Russian team 1979-1981

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Peter25, Sep 10, 2005.

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  1. Peter25

    Peter25 Registered User

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    What are your thought about the Russian team of 1979 to 1981?

    During that period they got their two biggest victories over NHL (1979 Challenge Cup and 1981 Canada Cup) but also suffered their worst loss of all time losing the olympic gold in 1980.
     
  2. wilka91*

    wilka91* Registered User

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    nothing special, just another Russian team
     
  3. Archijerej

    Archijerej Registered User

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    Ironically it was a transition period. Players like Balderis, Makarov, Krutov, Fetisov, Kasatonov were very young and non-established on that level. On the other hand older stars were retiring: Mikhailov, Petrov etc.
     
  4. UvBnDatsyuked

    UvBnDatsyuked Registered User

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    I know they drank a crap load of vodka.

    79/80 team yes lost the big game but came back very strong. Easy wins in the Sweden Cup up till the championship with a tough 2-1 win over Czech (Makarov was team MVP that year)

    Looking at some of the scores from that season, Sweden had very tough time with them but Czech looked strong (Very close games)


    80/81 Canada played well against them, Sweden continued to get spanked (lost one game 10-2 and in the World Championships 13-1 Ouch), Czech played them very strong.

    These years were amazing to watch. Team Play out the wazoo. Was like watching a chess match. (I'm still partial to the late 80's)
     
  5. Peter25

    Peter25 Registered User

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    Yeah, that's true. Guys like Petrov, Mikhailov, Kharlamov, Vasilyev, Tretiak and Maltsev were on their last legs. These same guys played in the 1972 Summit Series and were in their primes then.

    Then there were "middle aged" established players like Bilyaletdinov, Shalimov, Zhluktov, Kapustin, Balderis, Shepelev, the Golikov brothers, Skvortsov, Kovin, Pervukhin and Babinov who were key players at that time. The Spartak line of Kapustin, Shepelev and Shalimov was really the biggest reason why the Soviets won the 1981 Canada Cup.

    The young generation (KLM line with Fetisov and Kasatonov) were not as dominant then as they were later though. Maybe it was because team USSR had more depht in the late 70's and early 80's than mid and late 80's. Guys like Drozdetsky, Gimayev, Bykov, Khomutov, Svetlov, Semenov, Tyumenev, Kozhevnikov, Starikov and Stelnov also belonged to that same great generation of hockey players who entered their prime in late 70's or early 80's.

    Even though the KLM line was not as dominant in early 80's as they were later you could say that Fetisov was the best defenseman in the world in 1980 as was Makarov the world's best forward in 1980. Especially Makarov was incredibly dominant in those years. He regressed after 1985 and was not the same player in the 1987 Canada Cup as he was earlier. Krutov was the go-to guy of that line after 1985. Krutov was just sick in the 1987 Canada Cup and 1988 olympics.
     
  6. Qui Gon Dave

    Qui Gon Dave Registered User

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    I didnt see these Russian teams play but Kharlamov died at age 33 in 1981, had he really gotten past it? I find it difficult to believe that the guy would be slowing down just because he was 33 :dunno: As i said, i didnt see these teams play and i dont know if injuries had taken a toll on him at this point, but is the quote above more a blanket statement or is it on the money?
     
  7. Archijerej

    Archijerej Registered User

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    He probably slowed down already after 1976, when in the prime of his career he had his first car crash and both legs broken (that was the reason why he didn't play in 1976 Canada Cup). Then we must remember of the tremendous depht that Soviet hockey had and the staff changes before 1980 Olympics. With that many young talented players, past his prime, injury bothered Kharlamov could not compete for the spot in the 1980 failure atmosphere.
     
  8. Marcus-74

    Marcus-74 Registered User

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    Well, that team the Soviets had in the ´78-´79 season is probably my favorite team of all-time; a great mix of old and new. And actually, "on paper" that Lake Placid team might have been the best they ever had, but they really didn´t play like that, did they? Soviets struggled all through the tournament and not just the Miracle on Ice game (close victories over poor amateur Canada and, well, mediocre Finland).
    And just before the Olympics, Red Army had some exhibition games against NHL teams and though they managed to beat the future Stanley Cup champions NY Islanders 3-2, Buffalo and Montreal gave them a good whooping (6-1 and 4-2, respectively). Quite noticeable in those losses was that Red Army was thoroughly outclassed in the final period, and that may have been an slight hint of what happened later in Lake Placid. I guess the top line was now really showing signs of wear and tear, and after the Olympic fiasco Tikhonov started to get rid of the older players (Mikhailov, Kharlamov...). And well, even though his methods were a bit questionable, it has to be said that Soviets of course came back with a vengeance the next season and were maybe at their most unbeatable.

    PHEW! I wonder if anyone even cares to read that crap I just wrote, but there you go :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2005
  9. Archijerej

    Archijerej Registered User

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    Good post Marcus, carry on!
     
  10. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User Sponsor

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    in the 80's it seemed like players(besides a select few) started slowing in there early 30s. You look at the stats of most top players from that period and you will notice a significant decrease come time they are 31,32, etc. My only guess for the current thread of players lasting to mid to late 30s is because they keep in shape better(that or expansion).

    I think part of the reason the owners gave players UFA at 31 in 95 was because up till that point most players were on the downside of there career by that age(hence they though nobody would give them big contracts).
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2005
  11. patchyfogg

    patchyfogg Registered User

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    When we had Boys of Winter author Wayne Coffey on my radio show (you can find the audio link in its own thread on the History board), he talked about how the coach of that team said that he "could never get the exhibition game against the US out of his team's head."
     
  12. +73*

    +73* Guest


    no doubt... trying to think of a player on those teams aside from Mikailov [sp?] that was a right-handed shot...almost exclusively lefties.
     
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