If Canada Cup 76 had been 7 game series, who would have won and why? For the first time, the best players from the worlds best hockey countries - Canada, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the US competed in an international tournament. Canada was naturally considered the team to beat. Led by legendary coach Scotty Bowman, the team included such all-stars as Phil Esposito, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Darryl Sittler, Bobby Hull, Denis Potvin, Bobby Clark and the great Bobby Orr in his last hockey tournament. Its one of the greatest showdowns in hockey history as the Canadians faced Leafs legend Borje Salming, Vladimir Dzurilla, Victor Zhluktov, Matti Hagman, Alexander Maltsev and Milan Novy on the opposing teams.
Canada. Neither the Czechoslovakians or the Soviets took the tournament seriously. For USSR, there was a lot of skepticism about the legitimacy of the tournament and they kept many stars at home to test the water. While the Czechoslovakians were good, they were simply too far behind Canada talent wise to win a best of seven. Although Holocek would likely have broken the slump and stole a game or two from Canada. But more so, they felt the Soviets were the enemy. Fun to test themself against Canada, and they'll play hard, but the fire inside ignited against the Soviets.
So, Talent wise, it's Canada then USSR then Czecholsovakia, but Canada played like it was a playoff series, something really meaningful, USSR played like it was an exhibition and Czechoslovakia played like it was a regular season.
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Seven game series? 4-1 for Canada. The Czechs most likely steal a win in overtime. But Canada in '76 was just too strong for anyone and my personal opinion is that this team would win against anyone in a 7 game series. That includes the '81 Russians and the '87 Canadians.
You have to remember, it was Dryden and Parent both injured. That could have been cause for concern but Vachon played unbelievable and whenever someon criticizes his career (not in the Hall yet) I bring up '76. He was fabulous. When you think of it the other goalies on that team were Chico Resch and Gerry Cheevers. I'm glad Vachon held the fort. Because Cheevers wasnt quite as good in '76 anymore and ntohign against Resch but he never had any proof that he could win a tournament like this one