Soviet Centers and Faceoffs

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by GMR, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. GMR

    GMR Registered User

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    I remember reading somewhere that other than Petrov, the other Soviet centers struggled with faceoffs against their Canadian counterparts. Is this true? If so, did the Soviets not practice faceoffs the same way the Canadians did?

    I would think the opposite. A team that thrives on puck possession would need to be good at faceoffs to control the puck immediately instead of having to chase after it.
     
  2. Khomutov

    Khomutov Registered User

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    Soviet and now russian players were always bad at faceoffs.
     
  3. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    They probably didn't have quite the variety of handedness at center either compared to Canada's strong dot men...
     
  4. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    I haven't really studied it, but I think Vladimir Shadrin did better against Phil Esposito on faceoffs than Petrov in 1972. In fact, the Yakushev-Shadrin-Anisin/whoever line even scored a couple of goals right after a faceoff vs Esposito's line in Moscow.

    Anyway, I think it wasn't seen as a particularly important skill in the Soviet Union, i.e. something that they would practise over and over again. Might have costed them a few key goals over the years. I remember Bobby Clarke calling Maltsev a good faceoff man, though. And it might have gotten a little bit better in the 1980s, and there were also some wingers (like Krutov) who were decent on faceoffs.
     
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  5. GMR

    GMR Registered User

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    That just baffles me considering how puck possession was their strength.
     
  6. GMR

    GMR Registered User

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    I guess that's somewhat true, though I remember Fedorov, Larionov and Datsyuk being good faceoff men. I know Malkin has always been terrible at faceoffs. Not sure about guys like Kuznetsov or Anisimov. The best Russian players are not centers these days.
     
  7. Khomutov

    Khomutov Registered User

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    Don't know about Anisimov but as a Ovechkin fan i'm following the Caps and Kuznetsov is bad at faceoffs. One of his few weaknesses.

    Also the best russian or soviet players were most of the time wingers.
     
  8. Khomutov

    Khomutov Registered User

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    Also while not good, Malkin is still better at faceoffs than Kuznetsov i think.
     
  9. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    The Russians have always came across to me as being better skill-wise and more offensive players. Don't think winning faceoffs would be included in that. You would think it'd be different because winning a faceoff would lead, potentially, to offensive chances.
     
  10. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    During the 1987 Canada Cup in Game 2 of the final series in overtime I believe it is you can hear Dan Kelly talk about this prior to a faceoff. He said that the Soviets don't put a lot of priority on faceoffs unlike how we in Canada did over the years with our centres. This is true, they never did practice it very much, especially back then. The Soviets had some unique training but they did lack in some other areas. For example never practicing pulling the goalie cost them a better shot at tying the game in 1972, 1980 and even as late as 1987 they never pulled the goalie in Game 3.
     
  11. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Pulling the goalie and winning faceoffs are conjoined.
     
  12. silkyjohnson50

    silkyjohnson50 Registered User

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    Since the NHL has been tracking faceoffs in 97-98, only 4 Russians are above 50% in the dot:

    Nikolishin: 54.7%
    Fedorov: 54%
    Datsyuk: 53.8%
    Chubarov 51.7%
     
  13. GMR

    GMR Registered User

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    Wow, that is very damning stat. What position does Putin play again recreationally?
     
  14. Mike Farkas

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    President.
     
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  15. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I guess...........??

    I will say they are both important.
     

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