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Igor Larionov on why there aren't more Datsyuks in the NHL

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02-23-2015, 01:24 PM
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WhoIsJimBob
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Igor Larionov on why there aren't more Datsyuks in the NHL

http://www.theplayerstribune.com/mir...hockey-russia/

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Because of the Miracle on Ice, there is a misconception that the Soviet style was destroyed by the scrappy Americans on that day in 1980. In reality, my generation dominated that decade, winning Gold at four World Championships and two Olympics. I was lucky enough to finally make it out of the U.S.S.R. in 1989. I played for 12 seasons and won three Stanley Cups, and I never changed the way I played. I was 5í10Ē, 165 pounds. If I was just coming into the league today, I would probably be considered too small. I would be sent down to the minors after my first or second neutral zone turnover.

I am not exaggerating. Thereís a reason why Pavel Datsyuk went undrafted in 1996 and 1997.

People ask me why this creative style of play is now so rare at the NHL level. The first thing that gets pointed to is the fighting and dirty play. But thatís not the heart of the problem. Iíve never been a fan of fighting, but hockey has always been a violent game. Bobby Clark purposely slashed Valeri Kharlamov and broke his ankle at the 1972 Summit Series. Those games were more brutal than anything you see today, and it didnít stop the Soviets from playing creative hockey.

The problem is more philosophical and starts way before players get to the NHL. Itís easier to destroy than to create. As a coach, itís easier to tell your players to suffocate the opposing team and not turn the puck over. There are still players whose imagination and creativity capture the Soviet spirit ó Johnny Gaudreau in Calgary, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in Chicago just to name a few. However, they are becoming exceptions to the rule. Many young players who are intelligent and can see the game four moves ahead are not valued. Theyíre told ďsimple, simple, simple.Ē

That mentality is kind of boring. Nobody wants to get fired. Nobody wants to get sent down to the minors. If you look at the coaches in Juniors and minor league hockey, many of them were not skill players. Itís a lot of former enforcers and grinders who take these coaching jobs. Naturally, they tell their players to be just like them. Their players are 17, 18 years old ó younger than I was when I joined the Red Army team. Say what you want about the Whiplash mentality (or the Soviet mentality), but if coaches are going to push kids at that age, why are they pushing them to play a simple game? Why arenít coaches pushing them to create a masterpiece?

We lose a lot of Pavel Datsyuks to the closed-minded nature of the AHL and NHL.
That is very interesting and really true.

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02-23-2015, 01:52 PM
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Assuming the shootout is exactly random, a team capable of playing every game to a 0-0 draw is going to post a 123 point season.

As long as the professional game is incentivized in such fashion, the product will continue to look the way it has.

Meanwhile, the NBA is actually sticking to its "open up offense" rules from 2005 and is ****ing booming again. Between the quality of play and the quality of coverage, that league is just on another level right now, and it's so disappointing to see.

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02-23-2015, 02:18 PM
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Soviet-style hockey is simply less effective, especially on the small ice. It's an obsolete strategy. Just because it's a treat to watch doesn't mean that it necessarily wins games.

Also, obviously, they're not playing physically because it's simple, but because it's effective.

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02-23-2015, 02:48 PM
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Should get rid of offside.

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02-23-2015, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namejs View Post
Soviet-style hockey is simply less effective, especially on the small ice. It's an obsolete strategy. Just because it's a treat to watch doesn't mean that it necessarily wins games.

Also, obviously, they're not playing physically because it's simple, but because it's effective.
Soviet-style hockey has been absorbed into everything we see in the sport, so I'm not sure that's really fair to say. Offensive play has been pretty heavily influenced by the kind of movement the Soviets brought to the game in the 50's.

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02-23-2015, 02:51 PM
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yeah

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02-23-2015, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsJimBob View Post
http://www.theplayerstribune.com/mir...hockey-russia/



That is very interesting and really true.
what a joke. So basically he is saying that if you dont check anyone then players can dangle. The truth is there is not as many bums in the league as there used to be. Players can no longer get away with drinking a 6 pack and having a cigarette after every game(or before in some cases). Players are conditioned completely different then they were 20 years ago and that includes the use of technology and equipment. There is big money involved, the use of PEDs is quite high and the speed of the game is much faster.

Meaning the guys that could take advantage of the less talented players 20 or 30 years ago by being quicker, faster and stronger doesn't exist anymore. The gap from best to worse is just not as big as it used to be.

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02-23-2015, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post

Meanwhile, the NBA is actually sticking to its "open up offense" rules from 2005 and is ****ing booming again. Between the quality of play and the quality of coverage, that league is just on another level right now, and it's so disappointing to see.
is this true?

I'm so out of the NBA loop I have no concept of it's popularity. Granted the Nuggets are terrible, but I don't know many people who care about the NBA in Denver.

I just assumed it was perceived to have a spike in popularity since ESPN dropped hockey and took on the NBA.

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02-23-2015, 03:11 PM
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That mentality is kind of boring. Nobody wants to get fired. Nobody wants to get sent down to the minors. If you look at the coaches in Juniors and minor league hockey, many of them were not skill players. It’s a lot of former enforcers and grinders who take these coaching jobs. Naturally, they tell their players to be just like them. Their players are 17, 18 years old — younger than I was when I joined the Red Army team. Say what you want about the Whiplash mentality (or the Soviet mentality), but if coaches are going to push kids at that age, why are they pushing them to play a simple game? Why aren’t coaches pushing them to create a masterpiece?

We lose a lot of Pavel Datsyuks to the closed-minded nature of the AHL and NHL.
He brings up russian hockey and blames CHL coaching....sorry but smells like agenda
also is it a coincidence that when the trap was introduced by Lou the coming years of hockey scoring went down by more then a goal a game? Or that the NHL and referees let clutch and grab go? Back in 2005 when the refs called everything it was some of the most exciting hockey in years. the next year back to clutch and grab why the nhl does nothing about it?


Last edited by HeartforReinheart: 02-23-2015 at 03:18 PM.
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02-23-2015, 03:12 PM
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Probably because it's just not a very popular surname.

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02-23-2015, 03:18 PM
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I don't think he's saying opposing teams defensive strategies is the problem. I think he's saying NHL and lower leagues aren't letting creative players actually develop, build teams around them, and then see whether or not they could be stopped. He's not laying the blame at the feet of datsyuks opponent, he's laying the blame at the feet of his coach.

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02-23-2015, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Carr's Rug View Post
is this true?

I'm so out of the NBA loop I have no concept of it's popularity. Granted the Nuggets are terrible, but I don't know many people who care about the NBA in Denver.

I just assumed it was perceived to have a spike in popularity since ESPN dropped hockey and took on the NBA.
NBA popularity/success has skyrocketed the past 10 years to the point where a lot of people forget it wasn't in a very good place in that post-Jordan era.

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02-23-2015, 03:24 PM
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Larionov kind of lost me on the first sentence. I NEVER heard of such a thought being taken seriously, so it comes across as butt-hurt.

I would simply counter that the speed and physicality of all players today neutralizes much of the offensive skill, at least in NHL size rinks. If speed and skill were beating good defense in NA, we'd see more speed and skill in coaching strategies.

We'll never see an open-ice game again unless the NHL goes to international size rinks. Even then it wouldn't have a huge impact and scoring wouldn't increase. We just might see more skating in the O-zone.

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02-23-2015, 03:25 PM
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But hockey fans should also remember the legacy of the Soviet teams of that era. In a strange way, the flashes of brilliance you see from Toews, Kane and Crosby are a product of Soviet creativity.......
I cant belive russian propaganda has moved into hockey. Is he on direct orders from the kremlin? I find that quote extremely insulting.

I guess McDavid should thank Russian hockey too?

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02-23-2015, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartforReinheart View Post
I cant belive russian propaganda has moved into hockey. Is he on direct orders from the kremlin? I find that quote extremely insulting.

I guess McDavid should thank Russian hockey too?
It's not complete B.S. if you look at how hockey was played in North America before the Soviets entered the scene.

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02-23-2015, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
It's not complete B.S. if you look at how hockey was played in North America before the Soviets entered the scene.
You think Kane, Toews and Crosby would tell you the same? I grew up watching and playing hockey in the 80s 90s until now and I am not sure there is a Canadian player who modeled themselves off of soviet hockey. I am 99% sure I never saw a Russian jersey on a Canadian hockey player growing up and even now.

Sorry not buying it. Not buying if Russians never joined the NHL players wouldn't be deking and dangling the way they do now. That is nonsense. The greatest moves I ever saw came from Mario Lemieux (Sakic, Yzerman and Gretzky too) My guess is 99% off North Americans modeled themselves after them. I mean that is what it is all about, mimicking a style.

and another reason why I don't buy it is McDavid is McDavid before he knew where Russia is on a map. That goes with Kane, Toews and Crosby. Those players are those type of plyers long before "Soviet Hockey" influences their playing style.


Last edited by HeartforReinheart: 02-23-2015 at 03:48 PM.
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02-23-2015, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartforReinheart View Post
You think Kane, Toews and Crosby would tell you the same? I grew up watching and playing hockey in the 80s 90s until now and I am not sure there is a Canadian player who modeled themselves off of soviet hockey. I am 99% sure I never saw a Russian jersey on a Canadian hockey player growing up and even now.

Sorry not buying it. Not buying if Russians never joined the NHL players wouldn't be deking and dangling the way they do now. That is nonsense.
It doesn't matter what they would tell you. I didn't say they modeled themselves after Soviet players, I'm saying the Soviet game had a profound impact on the way hockey is played everywhere, including North America, starting in the 1950's. I also didn't say anything about Russians joining the NHL.

How many times do North Americans describe Europeans of playing a very "Canadian" or "North American" game. I bet you don't find that to be offensive. Whether those players grew up watching the NHL or not is irrelevant because the influence of North American hockey is obviously massive around the world, both directly and indirectly.

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02-23-2015, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
It doesn't matter what they would tell you. I didn't say they modeled themselves after Soviet players, I'm saying the Soviet game had a profound impact on the way hockey is played everywhere, including North America, starting in the 1950's. I also didn't say anything about Russians joining the NHL.

How many times do North Americans describe Europeans of playing a very "Canadian" or "North American" game. I bet you don't find that to be offensive. Whether those players grew up watching the NHL or not is irrelevant because the influence of North American hockey is obviously massive around the world, both directly and indirectly.
You are making blanket statements about a style. Larianov is talking about specific players. Saying soviets influence the game is one thing and I find reasonable. I understand what you are saying but that is not the quote from Larianov. He directly states Crosby, Toews and Kane play the way they play because of soviet hockey.

When he starts picking exact names and saying Crosby's creativity is from soviet hockey is pure BS.


Larianov
Quote:
. In a strange way, the flashes of brilliance you see from Toews, Kane and Crosby are a product of Soviet creativity....

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02-23-2015, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
NBA popularity/success has skyrocketed the past 10 years to the point where a lot of people forget it wasn't in a very good place in that post-Jordan era.
Pretty much this.

The past half-decade has had an incredible story line (the Decision and its fallout), compounded by forward thinking rule changes that bred progressive outlooks on offense (the 7 Seconds Or Less Suns) and defense (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Thibodeau) that made the game infinitely more watchable than the infinity post ups and murderous team defenses (Pistons, Pacers) that had come before. The NHL had a similar thing going, but scaled back its own "let's have offense again" rules, and can really only thank the resurgence of big markets like Boston and Chicago and the overall popularity of live sports rights for its current position.

The differences between the two leagues are compounded by the NBA doing things like: having multiple watchable-to-fantastic studio presentations for national broadcasts, centralizing player tracking and advanced statistics - putting the onus on data application instead of collection, and providing connected journalists with spools of data to augment their analysis - and generally supporting savvy, highbrow coverage of their product.

Meanwhile, the best hockey fans have is PuckDaddy (who sucks because of how frequently they have to go to the clickbait well because Yahoo) and an unwatchable NBCSN studio panel.

My barometer for all this is: ask for a basketball podcast, you'll get 50. Ask for a hockey one, and you'll get "I dunno, maybe MvsW..."

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02-23-2015, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartforReinheart View Post
You are making blanket statements about a style. Larianov is talking about specific players.
I understand what you are saying but that is not the quote from Larianov. He directly states Crosby, Toews and Kane and the way they are because of soviet hockey.

When he starts picking exact names and saying Crosby's creativity is from soviet hockey is pure BS.


Larianov
I wouldn't say what he's saying but if you look at his perspective it's not total B.S., which is what I said from the jump. The Soviets deserve a large degree of the credit -- certainly not sole credit -- for bringing in the off-puck movement and east-west play that is second nature today into the sport. Obviously there aren't direct links but indirectly the legacy manifests.

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02-23-2015, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
I wouldn't say what he's saying but if you look at his perspective it's not total B.S., which is what I said from the jump. The Soviets deserve a large degree of the credit -- certainly not sole credit -- for bringing in the off-puck movement and east-west play that is second nature today into the sport. Obviously there aren't direct links but indirectly the legacy manifests.
Ok, last time I post about this point. Again, saying soviet hockey had an influence on the game is one thing and understable. I never argued with that.

He actually says Crosby's CREATIVITY is a product of soviet hockey. That is BS and pure Russian propaganda. Read his article. I gave you the quote.

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02-23-2015, 04:04 PM
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Like he said, he was 150lb smaller guy, guys are bigger and bigger every year.

Go to International Ice and you'll see a more wide open game, al la the Olympics. Ice is too small.

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02-23-2015, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartforReinheart View Post
Ok, last time I post about this point. Again, saying soviet hockey had an influence on the game is one thing and understable. I never argued with that.

He actually says Crosby's CREATIVITY is a product of soviet hockey. That is BS and pure Russian propaganda. Read his article. I gave you the quote.
To me it just follows from what I said. In his mind the Soviets brought a certain kind of creativity into the sport and that legacy lives on through players like the ones he chose to mentioned.

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02-23-2015, 04:06 PM
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NBA booms because they don't play defense, much like the NFL. They have legislated out all of the true advantages.

Can't really do that in hockey, they'll always find something new.

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02-23-2015, 04:07 PM
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Try not to see it as a geopolitical statement. I'm sure he'd credit ovechkins style in some measure to Canadian players who came before him. Were all in this big hockey stew pot together. In a similar sense, neuvirth owes his style to French Canada, but we all share it now.

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