Espo on Tretiak

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by WVP, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. WVP

    WVP Registered User

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    Anyone else hear Espo's mini-rant on Tretriak on xm today?

    They were talking about the Hall of Fame and what criteria should be considered, and Espo railed against Tretiak for a few minutes.

    Paraphrasing:

    "Why is Tretiak in the Hall? What did he ever do"
    Asked if he thought Tretiak was a good goalie: "No. I'd play him 80 times a year if I could."

    And he said a few more things I can't remember completely. Pretty strong opinions of a guy who's viewed as one of the best ever by many people.
     
  2. xeric716x

    xeric716x Born To Expire

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    talk about someone who cant let something go. who cares what espo thinks.
     
  3. QuadDeuces

    QuadDeuces Registered User

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    Yeah, Espo's right. Not like Tretiak won 3 Olympic Golds and a Silver or anything. Not like he won 13 titles in the 2nd best (and maybe, at the time, THE best) league in the world. Not like he led his team to 10 IIHF World Championships.

    Nah, that Tretiak guy... what did he ever do? :sarcasm:

    -- George.
     
  4. pitseleh

    pitseleh Registered User

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    Espo's never been the most impartial person. He has pretty strong opinions and has never been one to mince words.
     
  5. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    I've always been curious as to how Tretiak would do playing a few NHL seasons, how he would compare to the Dryden's,Parent's and co. of that era. It's tough to project from tournament play how he would fare over an 80 game schedule.

    I guess you could draw similarities from tournament play to the NHL playoffs, but it would've been something to see.
     
  6. espo*

    espo* Guest

    aaah,ya just gotta love Espo.

    just when i think i can't love the guy anymore then i do he gives us the straight dirt on Tretiak.

    You're the best Espo,you were in 72 and you are now.
     
  7. Chief Jokinen

    Chief Jokinen Registered User

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    One czech goalie once said that both swedes and czechs had better goalies than Tretjak ever was. He said that it was the team that made him look so good.
     
  8. Ola

    Ola Registered User Sponsor

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    What Espo seems to imply is that the criterias should be pts, cups, awards and more awards in the NHL.

    The downside with looking at it like that is that someone like Bernie Nichols would have been a lock if he played more with Gretzky, while maybe a great player like Jari Kurri never would have made the hall unless he plays with Gretzky or stayed in Europe.

    IMO the Hall should be a tribute to the game of hockey, not the NHL.
     
  9. WVP

    WVP Registered User

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    Yeah, that was the topic, but it was strictly Espo talking about Tretiak for a few minutes, HOF aside.

    He also said he stayed so far back in his net, he could just pick him apart. I wish someone else heard this so they could elaborate.
     
  10. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    I like Espo and I have always been a big fan. One of the best things about him is that he says what he is thinking and doesn't hold back.

    I agree with him. Tretiak played maybe 20 games against the best competition in the world and his numbers were not very good in those games.

    Beating AHL-level competition in the Olympics and World Championships really isn't that significant an accomplishment. Can you imagine how many points Espo would have put up in those tournaments????
     
  11. Reks

    Reks Registered User

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    Espo & Co can say whatever they want. Tretiak is one of the best goalies ever. He won 13 titles in the Soviet League (maybe, at the time, THE best league in the world). He won 10 IIHF World Championships at the time when all countries (Canada is the only exception) were sending their best. It's interesting that both Finns and Czechs (of course, I don't want to mention Russians themselves) rated him as THE BEST goalie ever.
     
  12. Wisent

    Wisent Registered User

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    That was Holecek. He said that Tretiak was nothing special and that they have better goalies in the Czech league.
    Besides, that is not exactly a display of sportsmanship what Esposito gives us here.
     
  13. espo*

    espo* Guest

    I bet there was more then a few goalies in europe that could have won 13 championships in the Soviet league with the Red army at that time.

    How impressive a result is that? It was such an uneven league from what i understand.

    I don't mind Tretiak being in the hall and think he deserves to be there but i aslo recognize he was the first(to my knowledge anyway) Soviet player to get in there due more to his kind of cult star status over here then anything he did vis a vis other (and better) stars from the Soviet Union,some of whom are'nt even in yet.

    IMO,he's a bit overblown on this side of the pond.
     
  14. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    During those years the Russian league was a joke. The Red Army team was given all of the best talent and the rest of the league was given the scraps. It was akin to the All Star teams being put in Montreal and the rest of the league could have the scraps.

    The truth is, the man played about 20 games against NHL-calibre competition and his numbers weren't very good in those games.

    He is overrated.
     
  15. Kaizer

    Kaizer Registered User

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    If Russian league was joke how did it happen that "scrubs" like Krylia Sovetov, Dynamo, Spartak won about half of their games against highly touted by you "NHL-calibre competition" in team series against NHL teams ?

    Phil Esposito played about 10 games against AHL-level teams at World Championship. How should I say in not agressive way: "he sucked" ?
     
  16. Reks

    Reks Registered User

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    In a recent interview Fox (Martinec) said that Holecek was a very good goalie, probably, at Dryden level; but well behind Tretiak whom Martinec considers the best goalie of his time and one of five best goalies ever.

    BTW, Martinec is really underrated. IMO, he should be in the Hall as well.
     
  17. Diaboli

    Diaboli Registered User

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    What were his numbers?
     
  18. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    The only NHL 'Super Series' that NHL teams took seriously was the one in 1976. After that, NHL teams did not care and treated the games as exhibitions.
     
  19. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    I haven't dug them up but, I know that he let in more than 30 goals (34??) during the 1972 Canada/Russia series - including 6 goals in the final game to allow Canada to win the series.
     
  20. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    The USSR teams vs. NHL team games lost relevance after the first few years. They were really cool at first - the game between Montreal and the Red Army in 1975 is going to be viewed as a classic as long as hockey is played - but to cite exhibition games as an example of dominance is foolishness.

    I think Tretiak belongs in the HHOF, and I think he's one of the top 10 goalies ever. In the biggest event in hockey history - the 1972 Summit Series - he was spectacular. In the game that many consider to be the best ever played - the 1975 New Year's Eve game - he was the difference-maker.

    It is an interesting question to pose - how would he fare in the NHL, with the rigors of a 76-80 game schedule, which was the schedule they played in the league at the time - followed by the Stanley Cup playoffs, which have an emotion, intensity and passion unlike anything in the game, and require endurance, stamina and mental fortitude unlike anything in the game.

    BTW, I am a huge Espo fan. He's original, he's outspoken, he's controversial. I don't agree with everything he says, but at least he's not afraid to express his opinions, and in the modern IMG sports world, that is to be commended.
     
  21. Reks

    Reks Registered User

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    First, they won more than half. Second, I know in advance what those biased fans tell you :)


    As for Espo. I think he is still jealous and feels bitterness of all the defeats he had from Soviet team:
    1975 superseries NY Rangers-CSKA 3:7;
    1977 World Championship in Vienna Canada-Soviet Uinion 1:8(second game);
    1:11 (first game) - that was probably the worst ever defeat of professional Team Canada (though not the best professional Team Canada) on ice.
     
  22. Archijerej

    Archijerej Registered User

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    Well I wouldn't call Yakushev, Shadrin, Maltsev, Prirodin, Golikov brothers, Balderis, Wasilyev, Anisin, Lebedev etc. scrubs but ofcourse I'm not such an expert of the Soviet league as mister "NHL analyst".
    As for Tretyak, theoretical speculations don't mean much IMO. Watching him in the most important games he played is enough to evaluate him as one of the greats. Also knowing the fitness level of Soviet players and Tretyak's mental strenght (for example, he was 20 years old in 1972) I'm confident he would still be one of the best when playing on 80 games NHL schedule.
    I wonder if Esposito have some hidden agenda on Tretyak as the Soviet goalie was at the time one of the most vocal member of the USSR team often critisizing Canadian aproach to the game and sportmanship (his book is a good example of that).
     
  23. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    LOL.

    I don't think Esposito cares about or even remembers those games.

    The World Championships is still considered unimporant by Canadian players. We have NEVER sent our best team and many players choose not to go simply because they don't care.
     
  24. Reks

    Reks Registered User

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    Yeah ...
    Kaizer, that was the answer that I knew in advance :) Of course, a lot of people think differently.
     
  25. Reks

    Reks Registered User

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    Fortunatly, there are just few such "NHL analysts" ..

    Yes, he has. Espo hates Soviets (Russians) with passion. But he got a real punishment for that. If I remember his daughter married Russian player in Florida :)
     

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