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Did the Soviets Ever Win?

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Old
01-09-2012, 04:38 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The Soviet domestic league was in some ways a big exhibition season, while the players were trained to play for Mother Russia first.

I don't buy that the Soviets had some huge chemistry advantage, though.
Well, it's a simple fact they did. The Soviet hockey sphere was practically set up to allow the national team to showcase the superiority of the Soviet Union in international competition.

Unlike the Canadian system where junior programs exist in competition with each other, the Soviet system had a focus on centralization and pooling of resources. Hence the extreme focus on CSKA Moscow even though it completely ruined the Soviet league.

And remember, CSKA players were soldiers, they lived together, they ate together, those guys were well past the point of being sick of each other, in such an enviroment you really know people because you have to. I'm not saying it was a pleasant environment, but the Soviet team building went well beyond playing a lot of games together. You have to compare life horizons and what's on the line in games to get to the root of the inbuilt Soviet mental advantage.

A Soviet player would depend almost exclusively on the level of support and trust he enjoys with the superiors in the program - if he doesn't perform to expected levels, if he doesn't follow orders, if he's known as a bit of an "individualist", bam, they can destroy his career, his livelihood in an instant. Being a functioning cog is essential to his life and that's the same whether it's a 4th line marginal guy or a star forward. What's the highlight in this guy's life? What will be the defining element in making or breaking this guy? Hint, it's not your 2nd visit of the year in Chelyabinsk or Sverdlovsk. It's major international tournaments and games against Canadian pros in particular. Here, you have the opportunity to shine in front of a much larger audience, it's a welcome change from a monotonous existence, a different country, different food and if you win, you'll be a hero for the folks back home - including the ones who decide just how many privileges you deserve.

Now in comparison, think of a Canadian NHL/AHL player or even a Canadian playing in the Swiss or German league and what he will worry about in May or September. Hint: It's not besting other countries in international play. Will I get a new contract? What if I get hurt? Will I make the team? His entire outlook has completely different priorities, his career and fortune will be made or broken in other venues. He has a lot more on his mind too because he's a wealthy, free man in a country offering tons of opportunities and perks for such people. There's a simple reason Russia tanked in the 90s - the Russians suddenly had all that on their plate too and they were much less accustomed to it then than their Canadian counterparts.

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01-09-2012, 04:49 PM
  #27
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Interesting stuff.

So it seems the Soviets were great players and routinely beat NHL caliber teams but had trouble against the top competition of Canada?

Canadians also dismiss the Soviet wins a little bit?

Were any Soviet players actually as good as guys like Gretzky and Lemieux(87 right)? Or is that hogwash.

It does kind of annoy me that the Canadians in 72 had to be so dirty, and Clarke took out the Soviets' best player, right?

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01-09-2012, 04:51 PM
  #28
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Well, it's a simple fact they did. The Soviet hockey sphere was practically set up to allow the national team to showcase the superiority of the Soviet Union in international competition.

Unlike the Canadian system where junior programs exist in competition with each other, the Soviet system had a focus on centralization and pooling of resources. Hence the extreme focus on CSKA Moscow even though it completely ruined the Soviet league.

And remember, CSKA players were soldiers, they lived together, they ate together, those guys were well past the point of being sick of each other, in such an enviroment you really know people because you have to. I'm not saying it was a pleasant environment, but the Soviet team building went well beyond playing a lot of games together. You have to compare life horizons and what's on the line in games to get to the root of the inbuilt Soviet mental advantage.

A Soviet player would depend almost exclusively on the level of support and trust he enjoys with the superiors in the program - if he doesn't perform to expected levels, if he doesn't follow orders, if he's known as a bit of an "individualist", bam, they can destroy his career, his livelihood in an instant. Being a functioning cog is essential to his life and that's the same whether it's a 4th line marginal guy or a star forward. What's the highlight in this guy's life? What will be the defining element in making or breaking this guy? Hint, it's not your 2nd visit of the year in Chelyabinsk or Sverdlovsk. It's major international tournaments and games against Canadian pros in particular. Here, you have the opportunity to shine in front of a much larger audience, it's a welcome change from a monotonous existence, a different country, different food and if you win, you'll be a hero for the folks back home - including the ones who decide just how many privileges you deserve.

Now in comparison, think of a Canadian NHL/AHL player or even a Canadian playing in the Swiss or German league and what he will worry about in May or September. Hint: It's not besting other countries in international play. Will I get a new contract? What if I get hurt? Will I make the team? His entire outlook has completely different priorities, his career and fortune will be made or broken in other venues. He has a lot more on his mind too because he's a wealthy, free man in a country offering tons of opportunities and perks for such people. There's a simple reason Russia tanked in the 90s - the Russians suddenly had all that on their plate too and they were much less accustomed to it then than their Canadian counterparts.
This is all true, but it doesn't change the fact that before the 1981 Canada Cup, the Trio Grande Line and Denis Potvin had years to develop chemistry, while the Green Unit only had a few months.

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01-09-2012, 04:53 PM
  #29
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Today I learned that Petr nedved played for Canada in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.

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01-09-2012, 05:06 PM
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I guess the thing about this particular era is the frequency of data points is a bit lower than the rest of the 80s and beyond. We had Canada Cups in 76, 81, 84, 87, 91, 96. Canada wins 3 of 4 Soviet era contests in 11 years, and for the 8 years of 76 - 84 Canada takes 2 of 3. Maybe if we had stuck with teh 3 year cycle with competitions in 79 and 83 the Soviets would have won, but we will never know. The question we are left with is what does that lone Soviet victory in 81 tell us? The secondary question is what to make of the 79 Challenge Cup (me: precious little; USSR fan: shining example of Soviet superiority).
Canada Cups aren't that great an indicator. All the games were played on Canadian soil and gave the Canadian team a huge home ice advantage.

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01-09-2012, 05:11 PM
  #31
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No one here cares too much about those when the real playoffs are on.
The point about the WC in this discussion just flew over your head chief.

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01-09-2012, 05:13 PM
  #32
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The point about the WC in this discussion just flew over your head chief.
Everytime the WC gets mentioned, somebody has to make that dumb comment...I think it's a hfboards tradition or something.

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01-09-2012, 05:15 PM
  #33
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Well, it's a simple fact they did. The Soviet hockey sphere was practically set up to allow the national team to showcase the superiority of the Soviet Union in international competition.

Unlike the Canadian system where junior programs exist in competition with each other, the Soviet system had a focus on centralization and pooling of resources. Hence the extreme focus on CSKA Moscow even though it completely ruined the Soviet league.

And remember, CSKA players were soldiers, they lived together, they ate together, those guys were well past the point of being sick of each other, in such an enviroment you really know people because you have to. I'm not saying it was a pleasant environment, but the Soviet team building went well beyond playing a lot of games together. You have to compare life horizons and what's on the line in games to get to the root of the inbuilt Soviet mental advantage.

A Soviet player would depend almost exclusively on the level of support and trust he enjoys with the superiors in the program - if he doesn't perform to expected levels, if he doesn't follow orders, if he's known as a bit of an "individualist", bam, they can destroy his career, his livelihood in an instant. Being a functioning cog is essential to his life and that's the same whether it's a 4th line marginal guy or a star forward. What's the highlight in this guy's life? What will be the defining element in making or breaking this guy? Hint, it's not your 2nd visit of the year in Chelyabinsk or Sverdlovsk. It's major international tournaments and games against Canadian pros in particular. Here, you have the opportunity to shine in front of a much larger audience, it's a welcome change from a monotonous existence, a different country, different food and if you win, you'll be a hero for the folks back home - including the ones who decide just how many privileges you deserve.

Now in comparison, think of a Canadian NHL/AHL player or even a Canadian playing in the Swiss or German league and what he will worry about in May or September. Hint: It's not besting other countries in international play. Will I get a new contract? What if I get hurt? Will I make the team? His entire outlook has completely different priorities, his career and fortune will be made or broken in other venues. He has a lot more on his mind too because he's a wealthy, free man in a country offering tons of opportunities and perks for such people. There's a simple reason Russia tanked in the 90s - the Russians suddenly had all that on their plate too and they were much less accustomed to it then than their Canadian counterparts.

There's truth in this....but its an extreme oversimplification.

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01-09-2012, 05:18 PM
  #34
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This is all true, but it doesn't change the fact that before the 1981 Canada Cup, the Trio Grande Line and Denis Potvin had years to develop chemistry, while the Green Unit only had a few months.
It's different. Playing in the NHL together for 5 years still leaves you in a different place than going through the Soviet school of hockey. And though you had quite a few Islanders on that team but more guys from other teams, guys who are usually beating each other up and who know each other primarily as foes.

And though the Soviet team had a Larionov who was still with Voskresensk and a few notable Spartak players, CSKA players were the core of the team - four of the five Soviet top scorers in the tournament were CSKA players. And of course Larionov had played with guys like Krutov in the Soviet junior teams.

Even ignoring that, you can't forget that Soviet hockey believed in systems where you can plug guys in and out easily. The replaceability of individuals was a key aspect of the Soviet approach almost in every part of life. Meaning, two Soviet players who may have played only a limited amount of time together, may still be a much more functioning machine than two Canadian guys who played together in the pros for a longer period of time.

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01-09-2012, 05:23 PM
  #35
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I think I remember once in the 80's? that the USSR won the tourney and Eagleson wouldn't let them take the trophy, cause he thought he'd NEVER get it back. It (trophy) was a piece of Canadiana, kinda funny that Eagleson can't live in canada anymore.

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01-09-2012, 05:26 PM
  #36
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Today I learned that Petr nedved played for Canada in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
actually I think Peter Stastny did too one year.

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01-09-2012, 05:35 PM
  #37
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So it seems the Soviets were great players and routinely beat NHL caliber teams but had trouble against the top competition of Canada?
They seemed fairly equal. Just take when Canada had both Gretzky and Mario on the team, and yet it was extremely close between Soviet and Canada.

Soviet and Canada usually met in North America, on small ice surface. That favoured Canada.

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Canadians also dismiss the Soviet wins a little bit?
Absolutely, some more than others.

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Were any Soviet players actually as good as guys like Gretzky and Lemieux(87 right)? Or is that hogwash.
Not according to what I often read here. According to that, the Soviets were favoured by -playing together a lot, having a great goalie, etc., etc. - and otherwise wouldn't have had a chance as the best Canadian players were way better.

For example, the 2nd best Soviet defenceman (Kasatonov) of the 1980s is not considered to have been NHL All-star-team caliber, despite during tournament after tournament playing as good as the best North Americans. He even was a Canada Cup all-star in the 1981 Canada Cup, and during a ten year period he was a top-2 defenceman back in Soviet (behind Fetisov). Kasatonov is not ranked top-35 alltime in the project now going on here. Of at least fairly contemporary North Americans, Bourque, Robinson (mainly a 1970s star), Chelios, Coffey, MacInnis, Scott Stevens, Mark Howe and Rod Langway are all ahead of him. That's 7-8 North Americans (and NHL:ers) being ahead of the 2nd best Soviet defenceman.
Arguments against Kasatonov, or other Soviets, also often are based on how the past-prime green unit players performed in the NHL once they got there.

Basically never is it being thought of how a given Canadian star would have excelled in an environment of larger rinks, different style of play, etc.

Personally, I think - with the exception of Gretzky and Mario - the Soviets were as good as the best North Americans.


Quote:
It does kind of annoy me that the Canadians in 72 had to be so dirty, and Clarke took out the Soviets' best player, right?
Same here, and I know many Canadians think the same. However, even though the teams were basically equally good, if you ask Canadians to make a top-ten list of the best players, you will probably see it still be dominated by the Canadians.

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01-09-2012, 05:38 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Forty View Post

Were any Soviet players actually as good as guys like Gretzky and Lemieux(87 right)? Or is that hogwash.

It does kind of annoy me that the Canadians in 72 had to be so dirty, and Clarke took out the Soviets' best player, right?
Valeri Kharlamov, that's who's ankle Clarke broke with a slash. yup, one of the best players in the world at the time.he didn't get an opportunity to come over to NA to play in the show and passed away way too young @ 33 in a car accident. tragic actually

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP0jK276wiE

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01-09-2012, 05:39 PM
  #39
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There are good arguments for both the Soviets and Canada being the best country at that time. IMO, anyone who thinks either country had a clear advantage is simply wrong. The Soviets team had more experience playing together, but that could have been canceled out by Canada's frequent home ice advantage.

But it should be noted that the US's group of amateurs was able to beat the Soviet national team while Canada's never did. But I suppose that's why it's called a miracle. /American pride

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01-09-2012, 05:57 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by plusandminus View Post
They seemed fairly equal. Just take when Canada had both Gretzky and Mario on the team, and yet it was extremely close between Soviet and Canada.

Soviet and Canada usually met in North America, on small ice surface. That favoured Canada.



Absolutely, some more than others.



Not according to what I often read here. According to that, the Soviets were favoured by -playing together a lot, having a great goalie, etc., etc. - and otherwise wouldn't have had a chance as the best Canadian players were way better.

For example, the 2nd best Soviet defenceman (Kasatonov) of the 1980s is not considered to have been NHL All-star-team caliber, despite during tournament after tournament playing as good as the best North Americans. He even was a Canada Cup all-star in the 1981 Canada Cup, and during a ten year period he was a top-2 defenceman back in Soviet (behind Fetisov). Kasatonov is not ranked top-35 alltime in the project now going on here. Of at least fairly contemporary North Americans, Bourque, Robinson (mainly a 1970s star), Chelios, Coffey, MacInnis, Scott Stevens, Mark Howe and Rod Langway are all ahead of him. That's 7-8 North Americans (and NHL:ers) being ahead of the 2nd best Soviet defenceman.
Arguments against Kasatonov, or other Soviets, also often are based on how the past-prime green unit players performed in the NHL once they got there.

Basically never is it being thought of how a given Canadian star would have excelled in an environment of larger rinks, different style of play, etc.

Personally, I think - with the exception of Gretzky and Mario - the Soviets were as good as the best North Americans.




Same here, and I know many Canadians think the same. However, even though the teams were basically equally good, if you ask Canadians to make a top-ten list of the best players, you will probably see it still be dominated by the Canadians.
Correct me if I'm wrong (I lurk on the History boards but don't really post much) ... but I think length of career is taken into account in those rankings. Most Soviets didn't have much longevity (I've heard this attributed to the fact that they trained all year round), so they will be hurt in their rankings. Krutov and Kasatonov at their peak were on par with NHL All-Stars, and I've heard Makarov called the "3rd best forward in the world during the 1980s".

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01-09-2012, 05:57 PM
  #41
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It's different. Playing in the NHL together for 5 years still leaves you in a different place than going through the Soviet school of hockey. And though you had quite a few Islanders on that team but more guys from other teams, guys who are usually beating each other up and who know each other primarily as foes.

And though the Soviet team had a Larionov who was still with Voskresensk and a few notable Spartak players, CSKA players were the core of the team - four of the five Soviet top scorers in the tournament were CSKA players. And of course Larionov had played with guys like Krutov in the Soviet junior teams.

Even ignoring that, you can't forget that Soviet hockey believed in systems where you can plug guys in and out easily. The replaceability of individuals was a key aspect of the Soviet approach almost in every part of life. Meaning, two Soviet players who may have played only a limited amount of time together, may still be a much more functioning machine than two Canadian guys who played together in the pros for a longer period of time.

Seriously, you sound like those cold-war documentaries that portray Soviet hockey as a mechanical 'machine' with robot players. Do you really believe that nonesense?

Do you really believe you can just replace an individual on a line on a whim and expect it to work like a 'machine'? Players (like any other) gel with certain players and not with other ones.

And you really think if a player was an 'individualist' his career was ruined? Really? Tell that party animal Maltsev, or Latvian Balderis.

Soviet hockey was ANYTHING but cohesive. For instance, there were far more power struggles at the top than anything Canada could dream of. You think that didn't have an effect on the ice?


Certainly there's truth in what you say.....but don't oversimplify and turn it into a hollywood movie script. Soviet players were human like anybody else and had human hockey issues just like Canadians did.

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01-09-2012, 06:24 PM
  #42
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Correct me if I'm wrong (I lurk on the History boards but don't really post much) ... but I think length of career is taken into account in those rankings. Most Soviets didn't have much longevity (I've heard this attributed to the fact that they trained all year round), so they will be hurt in their rankings. Krutov and Kasatonov at their peak were on par with NHL All-Stars, and I've heard Makarov called the "3rd best forward in the world during the 1980s".
You are right, career length matters. And as you say, the Soviets usually didn't have long careers.

But Orr didn't have a long career. Potvin didn't. Rod Langway's looks basically like Kasatonov's.

I think Soviet players like Kasatonov are being underrated regarding how good they were during their prime.

Logic confirms this, I think.
Let's say Canada and Soviet was equally good. 10 vs 10.
If Gretzky and Mario were the two best players of all when they played together in the Canada Cup, they would get above average ratings. If so, the ratings of the other Canadians need to fall in order for the overall ratings of the two team's players should match. Thus, the average Soviet player should have performed better than the average Canadian (Gretzky and Mario excluded). That would mean that many Canadian stars (basically their whole team contained stars) would end up as performing worse than several Soviets.

Same with the 1972 Summit Series. Take away Phil Esposito and Brad Park. Then the Soviets should generally be rated higher. Several of guys like Petrov, Charlamov, Michailov, Shadrin, Yakushev should be equaled to top-ten forwards in the NHL. (Or, for that matter, take away Tretiak with Esposito and perhaps Park, and compare from that on.)

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01-09-2012, 06:29 PM
  #43
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You are right, career length matters. And as you say, the Soviets usually didn't have long careers.

But Orr didn't have a long career. Potvin didn't. Rod Langway's looks basically like Kasatonov's.

I think Soviet players like Kasatonov are being underrated regarding how good they were during their prime.

Logic confirms this, I think.
Let's say Canada and Soviet was equally good. 10 vs 10.
If Gretzky and Mario were the two best players of all when they played together in the Canada Cup, they would get above average ratings. If so, the ratings of the other Canadians need to fall in order for the overall ratings of the two team's players should match. Thus, the average Soviet player should have performed better than the average Canadian (Gretzky and Mario excluded). That would mean that many Canadian stars (basically their whole team contained stars) would end up as performing worse than several Soviets.

Same with the 1972 Summit Series. Take away Phil Esposito and Brad Park. Then the Soviets should generally be rated higher. Several of guys like Petrov, Charlamov, Michailov, Shadrin, Yakushev should be equaled to top-ten forwards in the NHL. (Or, for that matter, take away Tretiak with Esposito and perhaps Park, and compare from that on.)
I think there's a lot of truth to the fact that the Soviets generally produced better forwards than they did defensemen.

On an all-time list, I would definitely rank Makarov, Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Maltsev, and Firsov over any Soviet defenseman other than Fetisov (I would consider Vasiliev over Maltsev, not sure on that one). I'd give serious consideration to ranking Petrov and Larionov over Kasatonov too. Krutov is unique for reasons I don't want to go into right now, but if you take his accomplishments at face value, he's definitely above Kasatonov. And that's not even getting into guys like Balderis and Drozdetsky who were immensely talented but were held back for clashing with Tikhonov.

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01-09-2012, 07:33 PM
  #44
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Seriously, you sound like those cold-war documentaries that portray Soviet hockey as a mechanical 'machine' with robot players. Do you really believe that nonesense?

Do you really believe you can just replace an individual on a line on a whim and expect it to work like a 'machine'? Players (like any other) gel with certain players and not with other ones.

And you really think if a player was an 'individualist' his career was ruined? Really? Tell that party animal Maltsev, or Latvian Balderis.

Soviet hockey was ANYTHING but cohesive. For instance, there were far more power struggles at the top than anything Canada could dream of. You think that didn't have an effect on the ice?


Certainly there's truth in what you say.....but don't oversimplify and turn it into a hollywood movie script. Soviet players were human like anybody else and had human hockey issues just like Canadians did.
Ignore the political aspect on that front, think of the Ajax school of soccer and how they teach soccer, Dutch players know how to play in a 4-3-3 almost instinctively because of how their particular style is implemented in the youth programs. The system is the key, it's a uniform approach and it works.

A lot of the modern lessons about youth sports have in fact been taken from the system in the Soviet Bloc. The Australian athletic successes almost entirely stem from them hiring a wave of Eastern European coaches to prepare for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. A lot of Eastern European coaches also of course found lucrative positions in the US.

Yes, the Soviet players were obviously humans and they had individual issues and indeed the Soviet system put an enormous strain on individuals precisely because it demanded submission and punished individuals who went against the flow. But if you want to succeed in such a system, you need to learn to fit in pretty early. And remember we're talking pre-Glasnost here, people had little hope that they would ever be able to overcome the restraints placed on them. 99% of people in such a situation will keep their resentment quiet and try to fit in as well as possible.

Did some players do better together than others? Sure, but it's still pretty obvious that players who were trained and reared to value the collective over the individual will implement those lessons better than the most individualistic people in the world - North Americans.

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01-09-2012, 11:34 PM
  #45
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The point about the WC in this discussion just flew over your head chief.
No it really didn't. It is great that the Soviets were beating up on the also rans in the WC but it has no bearing on what would happen best on best even if you interpret the results to mean they were at a peak of beating up on the also rans.

The only time a Team Canada with a reasonable amount of prep time loses is in single elimination - flukes being the nature of single elimination. In a series - we win any time, any place.

Everyone is the best at something. And I am not settling for maple syrup.

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01-10-2012, 01:33 AM
  #46
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Head coach: Dave King Bill Barber (C) Dino Ciccarelli Bobby Clarke (C) Bob Gainey Mike Gartner Curt Giles Rick Green Wayne Gretzky Craig Hartsburg Dale Hawerchuk Kevin Lowe Brad Maxwell Gilles Meloche Greg Millen Mark Napier Brian Propp Paul Reinhart Darryl Sittler Bobby Smith Rick Vaive John Van Boxmeer Ryan Walter
Forwards: 8 Hall of Famers
Defence, Goal: None

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01-10-2012, 01:45 AM
  #47
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Seriously, you sound like those cold-war documentaries that portray Soviet hockey as a mechanical 'machine' with robot players. Do you really believe that nonesense?

Do you really believe you can just replace an individual on a line on a whim and expect it to work like a 'machine'? Players (like any other) gel with certain players and not with other ones.

And you really think if a player was an 'individualist' his career was ruined? Really? Tell that party animal Maltsev, or Latvian Balderis.

Soviet hockey was ANYTHING but cohesive. For instance, there were far more power struggles at the top than anything Canada could dream of. You think that didn't have an effect on the ice?


Certainly there's truth in what you say.....but don't oversimplify and turn it into a hollywood movie script. Soviet players were human like anybody else and had human hockey issues just like Canadians did.
I seem to recall a quote from Tarasov where he assigns numerical values to each player, the point he was trying to prove was that a team of 5 equal players would be superior to one led by a great player (the example he used was Bobby Hull)

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01-10-2012, 02:20 AM
  #48
WarriorofTime
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No it really didn't. It is great that the Soviets were beating up on the also rans in the WC but it has no bearing on what would happen best on best even if you interpret the results to mean they were at a peak of beating up on the also rans.

The only time a Team Canada with a reasonable amount of prep time loses is in single elimination - flukes being the nature of single elimination. In a series - we win any time, any place.

Everyone is the best at something. And I am not settling for maple syrup.
What is this based off of? 1972 Summit Series is the only good example of this and was 4-3-1. If that's all you're basing this off then I'm not sure if that statement can be so boldly proclaimed. Soviets and Canadians were about even.

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01-10-2012, 02:32 AM
  #49
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When the Canadians refused to shake hands after Game 1 of the 72 Summit Series, I would have given the entire Series to the Russians based on the Canucks immature poor sportsmanship. The behavior, not the loss, made it a dark day in Canadian hockey history.
It is commonly documented that the Canadians unfamiliar with international rules didn't shake hands at the end of the game because they treated it like an NHL game in which you didn't do that. You can see it in the replays, the Soviets are standing around assuming the Canadians are going to come to center ice. The Canadians are filing off the bench to the locker room unaware of the ceremony. The next 7 games they shook hands after the game.

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01-10-2012, 02:35 AM
  #50
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Interesting stuff.

So it seems the Soviets were great players and routinely beat NHL caliber teams but had trouble against the top competition of Canada?

Canadians also dismiss the Soviet wins a little bit?

Were any Soviet players actually as good as guys like Gretzky and Lemieux(87 right)? Or is that hogwash.

It does kind of annoy me that the Canadians in 72 had to be so dirty, and Clarke took out the Soviets' best player, right?
Nobody was as good as Gretzky. In 1987 Lemieux was just on the cusp of breaking out and you can argue Makarov or Krutov were as good, but that changed right away. Once Mario broke out into his prime he was better than any Soviet at any time. In 1987 its hard to say, but he had 11 goals in the 1987 Canada Cup and outpointed Makarov and Krutov.

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