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Twenty years of Soviet Hockey: 1962 - 1982

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10-24-2008, 06:47 AM
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Sturminator
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Twenty years of Soviet Hockey: 1962 - 1982

I'm going to post, over time, the complete resumes of the most notable Soviet forwards to compete in this era, which could be called the "Golden Era" of Soviet hockey. The dates selected are arbitrary, of course, but not without reason. They represent essentially the timespan which covers the beginning of Anatoli Firsov's Soviet League career and the end of Aleksandr Maltsev's.

My research has been devoted to forwards only, with a focus on bringing together into one place all available information regarding Soviet League and international (IIHF, Olympics and various Canada vs. World tournaments) scoring, all star and MVP voting, and all other relevant information. One of the biggest problems faced in the past when trying to evaluate Soviet players is that the information has been so disparate, so incomprehensive and spread out among various poorly organized sources. There is no hockeyreference.com for Soviet League and international data, no season scoring tables, etc.

This has been a laborious task for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that this information is hard to come by and rife with errors and inconsistencies among the various sources. I have tried, whenever possible, to reconcile these errors and create a composite picture of the truth through double and triple referencing of sources, but the conclusions are as imperfect as the data. I hope this research will be of value to the further appreciation and honoring of the careers of the players involved.

Before we begin, questions to consider:

- I would also like to open the discussion about Soviet MVP voting, observable trends in the voting results, possible problems with it, and its value in determining relative greatness among the players.

- We should also ask the question: to what extent has the legendary 1972 Summit Series distorted our perception of the Soviet players involved?

I will begin by posting full player profiles of the relevant forwards. Season-by-season breakdowns of Soviet League and international results will follow. A full list of sources will be posted for scrutiny at the conclusion of the project, and I invite any and all to fact check my work. So...first off: Anatoli Firsov.

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10-24-2008, 07:30 AM
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Anatoli Firsov:

Born February 1st, 1941 in Moscow, USSR.
Club team: CSKA



Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

1st (65-66), 2nd (66-67), 2nd (67-68), 5th (68-69), 5th (69-70)

*note* - first season in which full scoring data is available for the Soviet League is 70-71. Data from before 70-71 is only goals. Data as deep as top-10 scoring is available for certain seasons, but not for others. In order to reduce distortions and be as fair as possible to all players involved, I have therefore drawn the line at top-5 scoring finishes. At any rate, it wasn't such a deep league that finishing out of the top-5 scorers probably meant much.

Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

1st (67-68), 1st (68-69), 1st (70-71), 6th (71-72), 7th (69-70)

*note* - all available sources indicate that the 67-68 Soviet League season was the first in which MVP voting was conducted and a trophy awarded. Given Firsov's performances the two years before the 67-68 season, it is safe (though not certain) to assume he would have done well in the MVP voting had such a thing existed in those years.

Soviet League all-star:

(63-64) - (65-66) - (66-67) - (67-68) - (68-69)

*note* - these are 1st team all-star finishes only. Data is available for some seasons as deep as 3rd team all-stars in the Soviet League, but again, in the interests of reducing distortion and because the league was relatively shallow on high-end talent, only the 1st team selections have been included. The Soviet league 1st team all-star forwards seem to have been simply the three best forwards, regardless of position, perhaps reflecting a broader Soviet attitude that forward positions were largely interchangeable.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

IIHF Best Forward:

1967 - 1971

IIHF all-star:

1967 - 1969 - 1970 - 1971

World Championships top-5 scoring:

1st (1967) - 1st (1969) - 1st (1971) - 3rd (1970)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Olympics top-5 scoring:

1st (1968) - 5th (1972)


Last edited by Sturminator: 10-30-2008 at 08:02 AM.
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10-24-2008, 07:49 AM
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Notes and comments on Firsov's career:

- Why didn't he play in the 1972 Summit Series? The old story goes that Firsov was loyal to Tasarov and refused to play when the coach was replaced by Bobrov. That may be so, but it does appear that Firsov's career had taken a sharp downward turn by the time 1972 rolled around. He placed 6th in MVP voting at the conclusion of the 1972 season, and never again got an MVP vote.

- We begin to see an interesting incongruity between Firsov's scoring finishes in the Soviet League and his MVP voting finishes in same. He finishes 2nd in goals on the way to his 1st MVP award (67-68) - ok, no problems so far. He finishes 5th in goals and again wins the MVP the next year (68-69). Ok. He finishes 5th in goals again in 69-70, but drops to 7th in MVP voting. He wins his 3rd Soviet League MVP award the next season (70-71) without placing in the top-5 scorers, and is not even an all-star.

So what's happening here? Firsov's third and final MVP award is particularly interesting, given that he wasn't one of the league's top scorers, nor was he a 1st team all-star. It is reminiscent of Ted Kennedy's Hart season, or Bobby Clarke's first Hart in 72-73, in which he was only a 2nd team all-star at center. Was Firsov that kind of player? The differences between his performances in 68-69 and 69-70 seem to have nothing to do with scoring (both times he placed 5th), and yet in one season he was 1st in MVP voting and in the other 7th. Are the Soviet MVP voters taking more than scoring into account when casting their MVP votes? It appears so. We'll follow the trends in Soviet League MVP voting as the thread progresses.

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10-24-2008, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
... essentially the timespan which covers the beginning of Anatoli Firsov's Soviet League career and the end of Aleksandr Maltsev's.

My research has been devoted to forwards only
completely arbitrary so you won't mind if gaps are filled here too, no reason not to make it a more complete project

between us we could do it all!

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10-25-2008, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
completely arbitrary so you won't mind if gaps are filled here too...
Of course not. I'm choosing to focus on forwards for the time being because a forward's career can be more "scientifically" broken down by sifting through raw data: scoring finishes, MVP voting, etc. Defensemen are always harder to quantitatively evaluate.

The date is arbitrary simply because I have to draw the line somewhere, and my intent is to focus on the "Golden Era" of Soviet hockey that basically begins with Firsov and ends with Maltsev. We often act like we know a lot about this era, but I think to this point, much of what went on has been hidden in shadow.

Help is always appreciated.

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10-25-2008, 12:08 PM
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Boris Mikhailov:

Born June 10th, 1944 in Moscow, USSR.
Club team: CSKA



Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

2nd (69-70), 2nd (74-75), 2nd (77-78), 3rd (70-71), 3rd (78-79), 4th (68-69), 4th (76-77), 5th (67-68), 5th (72-73), 5th (79-80)

Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

1st (77-78), 1st (78-79), 2nd (73-74), 3rd (76-77), 3rd (79-80), 4th (72-73), 5th (68-69), 5th (74-75), 11th (75-76)

Soviet League all-star:

(68-69) - (72-73) - (73-74) - (74-75) - (76-77) - (77-78) - (78-79)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

IIHF Best Forward:

1973 - 1979

IIHF all-star:

1973 - 1979

World Championships top-5 scoring:

1st (1974), 2nd (1969), 2nd (1973), 2nd (1977), 4th (1978), 5th (1971), 5th (1979)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Olympics top-5 scoring:

n/a

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other:

1979 Challenge Cup MVP



Excerpt from The Red Machine:

Quote:
Compared with their rivals, the Russians may have lacked heart - but it wasn't on account of Mikhailov. On occasion he was even prepared to berate his own players. More than once, though not during the 1972 series, he dressed down Tretiak. "What are you here for?" he scolded. "To let the pucks in?" Tretiak came to respect Mikhailov, however, calling him the "fighter of all fighters."

The Kharlamov-Petrov-Mikhailov line became the 1970s successor to Loktev-Almetov-Alexandrov of the 1960s and Bobrov-Shuvalov-Babich of the 1950s. All three units played for the Central Red Army club, as would be the case with the trio of the 1980s: Krutov-Larionov-Makarov.

"Mikhailov was the workaholic," said Vladimir Yurzinov, who coached the 1970s line for several years. "He played very tough. Petrov had the amazing shot. He was strong physically and he could score. And Kharlamov was simply a universal player. He could do all things."

The line often worked a special play when they had a three-on-one or a three-on-two break. Mikhailov was a left-hand shot, but he would come down the right wing. Petrov and Kharlamov would control the puck on the left side, keeping the goalie's attention over there. Then, with the defense beginning to commit, one of them would get it over to Mikhailov who was right against the far corner of the cage. Another set play they and other players used effectively would see a Soviet player rush around a defenseman but, rather than break to the front of the net, he would keep going around behind it. The goalie would start moving across but the skater would fire a back pass to a trailing winger who would one-time the puck past the surprised goalie on the near side.

Mikhailov, who symbolized the evil empire for a lot of Canadians with his style of play, was atypical of the Russian players in his desire to set himself in front of the net, take the hits, get the garbage goals. Kharlamov devoted a lot of time to studying goaltenders' moves and concluded that "it is important that a player does not go into a glide before shooting. The shot should be taken in your natural stride." He also emphasized that the puck should be shot to the corner away from which the player is moving. Mikhailov, he noted, was the expert at doing this. "He always shot the puck in towards the goalie's steadying foot when the goalie was moving sideways. It is impossible for the goalie to stop a puck with this foot."

The good soldier Mikhailov started his career in Moscow and eventually got a place in the Central Army hockey school. Nobody said anything to him for a period of several months, and he got the impression, an accurate one, that he wasn't doing terribly well. Like Kharlamov, he was sent away to the provinces to play in the second division. He played well there, in Saratov, under the coaching skills of Robert Cherenkov, later a coach with the Soviets for the 1976 Canada Cup and, after that, the junior coach who helped develop Mogilny. Then Mikhailov was invited to play for the elite-division Locomotif team in Moscow, where Zimin had started. A stand-out there, he was pursued by Tarasov who convinced him to move back to Central Army.
Mikhailov's Skating:

Quote:
Mikhailov is what I'd call a good, but not great skater. Here, you see Mikhailov, in the 1976 game between CSKA and Boston, blocking a shot from the point at even strength, and going the other way for a breakaway, which he cannot finish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Txy4u_b8ds&t=11m20s

Here, you can see Boris in the same game make a very intelligent play to deflect a pass back to the point along the boards, and then blow by Dallas Smith in a race for the loose puck, starting a 3-on-2 break which the line eventually converts into a goal. Note Mikhailov wears jersey #7 here, which he always wore for CSKA. #13 was his jersey number when he played for the Red Army team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Txy4u_b8ds&t=60m5s
Mikhailov's Passing:

Quote:
Boris Mikhailov is typically known in North America as a physical net crasher, but he had strong technical skills, and was a good passer with strong hockey sense who understood where other players were around him. Here, we see Mikhailov, in the 1976 CSKA vs. Philadelphia Flyers game, retrieve a puck that has been dumped in, take a look over his shoulder as he's skating towards the end boards with Gary Dornhoefer trailing him, and then turn and fire a 100 foot pass to Valeri Kharlamov at center ice. Kharlamov went in on a partial break, and was taken down by Moose Dupont for a penalty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2VUUzezVf8&t=41m15s

Here, we see Mikhailov, in the 1980 game between CSKA and the Buffalo Sabres, move from in front of the net to the boards to grab a loose puck behind the net. He knows that Kharlamov is moving into the slot, and lays a perfect no-look backhand pass on Kharlamov's stick for the shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzLQNfZJzuM&t=11m35s

A highlight reel of passes is only going to tell us so much about a player because every dog has his day, but the above are not the kind of plays made by players who do not have strong hockey sense and passing skills.


Mikhailov's All-Around Game:

Quote:
Skating and hockey sense/passing can maybe be demonstrated by showing a few particular plays, but defensive play is much harder to establish with video evidence. I think the best way to do it is probably to just take a single game, and show what the player was doing over the course of the match. Individual good defensive plays may be made from time-to-time by any player, but seeing the work done over the course of a single game should give us a better understanding of Mikhailov's play. All of the footage below is taken from Game 3 of the 1974 Super Series. Mikhailov wears jersey #13 in this game, as he is representing the Soviet national team in this game:

Quote:
1) Here, we see a Soviet shot knocked down at the point on the first shift of the game, and Mikhailov skating hard to be the first forward back on the backcheck. He puts himself in position to check J. C. Tremblay and makes a return pass impossible in what had been a 3-on-2 break before Mikhailov got back into the play. The forward is forced to take a weak shot from a bad angle, and the Soviets get the puck back without any real scoring chance for team Canada.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=0m55s
Quote:
2) Here, we see a typical Mikhailov play on the Soviet powerplay. He controls the pass off his skate, takes it over the blueline, cuts to the middle drawing a couple of defenders to him, passes to the point and goes to the net. Mikhailov was not a primary playmaker and understood his role on the team, but he was very good at making the smart, simple play, when he had an opening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=7m25s
Quote:
3) Here, we see Boris make a strong stickcheck on Mark Howe off of a faceoff in the neutral zone, which very nearly springs him for a breakaway, but Howe manages to interfere with Mikhailov just enough to get him to overskate the puck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=20m25s
Quote:
4) Here is a pretty good example of Mikhailov forechecking Paul Shmyr.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=21m55s
Quote:
5) Here is a nice example of Soviet east-west style hockey as Kharlamov and Mikhailov enter the zone (from opposite of their normal sides) on the powerplay. Mikhailov takes the pass and makes a quick forehand to backhand deke that was very typical of him before slipping a pass to the man at the halfboards through the Canadian who is trying to check him. If you watch this clip a little longer, you'll see Yuri Lyapkin make a horrible pass to Vasiliev which is intercepted by Bruce MacGregor, and then demonstrate awful backchecking as the Canadians go the other way and MacGregor scores a shortie. Yeah, Lyapkin was bad defensively.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=24m20s
Quote:
6) Another typical Mikhailov play. He makes a little lateral move at the blueline as he approaches a wall of Canadians, and plays the puck down into the left corner for Petrov to chase it. Mikhailov very rarely turned the puck over in the neutral zone, and would make the simple play if he thought that was the best way to gain the zone. He actually seems to have been more responsible for the Soviet transition game than either of his linemates from the games I've watched to this point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=32m55s
Quote:
7) Mikhailov scoring a quick goal on a rebound, something he did a lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=35m55s
Quote:
8) Mikhailov with good support in the defensive zone here, controls a loose puck in front of the net and skates it up ice. Also a pretty good demonstration of his skating, although you see him fumble the puck at the end when he tries to make a fancy play with it in the Canadian zone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=41m52s
Quote:
9) Mikhailov trolling Paul Shmyr again, this time on a 4-on-4. Mikhailov goes for the strip at the point in the defensive zone, doesn't get it, but circles back and steals the puck from Shmyr from behind as he tries to set up a shot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=44m20s
Quote:
10) Here, we see Mikhailov deep in the offensive zone after a faceoff when the puck is turned over. He puts his head down and skates hard on the backcheck, getting in position to defend the Canadian counterattack, which goes nowhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=54m40s
Quote:
11) Here is a play which kind of sums up everything that Mikhailov brought to those Soviet teams. You have to watch the whole play, from the Canadian end, to the Soviet end, and then back to the Canadian zone, where Petrov scores. Mikhailov forechecks effectively and wins the puck (again from Paul Shmyr), but it looks like he gets his stick lifted as he tries to center. He is the first backchecker among the forwards back in the Soviet zone, and makes a nice, quick pass up ice in the defensive zone to get the play going the other way. He beats a
check from Ralph Backstrom, receives a pass from Vasiliev in the offensive zone, and makes a smart, simple pass over to Petrov, who is skating open at the side of the Canadian net, and scores.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=60m45s
Quote:
12) Finally, a nice shallow forechecking play by the KPM line forces a turnover just inside of the Canadian blueline. Petrov picks it up, and passes to Mikhailov, who is at a sharp angle to the left of the net, so passes back to Petrov for a good scoring opportunity, which he cannot finish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMN7i91jCBU&t=81m35s
Mikhailov is a player who you appreciate more the more you watch him. He was shockingly well-rounded for a Soviet of his era, and did a lot of little things right in all zones of the ice. He was not blessed with the technical skills or blazing speed of Kharlamov, but he had excellent hockey sense and played within himself, worked and grinded constantly, and had good, quick hands, which allowed him to control the puck in tight spaces and pounce on rebounds or deflections when he had the chance. He is a quite modern looking player, which makes him something of an anachronism on those old Soviet teams.


Last edited by Sturminator: 05-03-2013 at 06:33 AM.
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10-25-2008, 12:23 PM
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Notes and comments on Mikhailov's career:

- there is considerable misinformation on the internet regarding Boris Mikhailov's Soviet League career. I've seen him listed as winning the Soviet League scoring title three times. According to my research, he never did. However, I believe his ten top-5 scoring finishes speak for themselves.

- Mikhailov's MVP voting finishes are very impressive. Two wins and eight top-5 finishes in an era of strong competition is something to consider. There is a strong argument that Mikhailov's Soviet League career is actually superior to Kharlamov's, whose profile we will see later (I'm doing them chronologically by birth year).

- Boris' international career is surprisingly limited. He won Best Forward and all-star honors at the World Championships twice and was a top-5 scorer quite a few times, but he received only the two all-star nods, and was a disappointing Olympian. His MVP award at the 1979 Challenge Cup is, however, a plus.

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10-25-2008, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Notes and comments on Mikhailov's career:

- there is considerable misinformation on the internet regarding Boris Mikhailov's Soviet League career. I've seen him listed as winning the Soviet League scoring title three times. According to my research, he never did. However, I believe his ten top-5 scoring finishes speak for themselves.
Read as led in goals scored three times, that I believe he did do.

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10-25-2008, 06:05 PM
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Read as led in goals scored three times, that I believe he did do.
That is correct, although Mikhailov tied with two other players (Yakushev and xxxxxxx) for the goalscoring lead in 75-76 and was so far behind in assists that his offensive output is hardly comparable. This was the one down season during Mikhailov's long peak - he finished 11th in MVP voting.

It is important to remember that the Soviet League did not count second assists in this era, which means that the points crown (at least for the playmakers) has even more weight than it would in the NHL. Focusing on goal-scoring titles in the Soviet League would introduce an even further distortion away from playmakers (relative to NHL stats) than the already pronounced distortion of not counting the second assist. With that in mind, I consider counting goal-scoring titles in the Soviet League as anything close to equal value with points titles (especially for CSKA players) rather inappropriate. At any rate, Mikhailov wasn't much of a playmaker for the first 2/3rds of his peak. He first totaled more than 15 primary assists in a season in 76-77, at the age of 32.

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10-26-2008, 12:06 PM
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Aleksandr Yakushev:

Born January 2nd, 1947 in Moscow, USSR.
Club team: Spartak



Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

1st (68-69), 2nd (75-76), 3rd (73-74), 4th (66-67), 5th (69-70)

Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

3rd (74-75), 4th (71-72), 5th (75-76), 6th (73-74), 9th (79-80)

*note* - beyond Mikhailov's win, no Soviet League MVP voting data is available for the 78-79 season. Yakushev may have factored into the MVP voting for that season, but I don't have the raw data at this point.

Soviet League all-star:

(75-76)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

IIHF Best Forward:

1975

IIHF all-star:

1974 - 1975

World Championships top-5 scoring:

3rd (1972), 3rd (1974), 4th (1975), 5th (1973)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Olympics top-5 scoring:

n/a

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other:

1972 Summit Series: 2nd points (1st on Soviet team)


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10-26-2008, 01:30 PM
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Notes and comments on Yakushev's career:

- there is extremely little congruity between Yakushev's scoring results and his MVP voting results. His best finish in the MVP race (74-75), he was not a top-5 scorer, and he got no MVP votes when he led the league in goalscoring (68-69). There is only moderate congruity between his scoring and MVP finishes in the other seasons, as well. Again, the Soviet MVP voters seem to have cared about a lot more than scoring.

- the Summit Series may well have been the pinnacle of Yakushev's career. His results outside of that series, both in the Soviet League and international play, are underwhelming compared to other Soviet forwards of his generation.

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10-28-2008, 12:58 AM
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Vladimir Petrov:

Born June 30th, 1947 in Krasnoyarsk, USSR.
Club team: CSKA



Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

1st (69-70), 1st (72-73), 1st (74-75), 1st (77-78), 1st (78-79), 2nd (76-77), 3rd (71-72), 5th (75-76)

Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

2nd (72-73), 2nd (76-77), 4th (74-75), 8th (69-70), 8th (77-78), 9th (75-76)

*note* - beyond Mikhailov's win, no Soviet League MVP voting data is available for the 78-79 season. Given Petrov's points title that season, he may have faired well in the voting, but I don't have the raw data at this point.

Soviet League all-star:

(72-73) - (74-75) - (76-77) - (78-79)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

IIHF Best Forward:

n/a

IIHF all-star:

1973 - 1975 - 1977 - 1979

World Championships top-5 scoring:

1st (1973), 1st (1977), 1st (1979), 2nd (1975), 4th (1971)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Olympics top-5 scoring:

n/a


Last edited by Sturminator: 11-01-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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10-28-2008, 08:09 AM
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Notes and comments on Petrov's career:

Here we see a very strange correlation between scoring and MVP voting results. Before the 72-73 season, Petrov had already finished 1st and 3rd in Soviet League scoring in two of the three seasons before the Summit Series, and yet had never placed higher than 8th in the MVP vote. Why not? And why did he start to factor into the voting more heavily later on in his career? Perhaps the key to answering this question, and perhaps to unlocking the mystery of the Soviet League MVP voting in general, lies in this quote from chidlovski's Summit Series profile of Petrov:

Quote:
Vladimir Petrov was a great offensive force throughout his career, but he credited playing against the Canadians for making him a complete player.

"By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman. Phil Esposito and Bobby Clarke forced me to play a more defensive style. The experience made me a better all around player," he said.
After 1972, Petrov's work as a scorer doesn't really change much, but we see him get a lot more MVP love from the voters for his efforts. In 72-73, he again wins the points crown, and places 2nd in MVP voting. 73-74 is a poor scoring year for Petrov, but he does garner a few MVP votes, enough to place 13th, which is better than he did in 71-72, when he was third in the league in points. In 74-75, Petrov leads the league in points again, and places 4th in the MVP vote. In 75-76, he is 5th in points, and places 9th in MVP voting. In 76-77, he is 2nd in scoring and MVP voting. In 77-78, he again wins the scoring crown, but is not an allstar, and places 8th in the MVP vote. In 78-79, Petrov wins the scoring crown for the last time and is an all-star, but MVP voting beyond Mikhailov's win is not available.

So what is going on here? If you believe Petrov's own comments that his defensive game improved after the 1972 Summit Series, that goes a long way to explaining certain voting trends in the Soviet League MVP results. Only the 77-78 season seems to be an outlier from this point of view, but perhaps he wasn't backchecking much that year? Reading between the lines, the statement: "By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman," could easily read: "I was considered a floater." Are the Soviet League voters taking a player's 2-way game into account when assessing his ultimate value in the MVP voting process? It certainly appears so.


Last edited by Sturminator: 10-28-2008 at 08:18 AM.
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10-29-2008, 06:50 PM
  #14
VanIslander
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Of course it's understood that on the ATD forum you'd constrain your analysis to the drafted Soviets:

32- Viacheslav Fetisov, D
43- Valeri Kharlamov, LW
82- Valeri Vasiliev, D
84- Vladislav Tretiak, G
92- Boris Mikhailov, RW
106- Sergei Makarov, RW
117- Anatoli Firsov, LW/C
126- Alexei Kasatonov, D
133- Vladimir Konstantinov, D
137- Igor Larionov, C
150- Alexander Ragulin, D
156- Vladimir Petrov, C
167- Alexander Yakushev, LW
177- Aleksandr Maltsev, RW
213- Nikolai Sologubov, D
216- Vladimir Lutchenko, D
223- Vsevolod Bobrov, LW
269- Vladimir Krutov, LW

There should be a few more drafted, but if not, there will be a MLD so if you're patient and wait until a guy is picked before you discuss him. Thanks.


Last edited by VanIslander: 10-30-2008 at 04:33 AM.
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10-30-2008, 03:00 AM
  #15
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You've made the same mistake again VanI, Nedomansky is not soviet, he's Czech.

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10-30-2008, 08:00 AM
  #16
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Valeri Kharlamov:

Born January 14th, 1948 in Moscow, USSR.
Club team: CSKA



Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

1st (71-72), 2nd (70-71), 3rd (68-69), 5th (69-70), 5th (77-78)

Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

1st (72-73), 2nd (71-72), 2nd (74-75), 2nd (75-76), 4th (70-71), 5th (69-70), 5th (73-74), 7th (77-78), 8th (76-77)

*note* - beyond Mikhailov's win, no Soviet League MVP voting data is available for the 78-79 season. Kharlamov was in decline at this point, but his points totals for the 78-79 season were still quite good. It is unclear where he may have placed in the voting.

*note* - Kharlamov tied Maltsev at 130 in total MVP voting points in the 71-72 season, but got two fewer 1st place votes, and was thus the 2nd place finisher. Their respective vote totals were: Kharlamov [25-25-5] / Maltsev [27-22-5].

Soviet League all-star:

(70-71) - (71-72) - (72-73) - (73-74) - (74-75) - (75-76) - (77-78)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

IIHF Best Forward:

n/a

IIHF all-star:

1971 - 1972 - 1973 - 1976

World Championships top-5 scoring:

2nd (1971), 2nd (1979), 3rd (1973), 4th (1977), 5th (1969), 5th (1975)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Olympics top-5 scoring:

1st (1972), 5th (1976)

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10-30-2008, 11:09 AM
  #17
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Notes and comments on Kharlamov's career:

- and here we have the other side of the Petrov coin: a giant incongruity between MVP and scoring finishes in which a guy does much better than his scoring would indicate. Again we ask: what gives? I see four possible answers:

1) Playmaking. The Soviet League awarded only first assists. There is a reason the NHL introduced the 2nd assist: without it, a lot of offensive production falls through the cracks. Kharlamov was a dynamic player who was capable of controlling the tempo of a game, and was easily the most creative player on the Army line. Perhaps the Soviet voters credited Kharlamov for a high level of offensive production that did not show up in the stats?

2) Two-way play. From what I remember of Kharlamov, he did give a fair amount of effort on the backcheck, and he was capable of controlling the puck for long periods of time. I don't think anyone would call Kharlamov a great defensive forward, but he wasn't a floater, either, as far as I can remember.

3) Leadership. Seems unlikely, given that Mikhailov was the captain and always viewed as the leader of both CSKA and the Red Army team.

4) Style. It is possible that the Soviet voters simply found Kharlamov's game more aesthetically pleasing or that he was lionized by the Soviet propaganda machine and that politics entered into the MVP voting. I think this is false, but it is at least worth entertaining given what is known about Soviet politics at the time.

My opinion as to why Kharlamov's scoring is so much lower than Petrov's and his MVP voting results so much better is a combination of 1 and 2. Kharlamov was always a reliable 2-way player, while Petrov likely began his career as guy who liked to stand in front of the net and pick up his teammates' garbage, and struggled with his poor skating throughout. Kharlamov's MVP results probably also reflect a large element of "hidden offense" that is stripped out of the scoring results by the exclusion of the 2nd assist.

Even crediting MVP voting results more highly than scoring (which I think is fair), it is difficult to call his career much better than Mikhailov's when looked at from afar. They have the same number of Soviet League all-star selections. Their MVP results are quite similar. Their IIHF results are roughly equal, with Kharlamov getting more all-star nods, but Mikhailov picking up two Best Forward awards. Kharlamov was easily the better Olympian and better in the Summit Series, but Mikhailov was MVP of the 1979 Challenge Cup. Edge to Kharlamov in terms of international play, but edge to Mikhailov in terms of Soviet League play, for the raw scoring and for winning two MVPs, if nothing else.

The lion's share of Kharlamov's success is restricted to a narrower timeframe - basically six dominant years from 1971 until his first car crash in 1976 - and I think it is quite clear that he peaked higher than any Russian before or since. Mikhailov gets the edge in terms of career value, though. In the final analysis, I don't think the two men are far apart.

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10-30-2008, 03:14 PM
  #18
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Aleksandr Maltsev:

Born April 20th, 1949 in Kirovo-Chepetsk, USSR.
Club team: Dynamo



Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

1st (70-71), 2nd (73-74), 3rd (75-76), 3rd (76-77)

Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

1st (71-72), 2nd (69-70), 2nd (80-81), 3rd (70-71), 4th (73-74), 4th (75-76), 4th (77-78), 4th (79-80), 6th (76-77), 8th (72-73), 8th (74-75)

*note* - beyond Mikhailov's win, no Soviet League MVP voting data is available for the 78-79 season. Maltsev was injured this season, and certainly didn't factor into the voting.

*note* - Maltsev tied Kharlamov at 130 in total MVP voting points in the 71-72 season, but got two more 1st place votes, and was thus the winner. Their respective vote totals were: Kharlamov [25-25-5] / Maltsev [27-22-5].

Soviet League all-star:

(69-70) - (70-71) - (71-72) - (73-74) - (77-78) - (79-80) - (80-81)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

IIHF Best Forward:

1970 - 1972 - 1981

IIHF all-star:

1970 - 1971 - 1972 - 1978 - 1981

World Championships top-5 scoring:

1st (1970), 1st (1972), 3rd (1971), 3rd (1978), 3rd (1981)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Olympics top-5 scoring:

1st (1976), 5th (1972)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other:

Canada Cup 1976: allstar

All-time Soviet international goal leader: 213

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10-31-2008, 01:34 PM
  #19
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Notes and comments on Maltsev's career:

- Maltsev's career seems to have been somewhat a compromise between Kharlamov's and Mikhailov's. On the one hand, his style of play and scoring-to-MVP voting results are very Kharlamov. On the other hand, his career looks a lot more like Mikhailov's in that he has a brief peak of true dominance (69-70 through 71-72 in Maltsev's case) and a long career at a very high level.

- Maltsev is perhaps the greatest international forward (leaving Tretiak and the defensemen out) in Soviet history. His achievements on international ice outshine all of the players thus far profiled, and there is a good argument that he was superior to Makarov, or at least on the same level.

- given the similarities in overall quality between Maltsev's career and that of Army Line bookends Kharlamov and Mikhailov, it is strange that he goes largely unheralded among North American fans. This is probably due to nothing more profound than a lack of press. Maltsev didn't stand out like Kharlamov in 72 (though his 0-5-5 was good for 9th in scoring in the tournament, tied with Mikhailov, Cournoyer and Park), and was never a member of a famous line, nor Soviet captain like Mikhailov. He played for Dynamo and not for CSKA, and was never a Soviet champion. In short, Maltsev's greatness was quieter than that of his better-known countrymen. There is good reason to believe, however, that he was of similar quality.

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10-31-2008, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
- given the similarities in overall quality between Maltsev's career and that of Army Line bookends Kharlamov and Mikhailov, it is strange that he goes largely unheralded among North American fans. This is probably due to nothing more profound than a lack of press. Maltsev didn't stand out like Kharlamov in 72 (though his 0-5-5 was good for 9th in scoring in the tournament, tied with Mikhailov, Cournoyer and Park), and was never a member of a famous line, nor Soviet captain like Mikhailov. He played for Dynamo and not for CSKA, and was never a Soviet champion. In short, Maltsev's greatness was quieter than that of his better-known countrymen. There is good reason to believe, however, that he was of similar quality.
Yep, I think you've got it. Also, Maltsev never stood out as much against Canada as Mikhailov, Kharlamov, Yakushev, or Makarov did at different points in time. Maltsev's strongest 'visible' performance was in the '76 Canada Cup, when he was named an all-star, but even then he didn't really stand out in the game against Canada.

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10-31-2008, 04:41 PM
  #21
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Yep, I think you've got it. Also, Maltsev never stood out as much against Canada as Mikhailov, Kharlamov, Yakushev, or Makarov did at different points in time. Maltsev's strongest 'visible' performance was in the '76 Canada Cup, when he was named an all-star, but even then he didn't really stand out in the game against Canada.
Maltsev was the Soviet player of the game for that contest. Though he didn't score (the Soviets did put up one goal), he must have done something well to merit that small laurel. He played very well against the Czechs and a team Sweden that iced Borje Salming. Kind of a shame that Maltsev's best showing against North American professionals came in probably the most lopsided international tournament ever. That 76 Team Canada was stupid good, and the Soviets decided to play games with their roster for the tournament due to some combination of political intrigue between Tasarov and Tikhonov and probably knowing that with Kharlamov nursing two broken ankles, they were better off playing the "we didn't really try" card than getting beat fair and square.

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10-31-2008, 04:46 PM
  #22
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Maltsev was the Soviet player of the game for that contest. Though he didn't score (the Soviets did put up one goal), he must have done something well to merit that small laurel. He played very well against the Czechs and a team Sweden that iced Borje Salming.
I've seen the game a couple times on the DVD and I think he got the player of the game for being the best of a bad lot rather than really standing out as someone great. You could see his exceptional stickhandling and he had some moments but it wasn't the same as Kharlamov or Yakushev in '72.

He was great in the tournament in other games but I'm guessing in Canada most people only really followed Canada in the tournament and because of that they didn't see him at his best. All of the games on the DVDs involve Canada, so it may be that only the Canada games were broadcasted live.

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10-31-2008, 05:07 PM
  #23
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Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
He was great in the tournament in other games but I'm guessing in Canada most people only really followed Canada in the tournament and because of that they didn't see him at his best. All of the games on the DVDs involve Canada, so it may be that only the Canada games were broadcasted live.
That was pretty much how things went in the 1970's. I used to watch Canadian TV feeds in New York for my international hockey, and it was very nationalistic stuff. I can't even recall watching the 76 tournament. I think there was relatively little interest because it was clear the Soviets weren't icing a competitive team, and no one in North American gave a damn about Czechs, Swedes or any other variety of European Ice Capades princesses at the time.

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10-31-2008, 05:10 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
Yep, I think you've got it. Also, Maltsev never stood out as much against Canada as Mikhailov, Kharlamov, Yakushev, or Makarov did at different points in time. Maltsev's strongest 'visible' performance was in the '76 Canada Cup, when he was named an all-star, but even then he didn't really stand out in the game against Canada.
Being an AS in a short tournament is pretty meaningless as they try to spread it among a few teams. Darryl Sittler was picked as AS LW probably as a reward for scoring the winning goal. I don't even remember him playing LW.

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10-31-2008, 05:17 PM
  #25
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Being an AS in a short tournament is pretty meaningless as they try to spread it among a few teams.
I tend to agree with this. In 76, they even went so far as to pick players of the game for each team, rather than for the game, as a whole. The whole tournament was fairly meaningless, actually. It's not like anybody bothers to underline Canada Cup 76 MVP on Bobby Orr's resume. Maltsev leading the Olympics in scoring in 76 is more impressive to me.

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