada Cup over the years, including the final of the 1981 Canada Cup, is quoted as saying "It isn't the Canada Cup. Its the Alan Eagleson Cup!" Olsson was in a position to know, because Eagleson hired him to work in the series.

Olsson's comment documents what I have previously asserted, and that is that when a partisan for the host nation that owns the tournament is in the business of handpicking referees for the tournament, as in the case of the "Alan Eagleson Cup," its just an exhibition, and not a valid international tournament.
I don't doubt there are lots of Europeans who have slandered the Canada Cup, I'm sure if they had won more of them they would feel differently.

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03-06-2013, 10:23 PM
  #127
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Nice find.

When Eagleson instituted an across-the-board 'no European refs' policy for the medal round, his bias was exposed. He was not judging referees based competency and individual performance, he excluding an entire demographic of refereeing talent and handpicking North American referees who called the game in Canada's favor.
Since no Europeans officiated in the NHL they just didn't have the experience they needed. MOD


Last edited by Fugu: 03-07-2013 at 10:49 AM. Reason: please tone it down
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03-06-2013, 10:31 PM
  #128
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Disagree.

Canada routinely played with existing line combos from the NHL, so I doubt it would have substantially helped.
In hindsight, I think a strong focus on NT play hindered Soviets as much as it helped (a top heavy league watered down the competition for elite players; and as such they gained little experience in clutch situations, etc).

Regardless, Soviet WJC success was similar to the senor team's despite no strong emphasis on a junior NT. This is evidence that success was predicated on talent more so than chemistry and prep time.
So playing and practicing together makes a hockey team worse, wow.

And as far as which country has the bigger cheating and corruption problem, I don't even think there is even any point debating it.


Last edited by stv11: 03-07-2013 at 03:38 AM. Reason: removed insult
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03-07-2013, 12:16 AM
  #129
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So playing and practicing together makes a hockey team worse, wow.

And as far as which country has the bigger cheating and corruption problem, I don't even think there is even any point debating it.
I agree with Zine - you've vastly overblown the national team concept, seemingly as an explanation for Canada's shocking vulnerability. Your explanation attempts to preserve the notion of Canadian superiority. Sure, when you watch the film, it looks like the Soviets are skating every bit as well or better than the best Canadian NHL'er's; they stickhandle just as well or better; they pass better; and they shoot as well or better; but its just Merlin's illusions, brought on by grueling practices. Practices just don't make a player that much better.


Last edited by stv11: 03-07-2013 at 03:39 AM. Reason: edited quote
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03-07-2013, 02:19 AM
  #130
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I agree with Zine - you've vastly overblown the national team concept, seemingly as an explanation for Canada's shocking vulnerability. Your explanation attempts to preserve the notion of Canadian superiority. Sure, when you watch the film, it looks like the Soviets are skating every bit as well or better than the best Canadian NHL'er's; they stickhandle just as well or better; they pass better; and they shoot as well or better; but its just Merlin's illusions, brought on by grueling practices. Practices just don't make a player that much better.

Well said.

Prep time has the ability to alter cohesiveness and organization, but it can't disguise talent and innate ability. Individual skill will always be obvious to a knowledgeable observer regardless of team's/player's situation.

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03-07-2013, 07:54 AM
  #131
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I agree with Zine - you've vastly overblown the national team concept, seemingly as an explanation for Canada's shocking vulnerability. Your explanation attempts to preserve the notion of Canadian superiority. Sure, when you watch the film, it looks like the Soviets are skating every bit as well or better than the best Canadian NHL'er's; they stickhandle just as well or better; they pass better; and they shoot as well or better; but its just Merlin's illusions, brought on by grueling practices. Practices just don't make a player that much better.
Practices and playing together make teams much much better, it's probably one of the most basic concepts in team sports like hockey. You can deny it all you want, but unless you back up you claims with some sort of facts or credible evidence I'm not sure what else can be said.

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03-07-2013, 08:45 AM
  #132
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Are you saying that Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, etc., were shiftless losers that didn't have the guts to stand up for their country and compete because it was the middle of the season? Maybe you're right. Its certainly a novel thesis about guys who may have gotten too much credit.
Country? They weren't playing for Team Canada!

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03-07-2013, 08:48 AM
  #133
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It was best of the NHL, which would include the best of all Canadians, Americans, Swedes, Finns and anyone else who was dominant in the league. Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Anderson, Coffey, and Bourque were all there.
Essentially a thrown together All-Star team. Yup, those tend to fair well against normal teams...

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03-07-2013, 10:18 AM
  #134
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You might want to also check into the history class you are offering. The Canadian national team and the NHL allstars are not the same. When Canadian players play for the maple leaf, its with more patriotic will then when they play in a challenge cup exhibition series under the nhl logo.
I don't know, Larry Robinson, for example, sounded quite patriotic to me in the interview he gave during the 1979 Challenge Cup (G3, between periods 1 and 2). But maybe you know better how he or the other NHL All-Stars felt! Also, when you consider the comments by the Canadian broadcasters after the 6-0 blowout (e.g. Dick Irvin, jr: "We beat them in 1972 and 1976 and now they've beaten us"), it again sounded like they took it very seriously indeed.

But it's good that there are people in 2013 - who were not involved in any way - telling THE TRUTH that it meant absolutely nothing; just a little exhibition.

Edit:
Not sure even myself, what to think about the Challenge Cup. However, I can say that there is not a single thing suggesting that it was treated like an All-Star game or anything close to it back then. Also, there was definitely a lot of the Canada vs USSR cold war thing involved; e.g. were Valery Kharlamov and Vladimir Golikov (possibly the best Soviet player in the first 2 games) injured purely by coinsidence? There was certainly no Clarke slash per se, but I still doubt it.
Plus it was better hockey than in 1972 (pace, passing, skating).


Last edited by VMBM: 03-07-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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03-07-2013, 11:57 AM
  #135
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So playing and practicing together makes a hockey team worse, wow.

And as far as which country has the bigger cheating and corruption problem, I don't even think there is even any point debating it.
I never said that, please stop putting words in my mouth. I said an over-emphasis on a national program had unintended consequences for the Soviets.

And secondly, Canada and was just as corrupt as anybody in terms of Cold War hockey, however it was frequently justified with a "win at any cost against the evil communists" mentality.

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03-07-2013, 12:04 PM
  #136
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I never said that, please stop putting words in my mouth. I said an over-emphasis on a national program had unintended consequences for the Soviets.

And secondly, Canada and was just as corrupt as anybody in terms of Cold War hockey, however it was frequently justified with a "win at any cost against the evil communists" mentality.
I'm not sure I'd say any of the cold war hockey was corrupt.

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03-07-2013, 12:22 PM
  #137
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
I agree with Zine - you've vastly overblown the national team concept, seemingly as an explanation for Canada's shocking vulnerability. Your explanation attempts to preserve the notion of Canadian superiority. Sure, when you watch the film, it looks like the Soviets are skating every bit as well or better than the best Canadian NHL'er's; they stickhandle just as well or better; they pass better; and they shoot as well or better; but its just Merlin's illusions, brought on by grueling practices. Practices just don't make a player that much better.
Well why even play games then. Lets just start judging who the better team is like figure skating.

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03-07-2013, 12:32 PM
  #138
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While we are at it, lets start having international competitions in Antartica, because obviousally any competition in Canada is going to be partial. And while we are at it, make sure the referees are not from North America, because obviousally they are always bias for Canada. And who needs to keep score. Lets base the better team on a scale of 1 to 10 for passing, skating, shooting, coaching, and goaltending. The winner gets declared the better teams, because obviousally playing the game is so not the right thing to do no more

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03-07-2013, 12:48 PM
  #139
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I don't know, Larry Robinson, for example, sounded quite patriotic to me in the interview he gave during the 1979 Challenge Cup (G3, between periods 1 and 2). But maybe you know better how he or the other NHL All-Stars felt! Also, when you consider the comments by the Canadian broadcasters after the 6-0 blowout (e.g. Dick Irvin, jr: "We beat them in 1972 and 1976 and now they've beaten us"), it again sounded like they took it very seriously indeed.

But it's good that there are people in 2013 - who were not involved in any way - telling THE TRUTH that it meant absolutely nothing; just a little exhibition.

Edit:
Not sure even myself, what to think about the Challenge Cup. However, I can say that there is not a single thing suggesting that it was treated like an All-Star game or anything close to it back then. Also, there was definitely a lot of the Canada vs USSR cold war thing involved; e.g. were Valery Kharlamov and Vladimir Golikov (possibly the best Soviet player in the first 2 games) injured purely by coinsidence? There was certainly no Clarke slash per se, but I still doubt it.
Plus it was better hockey than in 1972 (pace, passing, skating).
I didn't say they didn't care to win, the athletes that play at that level want to win every game they ever play. Of course they wanted to beat the Soviets back then.
I said, First of all, its not team Canada. Say what you want, but Canadian teams that enter tournaments take into account checking lines, 4th line energy guys and such when putting a team into a tournament to win. The challenger cup teams are a collection of nhl allstars. yzerman was left off the 87 and 91 canada cup teams for guys like tocchet, propp, sutter, graham etc. no one would ever say that those guys were more skilled, but you need those guys to win tournaments. So to say an team just made up of allstars in an exhibition of nhl players, vs a team built to win a tournament, where by they would have a training camp, and taking into consideratin how the line up is going to match up vs other teams is totally different.
If you don't agree, lets just make team canada for Sochi, the top 14 scorers in the nhl at the time, because i guess you think an allstar team should be sent

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03-07-2013, 01:33 PM
  #140
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I don't doubt there are lots of Europeans who have slandered the Canada Cup, I'm sure if they had won more of them they would feel differently.
Could it be that "lots of Europeans have slandered the Canada Cup" because they feel that they got screwed there? Maybe the Soviets and Swedes weren't the only ones.

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03-07-2013, 01:40 PM
  #141
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Since no Europeans officiated in the NHL they just didn't have the experience they needed. MOD
There were several European refs who worked the Canada Cup, obviously Dag Olsson included. Specifically, Eagleson banned Europeans from refereeing medal round games of the Canada Cup after Olsson presided over a 6-3 whipping of Canada by the Soviets in the round robin, 1987. In 1987, Eagleson added two inexperience NHL refs to the staff, Don Koharski (previously an NHL linesman) and Paul Stewart. The rest were Europeans or minor league NA refs.

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03-07-2013, 01:58 PM
  #142
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Could it be that "lots of Europeans have slandered the Canada Cup" because they feel that they got screwed there? Maybe the Soviets and Swedes weren't the only ones.
Actually its only a handful of them here that do the slandering. Most Europeans agree that the Canada Cups were some of the best hockey ever player, and acknowledge Canada was the best Hockey Power. The people on here slander the Canada cup because they lost, not screwed. Its alright though, I've have my memories, and you have your excuses and tears

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03-07-2013, 02:06 PM
  #143
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I don't know, Larry Robinson, for example, sounded quite patriotic to me in the interview he gave during the 1979 Challenge Cup (G3, between periods 1 and 2). But maybe you know better how he or the other NHL All-Stars felt! Also, when you consider the comments by the Canadian broadcasters after the 6-0 blowout (e.g. Dick Irvin, jr: "We beat them in 1972 and 1976 and now they've beaten us"), it again sounded like they took it very seriously indeed.

But it's good that there are people in 2013 - who were not involved in any way - telling THE TRUTH that it meant absolutely nothing; just a little exhibition.

Edit:
Not sure even myself, what to think about the Challenge Cup. However, I can say that there is not a single thing suggesting that it was treated like an All-Star game or anything close to it back then. Also, there was definitely a lot of the Canada vs USSR cold war thing involved; e.g. were Valery Kharlamov and Vladimir Golikov (possibly the best Soviet player in the first 2 games) injured purely by coinsidence? There was certainly no Clarke slash per se, but I still doubt it.
Plus it was better hockey than in 1972 (pace, passing, skating).
IMO, you are absolutely right in suggesting that the Challenge Cup was far from a nonchalant "friendly" match. By 1979, there was a sense in the NHL that the Soviets were "the competition." The NHL All-Stars (all of the best Canadians, plus Borje Salming, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nillson from Sweden) knew that the Soviets were capable of playing well enough to beat them, and that losing to the Soviets was an important branding issue for the NHL at that time. They didn't want to brand the NHL as the best league in the World, and then lose to the Soviets in these tournaments. So there was more than enough motivation.

I also agree that the hockey was arguably as any ever played. The speed, pace and physical intensity of the action was as good as it gets. For the Soviets, it was arguably the best performance that a Soviet or Russian team has ever shown. Since it looks like you have seen the between period interviews, you may recall Anders Hedberg saying "I have never seen the Soviets play so hungry before," and "the Soviets are willing to sacrifice their bodies to go into the corners to fight us for the puck." NHL refs worked Games 1 and 3, and a Soviet ref worked Game 2. Refereeing was never an issue. Andy Van Hellemond showed what a consumnate professional looks like in Game 3, which meant so much to both teams. He called one penalty apiece, and basically just let the teams decide the game at even strength.

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03-07-2013, 02:10 PM
  #144
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Well why even play games then. Lets just start judging who the better team is like figure skating.
I'm not sure how your quote ties into the statement I posted?

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03-07-2013, 02:17 PM
  #145
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Country? They weren't playing for Team Canada!
Of course they were! The driving issue of the day in hockey was which is better, Canada or the Soviets. It was always the overriding issue to be solved by competition. Do you think they organized a competiton with the Soviet Union in the middle of the season because Brazil was busy?

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03-07-2013, 02:22 PM
  #146
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I'm not sure how your quote ties into the statement I posted?
You seem to make a subjective observation on the stick handling of the soviets, the passing, the shooting in comparision to the Canadians. You don't want to use the head to head results of the games, but judge their skills on observation as the determinant of who is better.

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03-07-2013, 02:23 PM
  #147
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Essentially a thrown together All-Star team. Yup, those tend to fair well against normal teams...
I know you have a better argument than that within you! These guys are called the best in hockey history. When they are assigned to an all-star team, its not as if they spend a lot of time wondering "I wonder if my new linemate would prefer to receive a pass on his stick or in his ear?"

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03-07-2013, 02:25 PM
  #148
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Could it be that "lots of Europeans have slandered the Canada Cup" because they feel that they got screwed there? Maybe the Soviets and Swedes weren't the only ones.
I can't control how they feel, but I don't think anyone got screwed.

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03-07-2013, 02:34 PM
  #149
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There were several European refs who worked the Canada Cup, obviously Dag Olsson included. Specifically, Eagleson banned Europeans from refereeing medal round games of the Canada Cup after Olsson presided over a 6-3 whipping of Canada by the Soviets in the round robin, 1987. In 1987, Eagleson added two inexperience NHL refs to the staff, Don Koharski (previously an NHL linesman) and Paul Stewart. The rest were Europeans or minor league NA refs.
I'm sure he got the most qualified officials he could. In my opinion using anyone who hadn't officiated small ice, physical hockey was probably a mistake.

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03-07-2013, 02:39 PM
  #150
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IMO, you are absolutely right in suggesting that the Challenge Cup was far from a nonchalant "friendly" match. By 1979, there was a sense in the NHL that the Soviets were "the competition." The NHL All-Stars (all of the best Canadians, plus Borje Salming, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nillson from Sweden) knew that the Soviets were capable of playing well enough to beat them, and that losing to the Soviets was an important branding issue for the NHL at that time. They didn't want to brand the NHL as the best league in the World, and then lose to the Soviets in these tournaments. So there was more than enough motivation.

I also agree that the hockey was arguably as any ever played. The speed, pace and physical intensity of the action was as good as it gets. For the Soviets, it was arguably the best performance that a Soviet or Russian team has ever shown. Since it looks like you have seen the between period interviews, you may recall Anders Hedberg saying "I have never seen the Soviets play so hungry before," and "the Soviets are willing to sacrifice their bodies to go into the corners to fight us for the puck." NHL refs worked Games 1 and 3, and a Soviet ref worked Game 2. Refereeing was never an issue. Andy Van Hellemond showed what a consumnate professional looks like in Game 3, which meant so much to both teams. He called one penalty apiece, and basically just let the teams decide the game at even strength.
While alot of what you say has alot of truth to it in here, such as the branding of the NHL and that they didn't want to lose to them (does anybody ever want to lose?), you are confusing 2 diferent concepts.

The spain national football team playing an allstar team of the english premier teams does not make it a contest of Spain vs England. So eventhough, most of the best players were Canadian, not all of them were. And it was a collection of allstars, not a team put together to win. It would have been a huge outcry if skilled scorers were left off for a checking line, which if it was a Canadian entry into a tournament, they would have done. So while it was an incredible exhibition of hockey, with the worlds best players on the ice at the time with huge bragging rights, It was not in anyway a claim to what Country was the best at the time. The Soviets did that in 1981 with there Canada cup win. That was the last time they could claim to have done so.

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