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Mikhailov vs. Selänne

View Poll Results: Mikhailov or Selänne or can't decide?
Mikhailov 6 40.00%
Selänne 9 60.00%
Help, I can't decide! Aaaarggghhhh! 0 0%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-11-2010, 03:00 AM
  #1
VMBM
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Mikhailov vs. Selänne

Yes, another comparison between players who are somewhat incomparable, but bare with me.

Both were/are great goal-scoring right wings of their day. Selänne had more shots in his arsenal (Mikhailov's slapper was basically non-existent), but there have been few more dangerous players around the net than Mikhailov. Neither is considered to be a great playmaker, but both were/are capable of making a well-timed pass. And especially in Mikhailov's case, if you play with Kharlamov and Petrov, why would you try to be another playmaker?

In defensive play, I would give the edge to Mikhailov. It seems that especially in his later years, he was a great penalty-killer (usually pairing with Petrov), and the 1978 WC de facto gold-medal game is a great example of this; they (M, P, Tsygankov and Fetisov) really do a number on the Czechoslovak national team and even score a SHG. I don't think anybody could call Mikhailov a floater; opportunist maybe, but not floater.

On individual skills, however, Selänne was definitely superior to Mikhailov in my opinion. Bigger, faster and better skater, more capable of creating his own scoring chances, and probably the better stickhandler. On the other hand, Mikhailov had good puckhandling skills too and the ability to hang on to the puck for long periods of time - which he demonstrated especially in the 1975-76 Super series - even though he didn't have the softest hands in the world.

As far as consistency [and being injury-free] go, I take Mikhailov. Interestingly though, Selänne was clearly more effective scorer in the Winter Olympics, where he of course is the all-time scoring leader now. But to be fair, Mikhailov was injured during the 1972 Sapporo Olympics and missed a couple of high-scoring games. I think the same goes for 1976 Olympics, or at least he missed one of USSR's blowout wins (http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_ga...sp?gm_id=gm454)

Take your pick.


Last edited by VMBM: 06-11-2010 at 09:20 AM. Reason: typos typos typos
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Old
06-11-2010, 08:06 AM
  #2
Canadiens1958
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Comparables and Differences

A few other considerations.

Mikhailov was a complimentary winger that a coach would fit with an appropriate center and winger. He was excellent along the boards, behind the net, handling the various physical responsibilities and creating open ice for the center and left winger - Petrov and Kharlamov respectively. The nature of a physical wingers play is such that he will get caught behind the play - tied-up in the corner, knocked down so he has to play with linemates that will cover for him at times defensively.

Teemu Selanne, in his prime was a centerpiece winger, bordering on generational talent. As such coaches were looking for complimentary talents at center and wing to take full advantage of all his talents. In the NHL this rarely happened beyond his first year in Winnipeg. Combined with injuries and a car accident his career often lacked support and direction yet the production was interesting. Internationally the Finnish team was centered around Selanne so his results were more noticeable.

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06-11-2010, 01:17 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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The easy answer is "Mikhailov," as his spot on the Top 100 list indicates. But I would be interested in seeing more arguments.

And C1958 - Mikhailov did win a pair of "Soviet Player of the Year" awards after Kharlamov's decline, so it is tough to call him just a "complimentary player." Granted, those awards were in between the Kharlamov and Makarov eras, but still.

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06-11-2010, 01:27 PM
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seventieslord
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I am surprised at Selanne's early lead considering he was not considered for the top-100 and Mikhailov is rightfully considered a shoo-in.

I agree we underrate Selanne. Maybe he is a top-100 player by now. I think he's a better goal scorer and generally offensively skilled player than Mikhailov, but Boris just brought so much else to the table. He was a clutch scorer, he was physical, great along the boards, and an inspirational leader.

To me, it's like comparing Ted Kennedy to Pavel Bure. Both very valuable players in their own way but one is more highly regarded by history and it's not the flashy one with better offensive finishes.

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06-11-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
And C1958 - Mikhailov did win a pair of "Soviet Player of the Year" awards after Kharlamov's decline, so it is tough to call him just a "complimentary player." Granted, those awards were in between the Kharlamov and Makarov eras, but still.
He might have won them anyway, as he probably had his best years in 1977-79. Kharlamov won only 1* himself, even when he was in his prime (1970-76 or so). I think Tretiak might have been his stiffest competition anyway.

* or 2 (sort of tied with Maltsev in '72)

BTW, do people really see Mikhailov as "physical"? I mean, he was one of the few Soviet players who got into mean exchanges with North American players, but I don't think he was strong per se and certainly wasn't a very 'intimidating' presence. In that way I view Petrov far more physical, Yakushev too. Mikhailov was physical in a Bobby Clarke-ish sort of way IMO (though slightly less dirty ).

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06-11-2010, 01:49 PM
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I'd take Mikhailov any day.

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06-11-2010, 02:03 PM
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VMBM
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Finns seem to favour Selänne, for some reason.

(And sorry, I made the voting 'public' accidentally, but I hope it isn't a big deal)

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06-11-2010, 02:14 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
He might have won them anyway, as he probably had his best years in 1977-79. Kharlamov won only 1* himself, even when he was in his prime (1970-76 or so). I think Tretiak might have been his stiffest competition anyway.

* or 2 (sort of tied with Maltsev in '72)

BTW, do people really see Mikhailov as "physical"? I mean, he was one of the few Soviet players who got into mean exchanges with North American players, but I don't think he was strong per se and certainly wasn't a very 'intimidating' presence. In that way I view Petrov far more physical, Yakushev too. Mikhailov was physical in a Bobby Clarke-ish sort of way IMO (though slightly less dirty ).
Kharlamov only won one award outright, but he had the highest "MVP shares" of any Soviet forward during his peak. It's in one of Triffy's old threads.

Mikhailov has a rep as the "dirtiest" Soviet forward, at least in international play, which helps his rep as "physical."

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06-11-2010, 02:50 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Complimentary

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The easy answer is "Mikhailov," as his spot on the Top 100 list indicates. But I would be interested in seeing more arguments.

And C1958 - Mikhailov did win a pair of "Soviet Player of the Year" awards after Kharlamov's decline, so it is tough to call him just a "complimentary player." Granted, those awards were in between the Kharlamov and Makarov eras, but still.
Complimentary means whose talents did Mikhailov's talents blend with the best with as opposed to trying to find players to play with him.

Lafleur would be a comparable from the other side of the spectrum. Lafleur's skills could not be blended to others you had to find players who could play with Lafleur.

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06-11-2010, 02:54 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Complimentary means whose talents did Mikhailov's talents blend with the best with as opposed to trying to find players to play with him.

Lafleur would be a comparable from the other side of the spectrum. Lafleur's skills could not be blended to others you had to find players who could play with Lafleur.
Ah, so you meant "complimentary" as a positive. When I think "complimentary," I though you meant "not good enough to carry his team/line." This makes more sense now.

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Old
06-11-2010, 10:59 PM
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The correct spelling of the word you guys refer to ad nauseum on here lately is actually complementary, not complimentary..

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