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Soviet Forwards vs Canada

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Old
09-23-2009, 06:49 AM
  #1
Canadiens1958
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Soviet Forwards vs Canada

Mining some data from www.chidlovski.net .

Consensus top Soviet forwards seem to be, in alphabetical order, Anatoli Firsov, Valeri Kharlamov, Sergei Makarov, Boris Mikhailov and Alexander Yakushev - who is ignored by most posters.

The main focus of this thread is a look at their performance against Canada. The level of Canadian talent in international competition steadily increased from the time the Soviets started playing against Canadian teams. From the five players under consideration in this thread Anatoli Firsov* is the only one who did not play against Canadian teams composed strictly of active NHL players. The other four did.

Respectively games played against Canada, goals, GPG ave.

Anatoli Firsov* - 35 / 26 / .7428
Valeri Kharlamov - 46 / 25 / .5434
Sergei Makarov - 54 / 27 / .5000
Boris Mikhailov - 46 / 30 / .6522
Alexander Yakushev - 37 / 28 / .7568

Alexander Yakushev's GPG ave is very impressive from the group that includes games against active NHL competition.

Sergei Makarov's numbers rank him with those who were forty goal scorers - plentiful, in the 1980's NHL. Nothing about his game shows that he was above average defensively or in other facets of the game.

Anatoli Firsov's number are skewed by the fact that he had an advantage playing against Canadian teams that did not have stable rosters and coaching while the Soviets did plus that many of the games were against Junior All-Star teams, semi pro teams, blended junior/minor pro teams or against the David Bauer coached Canadian National Team with little talent - Jean Cusson etc. Frankly many star junior players or minor leaguers who had pedestrian NHL careers produced better numbers against similar competition.

Valeri Kharlamov's numbers are slightly better than but again we are looking at a 40-45 goal scorer in the 1970's - Steve Shutt, Yvan Cournoyer, Rod Gilbert types without a physical or defensive upside.

Boris Mikhailov's numbers reflect app a 50+ scorer with toughness and certain other attributes - better than a Vic Hadfield, Jean Pronovost but how much better? Even if we raise the comparison bar to Cam Neely how does this reflect on his overall standing?

The NHL players used as comparables all had multiple NHL season where they played more than 54 games per season whereas the Soviet players played between 35 - 54 career games spread over multiple years, approximating 5 games per season.

Let me pick the best 3-5 games per season totaling 50-55 games that a Red Berenson, Claude Larose(Canadiens/Blues/etc) had during their career and I will generate comparables to all-time greats.

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09-23-2009, 07:34 AM
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Frankly, I think being the equivalent of a 40 goal scorer against a Canadian all-star team is pretty good.

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09-23-2009, 08:07 AM
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Perhaps

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Frankly, I think being the equivalent of a 40 goal scorer against a Canadian all-star team is pretty good.
But how many of the games were actually against a Canadian all-star team?

The WC teams that Canada iced, club teams that were played on tours, etc were not exactly all-star quality and for the most part they did not have defined units, style of play or constant coaching.

The history of NHL hockey is rife with pretty good which is basically my point. Big gap between pretty good and elite.

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09-23-2009, 08:23 AM
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So you are saying that Makarov would have been 40 goal scorer in the NHL during his prime?

Well... just looked at his NHL stats in the 90s. One thing that I noticed is a very low total of shots and sick Shooting %. Soviet hockey was always pass-first hockey. So maybe indeed, he was not going to score 60 goals.

Plus, if you think. Makarov was all about skating and skill. So naturally he was better on the big ice. And yet, he did pretty fine on those Canada Cups against stacked Canadian teams.


Last edited by lazerbullet: 09-23-2009 at 08:23 AM. Reason: spelling
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09-23-2009, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Sergei Makarov's numbers rank him with those who were forty goal scorers - plentiful, in the 1980's NHL. Nothing about his game shows that he was above average defensively or in other facets of the game.
Sure, all the Soviet League assist titles Makarov racked up lead me to believe he's a pure goal scorer with no other facets to his game too. This is supported by his NHL assist to goal ratio of 1.78 as well.

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09-23-2009, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Mining some data from www.chidlovski.net .

Consensus top Soviet forwards seem to be, in alphabetical order, Anatoli Firsov, Valeri Kharlamov, Sergei Makarov, Boris Mikhailov and Alexander Yakushev - who is ignored by most posters.

The main focus of this thread is a look at their performance against Canada. The level of Canadian talent in international competition steadily increased from the time the Soviets started playing against Canadian teams. From the five players under consideration in this thread Anatoli Firsov* is the only one who did not play against Canadian teams composed strictly of active NHL players. The other four did.

Respectively games played against Canada, goals, GPG ave.

Anatoli Firsov* - 35 / 26 / .7428
Valeri Kharlamov - 46 / 25 / .5434
Sergei Makarov - 54 / 27 / .5000
Boris Mikhailov - 46 / 30 / .6522
Alexander Yakushev - 37 / 28 / .7568

Alexander Yakushev's GPG ave is very impressive from the group that includes games against active NHL competition.

Sergei Makarov's numbers rank him with those who were forty goal scorers - plentiful, in the 1980's NHL. Nothing about his game shows that he was above average defensively or in other facets of the game.

Anatoli Firsov's number are skewed by the fact that he had an advantage playing against Canadian teams that did not have stable rosters and coaching while the Soviets did plus that many of the games were against Junior All-Star teams, semi pro teams, blended junior/minor pro teams or against the David Bauer coached Canadian National Team with little talent - Jean Cusson etc. Frankly many star junior players or minor leaguers who had pedestrian NHL careers produced better numbers against similar competition.

Valeri Kharlamov's numbers are slightly better than but again we are looking at a 40-45 goal scorer in the 1970's - Steve Shutt, Yvan Cournoyer, Rod Gilbert types without a physical or defensive upside.

Boris Mikhailov's numbers reflect app a 50+ scorer with toughness and certain other attributes - better than a Vic Hadfield, Jean Pronovost but how much better? Even if we raise the comparison bar to Cam Neely how does this reflect on his overall standing?

The NHL players used as comparables all had multiple NHL season where they played more than 54 games per season whereas the Soviet players played between 35 - 54 career games spread over multiple years, approximating 5 games per season.

Let me pick the best 3-5 games per season totaling 50-55 games that a Red Berenson, Claude Larose(Canadiens/Blues/etc) had during their career and I will generate comparables to all-time greats.
This is... interesting, shall we say.

It's 'great' that you can find a way of making it appear that 26 goals in 35 games (Firsov) is actually mediocre. Bravo. To me, those would be great numbers against... almost any team, you know. Especially considering that no other player on his team was able to even nearly match that*.

Firsov was born in 1941, Mikhailov in 1944 and Yakushev in 1947. They all played together a few years in the late 60/early 70s (Kharlamov too)... and yes, also against those "Junior All-Star teams, semi pro teams, blended junior/minor pro teams" that you mentioned. I'm pretty confident when saying that I don't think Yakushev's or Mikhailov's GPG average in those games is any better than that of Firsov. But again, one is punishing Firsov for not having had the opportunity to play vs. the best, even though he WAS the best Soviet player still in 1968/9-1971, when Yakushev, Mikhailov and Kharlamov were already playing for the national team.

And I don't know about the others, but this Firsov, Kharlamov and Makarov (basically the best Soviet forwards of all-time) bashing is really beginning to p*** me off, quite frankly. Is it that you don't like very talented players who had the ability to fool Canadian defensemen (and did so numerous times)??? For some reason, the guys with lesser talent, i.e. Mikhailov and especially Yakushev get a 'thumbs up' from you. Why is that? How did they prove they were better? Even if their styles of play would have been more ideal for the NHL (not even so sure about that), it doesn't make them better players IMO.

BTW, Yakushev's GPG average in games vs. Sweden and Czechoslovakia is clearly worse than against Canada, can you explain why? If he was great against Canada (statistically), couldn't we also say that he was poor against USSR's main rivals in Europe, and that was some sort of weakness in his game? The same goes for Boris Mikhailov (poor GPG average vs. Czechoslovakia). This is, of course, worthy criticism if we look ONLY at the stats... like you have done there.

BM67 pretty much said it, but let me do my share too. Unlike Boris Mikhailov, for example, Makarov always had more assists than goals, which might suggest to most that yes, there were other facets in his game, like playmaking, eh? It is also very fair to say that Makarov generally played against far tougher Canadian opposition than the other players mentioned there. I'm not just talking about the Canada Cups (where he certainly proved himself against everyone NUMEROUS times), but also the World Championships; especially strong Canadian teams in 1982 and 1985, good ones in 1981, 1983 and 1987 etc.

All I can really say is: watch a few games... any Canada Cup game from the 1981, 1984 or 1987... and again tell me that Sergei Makarov is overrated. I... just... don't... get... it...

Edit:

* Vyacheslav Starshinov scored 27 goals in 43 games vs. Canada; so ok, his GPG average is pretty close to Firsov's


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Old
09-23-2009, 11:53 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Valeri Kharlamov's numbers are slightly better than but again we are looking at a 40-45 goal scorer in the 1970's - Steve Shutt, Yvan Cournoyer, Rod Gilbert types without a physical or defensive upside.

Boris Mikhailov's numbers reflect app a 50+ scorer with toughness and certain other attributes - better than a Vic Hadfield, Jean Pronovost but how much better? Even if we raise the comparison bar to Cam Neely how does this reflect on his overall standing?
You're constantly chastising others for not understanding things and not taking things into account, and then here you are trying to compare international scoring records with NHL stats? Seriously? Aren't you a coach? Are you completely unaware of the concept of ice time? And strength of opposition?

On international teams, players have to be exceptional to earn a top line position, and to get enough ice time to score that many goals. On the other hand, in the NHL the top players on every team got first-line minutes and power play time as well as the chance to pad their stats against teams like the Colorado Rockies and Washington Capitals.

The Pronovost and Hadfield types weren't playing big minutes on Team Canada, and they wouldn't have played big minutes on the Soviet Union either. Jean Pronovost scored 4 goals in 17 career world championship games against all opponents, including all the weak teams. You know what his scoring record would have been against Canada if he was Russian? 0 goals in 0 games. You can't score from the press box. And that's the number you should be comparing against Boris Mikhailov.

Rod Gilbert, Yvan Cournoyer and Steve Shutt combined for 5 goals in 20 games in Summit Series and Canada Cup games. They were not as good as Valeri Kharlamov. The scoring stats for players like that always drop compared to NHL rates, because their ice time drops. Steve Yzerman is another great example, he has 5 goals and 11 points in 22 career best-on-best international games. It's awfully hard to put up big numbers as a bottom-6 forward.

But maybe all that is wrong, and maybe you're right that all the Soviets had were some pretty good but non-elite players. That explains why the Canadian teams, which were full of elite players, always destroyed them in best-on-best competitions. That is after all what happened, right?

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09-23-2009, 05:53 PM
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Apples to Apples

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Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Sure, all the Soviet League assist titles Makarov racked up lead me to believe he's a pure goal scorer with no other facets to his game too. This is supported by his NHL assist to goal ratio of 1.78 as well.
Soviet League assist titles. CSKA had a stacked team yet Makarov's assist totals are in line with a star winger, about .8 assists per game.

Blended playoff and regular season stats create a nice impression but his playoff numbers are 12G and 11A in just over thirty games.

Right wingers with better playoff assist numbers are fairly easy to find
amongst the NHL high average to star group.

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09-23-2009, 06:25 PM
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Depends

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This is... interesting, shall we say.

It's 'great' that you can find a way of making it appear that 26 goals in 35 games (Firsov) is actually mediocre. Bravo. To me, those would be great numbers against... almost any team, you know. Especially considering that no other player on his team was able to even nearly match that*.

Firsov was born in 1941, Mikhailov in 1944 and Yakushev in 1947. They all played together a few years in the late 60/early 70s (Kharlamov too)... and yes, also against those "Junior All-Star teams, semi pro teams, blended junior/minor pro teams" that you mentioned. I'm pretty confident when saying that I don't think Yakushev's or Mikhailov's GPG average in those games is any better than that of Firsov. But again, one is punishing Firsov for not having had the opportunity to play vs. the best, even though he WAS the best Soviet player still in 1968/9-1971, when Yakushev, Mikhailov and Kharlamov were already playing for the national team.

And I don't know about the others, but this Firsov, Kharlamov and Makarov (basically the best Soviet forwards of all-time) bashing is really beginning to p*** me off, quite frankly. Is it that you don't like very talented players who had the ability to fool Canadian defensemen (and did so numerous times)??? For some reason, the guys with lesser talent, i.e. Mikhailov and especially Yakushev get a 'thumbs up' from you. Why is that? How did they prove they were better? Even if their styles of play would have been more ideal for the NHL (not even so sure about that), it doesn't make them better players IMO.

BTW, Yakushev's GPG average in games vs. Sweden and Czechoslovakia is clearly worse than against Canada, can you explain why? If he was great against Canada (statistically), couldn't we also say that he was poor against USSR's main rivals in Europe, and that was some sort of weakness in his game? The same goes for Boris Mikhailov (poor GPG average vs. Czechoslovakia). This is, of course, worthy criticism if we look ONLY at the stats... like you have done there.

BM67 pretty much said it, but let me do my share too. Unlike Boris Mikhailov, for example, Makarov always had more assists than goals, which might suggest to most that yes, there were other facets in his game, like playmaking, eh? It is also very fair to say that Makarov generally played against far tougher Canadian opposition than the other players mentioned there. I'm not just talking about the Canada Cups (where he certainly proved himself against everyone NUMEROUS times), but also the World Championships; especially strong Canadian teams in 1982 and 1985, good ones in 1981, 1983 and 1987 etc.

All I can really say is: watch a few games... any Canada Cup game from the 1981, 1984 or 1987... and again tell me that Sergei Makarov is overrated. I... just... don't... get... it...

Edit:

* Vyacheslav Starshinov scored 27 goals in 43 games vs. Canada; so ok, his GPG average is pretty close to Firsov's
Saw every game that the Soviet National team or CSKA played in Montreal since 1963 plus 3 WC tournaments so I have a pretty good appreciation of the relative talents of the Soviet stars from various eras.

Briefly in the sixties they were shutdown or neutralized by an aging Jacques Plante and Doug Harvey supported by minor leaguers and promising juniors like Serge Savard and Jacques Lemaire.

From the 1960's / 1970's group Yakushev and Mikhailov were the only ones who showed that they could play game after game against NHL competition. Their play did not vary over the course of a sixty minute game.Having watched both of them in European competition - televised, it was obvious that they were warriors who rose to the challenge of playing Canadian NHLers. Firsov and Kharlamov were attractive players but they could be defensed.

Makarov - again his NHL playoff assist and goal totals(12G and 11A just over 30 games) show that he was a player who could be defensed over the course of a long series and whose playoff playmaking disappeared.

Canadian forwards regularly fool NHL defensemen - true since the dawn of the NHL. Basically explains why goals are scored.Getting beat is part of the game. Name any of the top 100 all-time NHL defensemen and they all got beat.How they adapt after getting is what separates the greats from the average.

Now its your turn to step-up. To date you have weaseled the discussion with hollow words complaining how certain players get no love or using other empty phrases. Stop complaining about how Makarov is perceived and rate him amongst his NHL contemporaries.
Do the same for the others - Firsov, Yakushev, Mikhailov and Kharlamov.

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09-23-2009, 06:30 PM
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The Soviet league only awarded a maximum of one assist per goal. This significantly reduces the number of assists that Makarov could have potentially earned. All we know is that Makarov recorded 0.75 assists per game in a league that awarded at most one assist per goal. Comparing this statistic to the NHL, where up to two assists are awarded per goal, is obviously not an "apples to apples" comparison.

Given that Makarov played a grand total of nine NHL playoff games during his prime, I don't think it's a good indicator of his performance. (Nor do I think that his performance as a 35 & 36 year old is particularly relevant though I do concede he wasn't impressive in 1994 and 1995). The most relevant high-pressure situation Makarov ever played in was likely the Canada Cup tournaments, where he scored 31 points in 22 games. That's three series of dominant offense against some of the greatest teams in history.


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09-23-2009, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
The Soviet league only awarded a maximum of one assist per goal. This significantly reduces the number of assists that Makarov could have potentially earned. All we know is that Makarov recorded 0.75 assists per game in a league that awarded at most one assist per goal. Comparing this statistic to the NHL, where up to two assists are awarded per goal, is obviously not an "apples to apples" comparison.

Given that Makarov played a grand total of nine NHL playoff games during his prime, I don't think it's a good indicator of his performance. (Nor do I think that his performance as a 35 & 36 year old is particularly relevant though I do concede he wasn't impressive in 1994 and 1995). The most relevant high-pressure situation Makarov ever played in was likely the Canada Cup tournaments, where he scored 31 points in 22 games. That's three series of dominant offense against some of the greatest teams in history.
Beat me to it. As usual.

CenterShift also made some very good points.

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09-23-2009, 06:52 PM
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1972 summit series: canada barely wins
1979 challenge cup: soviet wins
1981- soviet win in a blowout
1984 canada cup- Canada wins 3-2 in overtime

But you're right Canadiens 1958, those soviets aint elite, they are simply the caliber of Hadfield, Cornoyer and Rod Gilbert.

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09-23-2009, 06:57 PM
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Seriously..............

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You're constantly chastising others for not understanding things and not taking things into account, and then here you are trying to compare international scoring records with NHL stats? Seriously? Aren't you a coach? Are you completely unaware of the concept of ice time? And strength of opposition?

On international teams, players have to be exceptional to earn a top line position, and to get enough ice time to score that many goals. On the other hand, in the NHL the top players on every team got first-line minutes and power play time as well as the chance to pad their stats against teams like the Colorado Rockies and Washington Capitals.

The Pronovost and Hadfield types weren't playing big minutes on Team Canada, and they wouldn't have played big minutes on the Soviet Union either. Jean Pronovost scored 4 goals in 17 career world championship games against all opponents, including all the weak teams. You know what his scoring record would have been against Canada if he was Russian? 0 goals in 0 games. You can't score from the press box. And that's the number you should be comparing against Boris Mikhailov.

Rod Gilbert, Yvan Cournoyer and Steve Shutt combined for 5 goals in 20 games in Summit Series and Canada Cup games. They were not as good as Valeri Kharlamov. The scoring stats for players like that always drop compared to NHL rates, because their ice time drops. Steve Yzerman is another great example, he has 5 goals and 11 points in 22 career best-on-best international games. It's awfully hard to put up big numbers as a bottom-6 forward.

But maybe all that is wrong, and maybe you're right that all the Soviets had were some pretty good but non-elite players. That explains why the Canadian teams, which were full of elite players, always destroyed them in best-on-best competitions. That is after all what happened, right?
Only valid point you make is the Steve Yzerman comparison which touches on the weaknesses in his game until the Bowman era.

Rod Gilbert, Yvan Cournoyer, Steve Shutt all accepted secondary roles and contributed, showing that they had a more balanced game than they were given credit for. Evidenced by the 1972 Summit Series where the combined efforts of Cournoyer, Gilbert , Ellis and Henderson on right wing contributed greatly to the Canadian victory BOTH offensively and defensively.

The great 1972 Summit Series enjoyed by Paul Henderson on RW raises serious questions about the two way skills of the Soviets.Henderson was never an offensive threat in the NHL yet the Soviet forwards and defensemen could not contain him.

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09-23-2009, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Soviet League assist titles. CSKA had a stacked team yet Makarov's assist totals are in line with a star winger, about .8 assists per game.

Blended playoff and regular season stats create a nice impression but his playoff numbers are 12G and 11A in just over thirty games.

Right wingers with better playoff assist numbers are fairly easy to find
amongst the NHL high average to star group.
Yes. He led the Soviet League in assists 9 times in 10 years. The fact that he did this without once putting up an assist a game should be an indication that an NHL assist and a Soviet assist are not quite equal.

OK let's not blend stats, we'll just go with his 1.87 assists to goals ratio over 424 regular season games.

When you make that list of players remember to limit it to what they did after the age of 31.

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09-23-2009, 08:32 PM
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Why do we get involved? Just stay away, people.

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09-23-2009, 08:44 PM
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Check Your Data

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
The Soviet league only awarded a maximum of one assist per goal. This significantly reduces the number of assists that Makarov could have potentially earned. All we know is that Makarov recorded 0.75 assists per game in a league that awarded at most one assist per goal. Comparing this statistic to the NHL, where up to two assists are awarded per goal, is obviously not an "apples to apples" comparison.

Given that Makarov played a grand total of nine NHL playoff games during his prime, I don't think it's a good indicator of his performance. (Nor do I think that his performance as a 35 & 36 year old is particularly relevant though I do concede he wasn't impressive in 1994 and 1995). The most relevant high-pressure situation Makarov ever played in was likely the Canada Cup tournaments, where he scored 31 points in 22 games. That's three series of dominant offense against some of the greatest teams in history.
Check your facts:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...ams/0017871979

The 1978-79 CSKA stats, link above show a total of 277 goals scored AND 331 assists. Simply impossible with a maximum of one assist per goal. A quick check of the remaining seasons thru 1988-89 show at 8 CSKA seasons with assists surpassing goals. Again impossible with the scenario you propose.

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09-23-2009, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Firsov and Kharlamov were attractive players but they could be defensed.
By breaking their ankles?

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09-23-2009, 09:00 PM
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My source is the SIHR database. It shows that there were more goals than assists in the Soviet league in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986 (with slightly more assists than goals in 1979). Based on your data I was mistaken about there being a hard limit of one assist per goal -- but based on the fact that there were more goals than assists in seven of the eight years I selected, the general point (that it's much harder to earn assists in the Soviet league compared to the modern NHL) is valid.

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09-23-2009, 09:38 PM
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CSKA and the Rest

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My source is the SIHR database. It shows that there were more goals than assists in the Soviet league in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986 (with slightly more assists than goals in 1979). Based on your data I was mistaken about there being a hard limit of one assist per goal -- but based on the fact that there were more goals than assists in seven of the eight years I selected, the general point (that it's much harder to earn assists in the Soviet league compared to the modern NHL) is valid.
Your interpretation is simply a justification for previous misinterpretations.

Basically the Soviet league was CSKA at the elite level followed by teams like Spartak, Dynamo and one or two others who reasonably competitive. Followed by the dregs.

Usually on a very weak team the assists lag because of a lack of talent and cohesive team play so a disproportionate number of the goals are the result of individual or two player efforts.Also there is the assumption that the non CSKA teams and their official scorers were equally diligent in awarding assists.

Conversely on an elite team like CSKA with an over - abundance of talent, consistent coaching and team work perfected over a number of season against elite international competition, the incidence of two assist goals which reflect team work would be much higher.

Bottom line. A serious misrepresentation of Soviet assists was made for reasons that are irrelevent. No appropriate cross-checking was done. This seriously taints or discredits the various conclusions that have been made by posters about Soviet players who took the "maximum one assist per goal" myth as gospel.

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09-23-2009, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
My source is the SIHR database. It shows that there were more goals than assists in the Soviet league in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986 (with slightly more assists than goals in 1979). Based on your data I was mistaken about there being a hard limit of one assist per goal -- but based on the fact that there were more goals than assists in seven of the eight years I selected, the general point (that it's much harder to earn assists in the Soviet league compared to the modern NHL) is valid.
You were not mistaken.

The data for the Soviet league is limited and incomplete in every year before 1980. Many players have scoring data, yet no data on how many games played, etc in every year before 1979-80, when it seems they finally started tracking everything.

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09-23-2009, 09:54 PM
  #21
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Let's not get into a game of semantics again. Here's the raw data. The numbers speak for themselves.

YearGoalsAssistsRatio
1979 1008 1051 1.04
1980 1023 979 0.96
1981 1061 950 0.9
1982 1111 951 0.86
1983 1156 1015 0.88
1984 1063 1027 0.97
1985 1003 945 0.94
1986 1010 967 0.96
1987 1252 1183 0.94
TOTAL 9687 9068 0.94

Source: Society of International Hockey Research database

Over a span of nine seasons, the Soviet elite league awarded less than one assist per goal. During the same period, the NHL awarded approximately 1.6 assists per goal. (Pnep, if you're reading this, can you please confirm?)

Bottom line: Makarov spent his prime in a league that award significantly fewer assists per goal than the NHL. Hence, comparing assists between the two leagues is misleading and unfair to Makarov.

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Conversely on an elite team like CSKA with an over - abundance of talent, consistent coaching and team work perfected over a number of season against elite international competition, the incidence of two assist goals which reflect team work would be much higher.
Prove it. Give me actual statistics (as opposed to theory) to show that CSKA had anywhere close to the NHL average of 1.6 assists per goal.

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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
You were not mistaken.

The data for the Soviet league is limited and incomplete in every year before 1980. Many players have scoring data, yet no data on how many games played, etc in every year before 1979-80, when it seems they finally started tracking everything.
Now I'm not if I'm wrong or not!

There's another thread indicating that second assists were not counted (source) (see posts 9 and 17), which is why I originally made that comment.

For the record, I don't mind being wrong if I actually made an error. We're hear to learn about hockey, are we not?


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 09-23-2009 at 10:09 PM.
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09-23-2009, 10:11 PM
  #22
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Your Initial Claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Let's not get into a game of semantics again. Here's the raw data. The numbers speak for themselves.

YearGoalsAssistsRatio
1979 1008 1051 1.04
1980 1023 979 0.96
1981 1061 950 0.9
1982 1111 951 0.86
1983 1156 1015 0.88
1984 1063 1027 0.97
1985 1003 945 0.94
1986 1010 967 0.96
1987 1252 1183 0.94
TOTAL 9687 9068 0.94

Source: Society of International Hockey Research database

Over a span of nine seasons, the Soviet elite league awarded less than one assist per goal. During the same period, the NHL awarded approximately 1.6 assists per goal. (Pnep, if you're reading this, can you please confirm?)

Makarov spent his prime in a league that award significantly fewer assists per goal than the NHL. Hence, comparing assists between the two leagues is misleading and unfair to Makarov.



Prove it. Give me actual statistics (as opposed to theory) to show that CSKA had anywhere close to the NHL average of 1.6 assists per goal.



Now I'm not if I'm wrong or not!

There's another thread indicating that second assists were not counted (source), which is why I originally made that comment.

For the record, I don't mind being wrong if I actually made an error. We're hear to learn about hockey, are we not?
I was not the one making the false claim. That the statistics were misinterpreted and an assumption was made that there was a MAXIMUM of one assist per goal without taking the time to break the stats down per team like I did for CSKA is sufficient to prove your claim WRONG. My CSKA counter example is valid and debunks your claim. That you did not look beyond the blended stats is unfortunate.

I am under no obligation to indulge your request for wiggle room by trying to compare CSKA assist stats to NHL norms. You basically are still left with the issue of whether the erroneous claim you made has tainted other conclusions that you and others have reached based on a false premise. Good luck.

Yes we are here to learn.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 09-23-2009 at 10:14 PM. Reason: addition
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09-23-2009, 10:27 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
I was not the one making the false claim. That the statistics were misinterpreted and an assumption was made that there was a MAXIMUM of one assist per goal without taking the time to break the stats down per team like I did for CSKA is sufficient to prove your claim WRONG. My CSKA counter example is valid and debunks your claim. That you did not look beyond the blended stats is unfortunate.

I am under no obligation to indulge your request for wiggle room by trying to compare CSKA assist stats to NHL norms. You basically are still left with the issue of whether the erroneous claim you made has tainted other conclusions that you and others have reached based on a false premise. Good luck.

Yes we are here to learn.
Debunks? You did not debunk anything.

Your CSKA counter was based on the assumption that the Soviet league statistics were complete for that year, when they are not.

Many players in that year were not stated properly. Some with no information, some with incomplete information.

The evidence is overwhelmingly in support that the Soviet league did not award more than one assist a goal.

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09-23-2009, 10:28 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
I am under no obligation to indulge your request for wiggle room by trying to compare CSKA assist stats to NHL norms.
You tried to compare Soviet assists to NHL assists. I clearly documented in post #21 that assists were awarded differently (significantly less frequently) in the Soviet leagues.

Your counter-argument is that CSKA, as a single team, may have awarded assists more generously than the rest of the Soviet league. Yet you refuse to provide any data to support this claim. That's your choice -- but I doubt many people will find this counterargument persuasive without some facts to back it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
You basically are still left with the issue of whether the erroneous claim you made has tainted other conclusions that you and others have reached based on a false premise. Good luck.
Are you somehow implying that because I made a mistake* my entire set of facts and statistics (see post 21) is somehow wrong?

* Note: it's interesting that the factual error solely pertains to my interpretation of Soviet league rules. The actual data (i.e., the part that's important to my argument) is documented in post 21 and does not appear to be disputed.

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Yes we are here to learn.
We agree on that.

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09-23-2009, 10:59 PM
  #25
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Nope

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post

Are you somehow implying that because I made a mistake* my entire set of facts and statistics (see post 21) is somehow wrong?

* Note: it's interesting that the factual error solely pertains to my interpretation of Soviet league rules. The actual data (i.e., the part that's important to my argument) is documented in post 21 and does not appear to be disputed.





We agree on that.
Nope. Simply any interpretations stemming from the misinterpretation should be re-checked and if necessary adjusted.

The CSKA data available on hockeydb.com goes against the league pattern. Asking why is a legit question. That Makarov played half of his games at home was a benefit to him and other CSKA players.

The obvious question would be how this CSKA assist nuance influenced the scoring race. Example if CSKA players, as a team, recorded 1.2 assists per goal while the league average including CSKA was .9 assists per goal then the scoring race should be examined. Also the issue of home and away assists arises.Plus there is the question of whether there was a level of consistency throughout the league.

The main point is that a flaw has been exposed in the Soviet stats and the resulting interpretations. Comparing them to NHL stats until the resulting mysteries are resolved serves only to misrepresent fiction as fact.

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