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International Tournaments Discuss international tournaments such as the World Juniors, Olympic hockey, and Ice Hockey World Championships, as they take place; or discuss past tournaments.

Impact of Olympics on Russian Hockey

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03-06-2014, 12:25 PM
  #126
Ohashi_Jouzu
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Actually, Canada put together an all-star national junior team for the 1978 World Juniors in Quebec. They had some guys who later had pretty good careers in the NHL, such as Wayne Gretzky. The Soviets won the Gold Medal that year with a 3-2 win over Canada.
"All-star"... Young goalies of today still model themselves after the greats Tim Bernhardt and Al Jensen, and the legends of Bill Huber, Brian Young, Curt Fraser, Rick Paterson, Patrick Daley, and Tony McKegney will echo for eternity.

Mike Gartner went on to the second best NHL career after Gretzky, and Bobby Smith was probably their next best player in '78 after Gretzky but only played half the tournament. Neither has ever been an NHL post-season all-star, incidentally. Smith, Walter, and Babych were the top 3 picks in the '78 NHL draft, and represent the tip-top of "all star" presence around Gretzky that year; maybe add Smyl as the second most productive NHLer from that draft. Now make a ranked list of all the all-time greats that Gretzky has played with domestically/internationally over his career, and tell me how far down the list you get before you find yourself adding names like Smith, Walter, Babych, Smyl (who all went on to be, in fairness, pretty good NHLers).

Not overly surprising in hindsight that a team anchored by Tyzhnych/Mylnikov + Fetisov/Kasatonov on the back end and led by Makarov up front (who made Shkurdyuk look like a worthy NHL draft pick that tournament, lol) played that Canadian team to a tight game in that opening elimination match (tale of two halves pretty much, and the Soviets played Sweden for the gold, btw; not Canada). Soviets still had their big core pieces from the previous WJC (the goalies, Fetisov, Makarov), and the only returning Canadian players I can think of are the ones I started off making fun of in that opening "all-star" list (the '76/77 Canadian WJC team was way more lol-tastic, but they were a club team chosen as the first "official" WJC team by virtue of winning the Mem. Cup).

But we saw the talent of the 30 year old Russians who started coming over in the late 80s/early 90s, so domination of an international junior tournament through the late 70s/early 80s isn't exactly hard to understand in hindsight. What's harder to understand is how success at the junior level in the late 90s/early 00s has translated into sustained WC success through the late 00s/early 10s but such disappointing Olympics.

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03-06-2014, 12:29 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
We've already discussed Soviet training methods, but we haven't discussed the fact that only a tiny fraction of the potential talent pool had an opportunity to become hockey players.
Because it really stops mattering when a lot of time/money/effort gets put into recruiting all the very best that could be found across the country and concentrating them on 1 or 2 teams in the same city. The very best they could find was obviously much closer to very excellent - by any measuring stick.

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03-06-2014, 04:44 PM
  #128
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Didn't know that was our approach. Just keeping handing out hockey sticks to babies and keep our fingers crossed.

Talk about ignorance.
If I'm wrong, then explain why. The US and Sweden use a national team development program with excellent success. Canada draws from the sheer numbers of kids who are playing, as represented by the best of 60 junior teams in the CHL.

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03-06-2014, 05:03 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
You completely missed the point. I was responding to a guy who said that Canada didn't start using a national junior team format until 1982, using the prior year's Memorial Cup Champion instead. Don't worry, I'm going to keep working with you on stuff like this.
And he was right. From the introductory paragraph on Hockey Canada's Juniors page:

"The final step in Hockey Canada抯 Program of Excellence, the National Junior Team has been a force at the IIHF World Junior Championship since the first year of the POE in 1982"

Also the Wikipedia entry:

"The CAHA had long hoped to send a true national team to the tournament, but were limited by costs. To assemble such a team in 1981 would have cost four times the amount it spent to send the Cornwall Royals. The CAHA lacked the resources for such a program and preferred not to send a team at all if it couldn't send its best. However, it was in a dispute at the time with Hockey Canada and feared that if it did not send a team, the IIHF would turn to the rival governing body instead..."

" Disappointed by frequent complaints from European teams that the Canadian juniors were just "slugs" who couldn't play the game at an elite level, CAHA president Murray Costello finally set out to build a true national team program."

"The team sent to the 1982 Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota was the first true national junior team sent. It was represented by ten players from the WHL, four from the OHL, three from the QMJHL, two playing United States college and one playing professionally in the Finnish league.[17] The team lacked star players, but relied on a balanced offence and strong defence to post a 6𢠣 record in the round robin tournament. Canada defeated the Soviet Union 70 in the second-to-last game, the worst defeat the Soviets suffered in the tournament's history."

So immediately before 1982 Europeans were complaining about the Canadian slugs, but didn't take long conspiring against those slugs after they became champs. That "Rivalry with the Soviet Union" section is full of lols that I remember finding hard to believe the first time I heard about them years and years ago.

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03-06-2014, 09:43 PM
  #130
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
If I'm wrong, then explain why. The US and Sweden use a national team development program with excellent success. Canada draws from the sheer numbers of kids who are playing, as represented by the best of 60 junior teams in the CHL.
Sweden don't have a national team development program. It's essentially the same as in Finland. It couldn't be further from the US one.

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03-07-2014, 06:22 AM
  #131
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
And he was right. From the introductory paragraph on Hockey Canada's Juniors page:

"The final step in Hockey Canada抯 Program of Excellence, the National Junior Team has been a force at the IIHF World Junior Championship since the first year of the POE in 1982"

Also the Wikipedia entry:

"The CAHA had long hoped to send a true national team to the tournament, but were limited by costs. To assemble such a team in 1981 would have cost four times the amount it spent to send the Cornwall Royals. The CAHA lacked the resources for such a program and preferred not to send a team at all if it couldn't send its best. However, it was in a dispute at the time with Hockey Canada and feared that if it did not send a team, the IIHF would turn to the rival governing body instead..."

" Disappointed by frequent complaints from European teams that the Canadian juniors were just "slugs" who couldn't play the game at an elite level, CAHA president Murray Costello finally set out to build a true national team program."

"The team sent to the 1982 Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota was the first true national junior team sent. It was represented by ten players from the WHL, four from the OHL, three from the QMJHL, two playing United States college and one playing professionally in the Finnish league.[17] The team lacked star players, but relied on a balanced offence and strong defence to post a 6𢠣 record in the round robin tournament. Canada defeated the Soviet Union 70 in the second-to-last game, the worst defeat the Soviets suffered in the tournament's history."

So immediately before 1982 Europeans were complaining about the Canadian slugs, but didn't take long conspiring against those slugs after they became champs. That "Rivalry with the Soviet Union" section is full of lols that I remember finding hard to believe the first time I heard about them years and years ago.
Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia. The '78 team was a true national team, an all-star team, whatever you want to call it. It was a one-off until '82, but it was the best in the country at the time. In fact, compare the '82 roster to the '78 and try to convince me the '82 was better. It wasn't and it's not even close.

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03-07-2014, 08:11 AM
  #132
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I would love it if Canadian posters would do some independent research on their own, rather than just repeating the pronouncements of TV analysts and sports writers who know absolutely nothing about Soviet/Russian hockey.

I have no idea what the future training regimens in the KHL will be, but I agree that no new regimen will be considered in the NHL. Of course its true that the far more grueling, advanced and targeted training that Soviet teams engaged in gave them a huge advantage over NHL teams. Its almost a rule of life that if you work a lot harder than someone else, you are probably going to be more successful than they are. What I would love to see is for Canadians to take ownership of their training philosophies, rather than just complaining that its no fair because the other guys outworked us. There were never any known laws in Canada or the US that prohibited playing hockey for longer than 7 months a year. Canadians made the choice to not work as hard and not work as often.

In regard to current expansion of hockey in Russia, again, instead of listening to Canadian TV analysts who know nothing about Russia at all, I would love to see Canadians who are critical of Russia get to know more about what the real situation is. We've already discussed Soviet training methods, but we haven't discussed the fact that only a tiny fraction of the potential talent pool had an opportunity to become hockey players. During the Soviet era, it is estimated that there were no more than 60 indoor rinks in the entire Soviet Union. That means your chances of becoming a hockey player were dependent on whether you were among the tiny minority who happened to live near a hockey rink. The only organized junior hockey was provided by existing pro club teams, but they didn't have a league in which they played each other.

In the last 5 years, the number of rinks increased from around 250 to almost 500, and there is an almost frantic pace of building more rinks. Well-funded and organized junior leagues have come into existence. Probably development will somewhat mirror the Canadian approach of depending on sheer numbers to produce enough talent.
OMG, why is it so hard for you guys to understand this?! The issue isn't about Soviet training techniques nor is it how harder you work. Good for you if you work harder and have better techniques, we have no right to complain about those. The only issue and a clear advantage is the opportunity of assembling your best players and have them train together all year round. No national team in the West had that opportunity and that explains the disparity of the Soviets and the rest. Our players could train all year, but it was and still is impossible to train together among the best all year since the players are busy playing on different NHL teams.

Seriously, it is mind blowing how Russian fans don't grasp this simple concept. I am at a loss how to explain this any further. Russians think by sheer hard work and superior techniques, they were able to be THAT MUCH above and beyond others. Please, the Soviets were no supermen.

Russians may get better (and surpass Canada) with more investments in rinks, developments and a bigger player pool, but until you can assemble a team of your best players and make them train and play together all the time like in the Soviet days, Russia will not regain its former glory because now your own players are in the same situation as everyone else in the hockey world.

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03-07-2014, 08:45 AM
  #133
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OMG, why is it so hard for you guys to understand this?! The issue isn't about Soviet training techniques nor is it how harder you work. Good for you if you work harder and have better techniques, we have no right to complain about those. The only issue and a clear advantage is the opportunity of assembling your best players and have them train together all year round. No national team in the West had that opportunity and that explains the disparity of the Soviets and the rest. Our players could train all year, but it was and still is impossible to train together among the best all year since the players are busy playing on different NHL teams.

Seriously, it is mind blowing how Russian fans don't grasp this simple concept. I am at a loss how to explain this any further. Russians think by sheer hard work and superior techniques, they were able to be THAT MUCH above and beyond others. Please, the Soviets were no supermen.

Russians may get better (and surpass Canada) with more investments in rinks, developments and a bigger player pool, but until you can assemble a team of your best players and make them train and play together all the time like in the Soviet days, Russia will not regain its former glory because now your own players are in the same situation as everyone else in the hockey world.
Thankfully, not in our lifetimes.

But honestly, the Europeans on this board completely disregard and fail to acknowledge how it important building a "team" really is.

You can take an amazing team and sign a couple of top players but it doesn't mean they're going to immediately be better. It's like you've added a good player so you're better the next game. We see in trades all the time when teams kind of slump a bit immediately after. They guys need to build chemistry, define new roles, just get used to playing each other.

The world championships are great example of that. The four big European countries play each other a dozen times throughout the season using various national team lineups. Then they have a month long training camps and even more warm games heading into the WC. Add to that the consistency and continuity among their rosters and they have actually built a "team" going into the WC. Seriously by the time the Russian roster plays at the WC they've already played what 8-15 games together over the past year and then you just add a few NHL players in who have generally played with them before in some circumstance.

The Canadian and American teams are basically just a bunch of phone calls made a week or two before the tournament starts and getting them to meet up in Europe to start playing together. Lots of these guys have never had a conversation with each other, never mind playing as linemates.

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03-08-2014, 09:50 PM
  #134
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Two points. One good, one bad...

Good... The Russians were a weak goal post away from beating the U.S. and changing the complexion of the tournament.

Bad... Your best players will be very old in 4 years. If you were going to win, Sochi was it.

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03-09-2014, 03:39 PM
  #135
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Two points. One good, one bad...

Good... The Russians were a weak goal post away from beating the U.S. and changing the complexion of the tournament.

Bad... Your best players will be very old in 4 years. If you were going to win, Sochi was it.
True, but I think they have a lot of solid young players right now and who knows...Tarasenko, Yakubov, Kuznetsov, Anisimov, Burmistrov, Kulikov, Grigorenko, Voynov .... they might get better and they could form a very solid offensive team. I believe that they have at least 3 players who could be on a star level in 4 years (Tarasenko, Yakubov, Grigorenko) Add Malkin and Ovechkin and it could be still a very dangerous team.

And, they are always pretty strong offensively (or at least on paper). The main problem is the actual team-work. They need to play as a team, but that would surprised me because you don't find many tournaments when Russian team played really as a team.

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03-09-2014, 04:23 PM
  #136
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Two points. One good, one bad...

Good... The Russians were a weak goal post away from beating the U.S. and changing the complexion of the tournament.

Bad... Your best players will be very old in 4 years. If you were going to win, Sochi was it.
You seem to think everybody is going to be old by 2018.

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03-09-2014, 04:43 PM
  #137
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You seem to think everybody is going to be old by 2018.
Especially you and me.

Canada will be fine.


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03-09-2014, 04:47 PM
  #138
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True, but I think they have a lot of solid young players right now and who knows...Tarasenko, Yakubov, Kuznetsov, Anisimov, Burmistrov, Kulikov, Grigorenko, Voynov .... they might get better and they could form a very solid offensive team. I believe that they have at least 3 players who could be on a star level in 4 years (Tarasenko, Yakubov, Grigorenko) Add Malkin and Ovechkin and it could be still a very dangerous team.

And, they are always pretty strong offensively (or at least on paper). The main problem is the actual team-work. They need to play as a team, but that would surprised me because you don't find many tournaments when Russian team played really as a team.
Fair enough. I am not saying the team will be horrible. I just think the aging of Malkin, Datsyuk, OV and IK will be huge.

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03-09-2014, 05:11 PM
  #139
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Especially you and me.

Canada will be fine.

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03-09-2014, 05:14 PM
  #140
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I feel the same way, buddy. There is no upside to getting older. The body (and mind) just rots.


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03-10-2014, 01:18 PM
  #141
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I feel the same way, buddy. There is no upside to getting older. The body (and mind) just rots.
perhaps you shouldn't frequent your local Hooters bar that much..maybe the 4 o'clock 7.99 dinner buffet at Boca Del Vista retirement home is more your tempo....don't forget your black shocks. Just jokes! HAHA

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03-10-2014, 04:39 PM
  #142
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perhaps you shouldn't frequent your local Hooters bar that much...
Guilty as charged.

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03-12-2014, 10:02 AM
  #143
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Russia is a shadow of its former self. They are still good but in my opinion Finland has surpassed them at all levels, junior and senior.

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