Soviet Recap of 1970 World Championship

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  1. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    Recent research has led me to a lucky find. It's astonishing how many historical and historically interesting publications make their way to the internet. The one at hand is a Russian book published in December 1970. The title is Десятая высота (which translates to something like "The Tenth Pinnacle") and it's a pretty extensive (90 pages) recap of the 1970 World Championship (where the Soviets won their tenth gold medal, hence the title oft he book). The book consists of 13 separate write-ups (mostly by sports journalists) which deal with all kinds of aspects of the WHC, especially the Soviet performance. The 13 write-ups by author:

    1) Vyacheslav Gavrilin
    2) Vladimir Pakhomov
    3) Aleksandr Kolodny and Dmitry Ryzhkov
    4) Vyacheslav Starshinov
    5) Oleg Spassky
    6) Vladimir Dvortsov
    7) A. Zaitsev
    8) Dmitry Boginov
    9) Tatyana Kuzmichova
    10) Aleksandr Dobrov
    11) Gennady Radchuk
    12) V. Chertkov
    13) Albert Leykin

    In this thread I will post translated paraphrases of the individual write-ups over the course of time. It's work in progress, that's why I cannot post everything at one time.
     
  2. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    1) Vyacheslav Gavrilin

    Gavrilin provides an extensive recap in a roughly chronological order. Some off-ice anecdotes aside, much of his commentary (especially on tactics and line-ups) can be assigned to specific games which is why the following paraphrase is presented in a game-by-game order:

    Soviet Union - Finland 2-1 (March 14)
    Over the course of the prior years Finland had established itself as the #4 in Europe behind USSR, ČSSR and Sweden. Not quite good enough to medal, but good enough to steal away a couple of (costly!) points from the Czechoslovaks and the Swedes here and there. Now (in 1970) the Finns have made their strongest and most aggressive effort to win a medal to date. Training under their coach Seppo Liitsola has been based on methods of the "Soviet school of hockey". His team is young and quick. To counter the Soviets who often start their attacks "from the bottom" (buildup from defence?) the Finns focused on "pressure" (forechecking?) and physical play. In the first game they gave the Soviets a hard time, they held them scoreless for two periods and came up with sharp counterattacks. Forwards Matti Keinonen, Lasse Oksanen and Pekka Leimu are singled out as being "in their native element" with these counterattacks. In the third period the Finns finally tired out and the Soviets were able to win 2-1.

    Soviet Union - East Germany 12-1 (March 15)
    Chernyshov and Tarasov were not happy with the performance of their team in the first game against Finland and made some adjustments. The initial plan to give the inexperienced Vladimir Shadrin his first WHC appearance against East Germany was scratched. Two foward lines were subject to changes: Firstly, Mishakov replaced Polupanov as the starting center of the line with Firsov (LW) and Vikulov (RW). Gavrilin's take on this move: as long as the opponents are able to make up for their (relative) lack of skill with heavy work, Firsov needs someone "pushy" like Mishakov who creates constant pressure in front of the goal. With the opponent worn out earlier thanks to Mishakov's play, Polupanov then returns to center Firsov and Vikulov. The second move was to replace Mishakov as LW of the Starshinov line with Valery Nikitin. The latter looked stronger than Mishakov did when helping Starshinov and (defenceman) Davydov to organize the attack. Result: the Nikitin - Starshinov - Maltsev line scored 5 goals and the Vikulov - Mishakov - Firsov line created 4 goals in the 12-1 over East Germany. Still some criticism by Gavrilin: "The defencemen did not always find creative ways to organize attacks."

    Sweden - Czechoslovakia 5-4 (March 15)
    Sweden's #1 goalkeeper Leif Holmqvist was unable to play due to acute sciatica complaints. When this was announced the Swedish fans were shocked, three of them allegedly had to be rushed to the hospital with heart attacks. The Swedish team stayed calm (unlike they had been at past occasions) but they figured they wouldn't keep a clean sheet without Holmqvist anyway and therefore opted to go all out on offence. The result was a fast and exciting game with lots of scoring. In the first half the defencemen distinguished themselves by allowing goals against – and then scoring themselves in return. (Corroboration: Sweden went ahead 2-0 through Nils Johansson [4th minute] and Tommy Abrahamsson [6th minute], then Czechoslovakia scored twice through Oldřich Machač [9th minute] and Jan Suchý [18th minute]. In the second period Sweden made it 3-2 through Lars-Göran Nilsson [21st minute] before the Czechoslovaks equalized again through Suchý's second goal. All the scorers except for Nilsson were defencemen.) The final score was 5-4 for the host country. Says Gavrilin: "Some of the defencemen, for example Jan Suchý, played like midfielders rather than defencemen." He then quotes Anatoly Firsov who gave his own account after watching the game: "The defencemen of both teams are actively involved in the offense. However, the Czechoslovaks and the Swedes look different tactically. The defencemen of the Czechoslovak team are often at the forefront of the attack, no wonder Suchý scores so many goals. The defencemen of the 'Tre Kronor' operate in a different manner, they are in the second row and give support to their forwards. The forwards of both teams played a good combination game together with fast individual forays. The Swedes prefer to shoot from medium and close range while the Czechoslovaks often fire from the distance."

    Sweden - Finland 1-3 (March 17)
    The Swedes created more offensively than the Finns, but "acted too straightforward in the attack" to capitalize. In the first half of the last period (with the score already being 1-3) the Swedes "violently stormed the goal of the Finns", but Finnish goaltender Urpo Ylönen was brilliant and didn't allow a goal against. The Finnish team demonstrated that they are a tactically mature and sophisticated team. However, the following games didn't go so well for Team Suomi. They barely beat East Germany (1-0 on March 19) and then suffered a sound 1-9 defeat against Czechoslovakia (March 20). Gavrilin says he's not sure what went wrong: too much wear and tear in the Sweden game? Or maybe those who say the Finns celebrated their victory with a bit too much alcohol are right?

    Soviet Union - Czechoslovakia 3-1 (March 18)
    Anatoly Firsov was out with fever (39.4 ° Celsius) and the Soviet team was sure to miss his goal scoring and play making abilities. The team would also miss him on the power play where he usually played as the fourth forward. In his absence the new foward line was Mishakov - Polupanov - Vikulov. The Czechoslovaks nevertheless chose a more defensive approach than in the games before: this time Jan Suchý, usually renowned for his offensive forays, "spent most of the time on defence" and Oldřich Machač and František Pospíšil went "less ahead" than usual. Gavrilin mentions that the Czechoslovak national team "often used the 1+2+2 system" originally developed by Tarasov with CSKA, but he doesn't say whether the Czechoslovaks also made us of it in the specific game at hand. The game ended in a 3-1 win for the Soviets with three of the four goals scored on the power play. Gavrilin was happy with the Soviet performance and Czechoslovak coach Vladimír Kostka is quoted as saying that this was the best game the Czechoslovak team played at the 1970 WHC.

    Sweden - Soviet Union 4-2 (March 20)
    The meeting of "the two strongest teams in the sport". After the Soviets went ahead through a goal by Starshinov, a second goal was annulled by the referee who ruled that Firsov had been in the goal crease - "a very controversial call" according to Gavrilin. The Swedes made it 1-1 before the first period was over and in the second they went ahead 2-1. A couple of minutes later Soviet goaltender Viktor Konovalenko suffered a broken nose due to a "blow" against his mask. He had to be replaced by the young Vladislav Tretyak (17 years of age!). Gavrilin says that Tretyak played well and came up with some good saves, but the absence of Konovalenko made the team play too cautiously, "they [only] moved ahead with one eye on their back". The Soviets only scored one more goal, the Swedes scored two and won the game 4-2. Shortcomings of the Soviet team according to Gavrilin: the forwards missed too many chances and the defencemen weren't always able to keep up with the fast Swedes. This also affected the Soviet offence: fearing speedy counterattacks, the defencemen didn't always move ahead with determination to support their own forwards. Table after the first half of the schedule: Sweden 10 points, Soviet Union 8, Czechoslovakia 6, Finland 6, East Germany 1, Poland 1. Gavrilin subsequently quotes Boris Mikhailov who was asked for a half time account of the World Championship hockey. Mikhailov gave an account in general terms: the quality of shots by the forwards was increasing and the defencemen got more and more work to do, especially with their increased involvement in the offence. The only specific players singled out by Mikhailov are goalies Viktor Konovalenko and Urpo Ylönen who demonstrated calmness and "quick orientation in difficult situations" and whose performances could serve as "textbook guides for goaltenders".

    Soviet Union - Finland 16-1 (March 22)
    Some line changes by the Soviets: Polupanov centered Firsov and Vikulov instead of Mishakov and Nikitin played defence. The open LW spot on the line with Starshinov and Maltsev went to young Aleksandr Yakushev. In this game the Soviets were determined to put the Finns in their place and everything went very well for them. Gavrilin praises the "pride" of the team and lists the accomplishments: quick combinations, good individual efforts, strong shooting, effective power plays (4 goals on 4 opportunitites).

    Sweden - Czechoslovakia 2-2 (March 24)
    A "great game" and an important one for the standings. Given the importance, both teams' offensive defencemen (Suchý, Svedberg) played more cautiously than usual. The Czechoslovaks created more chances, but the Swedes went ahead twice. In the end the Czechoslovaks' endurance still earned them a draw. Neither team was happy with the result, both felt they could have won.

    Soviet Union - Poland 11-0 (March 25)
    The Soviets rested three of their veterans, Firsov, Starshinov and Romishevsky. The Petrov line (with Kharlamov and Mikhailov) remained unchanged, Polupanov centered Mishakov and Vikulov and Vladimir Shadrin (first WHC appearance) got to center Yakushev and Maltsev. On defence Romishevsky was replaced by Valery Vasilyev. The match was the "most correct meeting" of the tournament: not a single penalty had to be called.

    Sweden - Finland 4-3 (March 26)
    After the disastrous 1-16 against the Soviets (March 22) and a rather pale performance against Poland (4-0, March 24) the Finns looked much better again in this match. Their spirit was high and they showed "good hockey". 6 minutes into the last period Finland had a 3-1 lead, but in the end the intensity of the fight was too much for them and the Swedes were able to turn the game around within 14 minutes.

    Soviet Union - Czechoslovakia 5-1 (March 27)
    A calm and confident performance by the Soviets who left no doubt who the dominant team was. The Czechoslovaks recognized Maltsev and Kharlamov as the main offensive threats and focused on shutting them out - to the benefit of Yakushev (LW on the Maltsev line) and Mikhailov (RW on the Kharlamov line) who managed to step up. Both of the forwards rested against Poland, Firsov and Starshinov, scored goals. Gavrilin says the "tactical diversity" of the Soviet team was a big factor: they gave the Czechoslovaks a dose of their own medicine - counterattacking.

    Soviet Union - Sweden 3-1 (March 30)
    The decivise game of the tournament. A Swedish victory would have meant that the host country had won the World Championship. Some interesting tactical tweaks by the Soviets: the Swedes focused on "neutralizing" Aleksandr Maltsev, to which Chernyshov and Tarasov reacted by letting Maltsev (RW) play a bit deeper and moving Yakushev (LW) ahead instead. Mikhailov had some early breakaways as he was told to lurk on the blue line while the other four players were defending against the Swedes when they were in puck possession, but Holmqvist robbed Mikhailov on three 1-on-1 opportunities. Neither team scored in the first period, but Sweden went ahead by 1-0 in the second. After their goal they tried to slow down the pace of the Soviets by all available means: they took their time for line changes, then Holmqvist had to go and get his equipment fixed and then someone else had to get a new stick before a faceoff could be taken. They tried to built a defensive redoubt at their blue line to keep the puck in the neutral zone as long as possible. But the Soviets' pressing and attacking didn't stop and finally the Swedish defence gave in. Two goals within a minute made it 2-1 for the Soviets three minutes before the end of the second period, and in the third period the Soviets scored a third goal. That was it. The Soviets were World Champions again. Gavrilin proceeds to deliver a laudation on the Soviet team (including its coaches and staff), its technical skills, its arsenal of tactics, its physical condition and so on. Reflecting on the World Championship tournament in general, he notes the improved physical training and increased stamina of many teams. He also remarks that the introduction of body checking all over the rink has had a "negative impact" on the passing and combination game.

    Trivia
    -Leif Holmqvist is highly popular in Sweden, not only as an athlete but also as something of a fashion icon. Holmqvist has sideburns now? Young people immediately flock to the heardressers to get a style "a la Holmqvist".
    -Observers from Latin America attend the WHC with film cameras, hoping they can make hockey popular in their soccer-mad home countries. They are quoted as saying that they have started to translate some of Tarasov's publications into Spanish and that "Firsov is a Pele on skates".
    -Swedish players Kjell-Rune Milton (D) and Anders Hedberg (F) are said to have turned down offers by a professional outfit in Vancouver. Hedberg was allegedly offered $20,000 per year. Another North American pro club, represented by Mike Daski (he later scouted for the Detroit Red Wings, maybe he already did in 1970), had an eye on defencemen Lennart Svedberg and Arne Carlsson.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  3. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Great

    Great find Theo and a very valuable contribution.

    1970 would represent the first WHC after the 1969 IIHF rule change that allowed the aggressive forecheck in the offensive zone. First game against Finland seems like the Soviets had a hard time with the tactic. Further evidenced by the changes made for the second game which seem to have been successful.

    Comment about Firsov needs clarification - creating more open ice for hi with better angles of attack or taking on defensive responsibility?

    The comment about the defensemen failing to find creative ways to organize the attack - still having problems with the aggressive forecheck or lack of overall offensive skills by the defencemen? Previously mention is made of Starshinov, a center, helping organize the attack. This is the approach the Canadiens took for a few seasons after Doug Harvey was traded leaving the team without mature puck moving defencemen.

    Sweden - Czechoslovakia game. The soccer analogy is interesting. Implies that neither team had included the aggressive forecheck in their tactics.

    Sweden - Finland. Would have been interesting to read if Finland continued with their first game tactics.Later results point to the tactic being discontinued or the other teams adapted.

    Soviet Union - Czechoslovakia. 1+2+2 was played long before Tarasov started coaching hockey. When six man hockey was introduced. Regardless, was it a passive or aggressive 1+2+2 that was used?

    Sweden-Soviet Union. Critique of Soviet defencemen. Foot speed, positioning, reading the play, ... reasons?

    Soviet Union-Finland. Did Finland play the aggressive forecheck?

    Sweden-Czechoslovakia. More cautiously offensively, defensively, both?

    Sweden-Soviet Union. Last game, switching Maltsev and Yakushev in their roles. Seems like the NHL strategy of the lead winger and the trailing winger. Yakushev playing LW(ahead) would have seen ice time against Svedberg playing RD. This would force Svedberg to play a more defensive game. Nice move.
     
  4. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    That's my read as well. Looks like the Finns under Liitsola were well-prepared to make effective use of the new rule.

    Gavrilin makes it sound as if it was the former.

    Good question. Hopefully one of the other write-ups from the book will provide an insight.

    Finland is indeed the only team singled out as using aggressive "pressure" in combination with physical play to interfere with the opponents' buildup. But how do you figure this is reflected in the "midfielder" analogy?

    Another interesting question we cannot answer at this point.

    Seems like they cut down on their trademark forays into the offensive zone.

    In Soviet hockey the "1-2-2 system" is referring to the following concept Anatoly Tarasov and his assistant Boris Kulagin came up with in 1965:

     
  5. Talisman

    Talisman Registered User

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    Full soviets vs sweden WCH 1970 game


    and the final Soviets vs Sweden at the same tournament
     
    Last edited by moderator Theokritos: Jan 10, 2016
  6. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    Thanks, that's actually a nice idea. Why not post the full games we got from the tournament? The sticky has four of them, the two above (I edited those to embed them) and the following two:

    The first game between Sweden and Finland (1-3):


    The second game between Sweden and Czechoslovakia (2-2):
     
  7. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    1-2-2

    Midfielder analogy, is rather a passive tactic.

    Tarasov and Kulagin did not come - up with the tactic in 1965. They simply adapted the Montreal Canadiens tactic of limiting the Chicago Blackhawks outlet pass to Bobby Hull to international rules.

    In international rules the center red line could not cause an offside. In the NHL the center red line could cause an offside. The Canadiens with the speedy Henri Richard would agressively forecheck the defenceman in the corner where the puck went. The defenceman could not outlet the pass to Bobby Hull in the area between the left wing blueline and the center red line, and would have to play it behind the net to his partner. Hull would have to slow down so not to be offside at the redline, cutting across. Speed was neutralized.

    In international hockey the outlet pass from the deep defensive zone to the opposing blueline was allowed, so the Tarasov / Kulagin adaptation worked.NHL receiving the puck between the center red line and the opposing blueline the winger in the 1960s would have been offside. The rule changed within the last generation.
     
  8. Sanf

    Sanf Registered User

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    Excellent stuff. Always interesting to see how these games were viewed in other countries.

    For the trivia part Mike Daski was named Red Wings European scout in 1967.

    September 14, 1967 Warren Times-Mirror and Observer
    The Weirton Daily Times 1970 March 23

     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  9. DN28

    DN28 Registered User

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    Interesting that around this time, Jan Suchy and Jiri Holik were offered professional contracts by Detroit as well.
     
  10. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    Thanks for the confirmation.
     
  11. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    2) Vladimir Pakhomov

    Pakhomov's contribution amounts to a recital of historic stats and records: How many games has the Soviet national played in its history, how many has it won, how man has it played and won against which specific nation, how many goals has the team scored in these games, which where the victories with the biggest goal differential, which players have played the most games for the Soviet team and which have scored the most goals and the most assists, which defencemen have scored the most, which Soviet club teams have sent how many players to the national team, etc. Firsov has scored his 100th goal for the national team at the 1970 WHC, Maltsev has scored more in one tournament in 1970 then anybody else ever has with 15 goals, finally beating Bobrov's record (13 goals) from 1957. The list goes on. Not entirely uninteresting, but not much in terms of specific information and contemporary insight into the 1970 WHC to be found in Pakhomov's write-up.
     
  12. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    3) Aleksandr Kolodny and Dmitry Ryzhkov

    The contribution by Kolodny and Ryzhkov is dedicated to the World Championship All-star team determined by a poll among the international journalists accredited at the WHC in Stockholm. Full voting result from another source:
    Kolodny/Ryzhkov go through the All-star team one position after the other. They list the top 2 vote-getters and discuss the players. Here we go:

    Goaltender: Viktor Konovalenko (USSR) 43 points, Leif Holmqvist (Sweden) 23 points.

    Kolodny/Ryzhkov unsurprisingly agree that Konovalenko was the best goalkeeper in the tournament. They say he made only one mistake all tournament (in the second game against Sweden). For corroboration they cite a Czechoslovak peer of theirs, Vladimír Malec, as saying that Konovalenko played brilliantly after not being called up to the national team for a whole year and that he was steadier and calmer than the other goaltenders in the tournament. Apart from his good play, Kolodny/Ryzhkov also highlight Konovalenko's character and determination. After suffering a broken nose in the first game against Sweden (March 20), he returned to full training the next day and was back in goal against Finland the day after (March 22). The game was already heading for a runaway victory of the Soviets when Konovalenko took another blow to his mask and started bleeding from his nose again, and yet he didn't allow himself to be pulled and stayed on the ice for the full 60 minutes.
    Kolodny/Ryzhkov say that Leif Holmqvist was "of course a great goaltender" too, but they quote a Swiss journalist (F. Lüzinger [?] from Zurich) wo said that Holmqvist was something of "an actor" who sometimes "played for the audience". Kolodny/Ryzhkov agree with this and illustrate it with an example of Holmqvist theatrically explaining something to the referee. They add that Holmqvist would at times show signs of getting nervous and unsettled at the end of difficult games by visibly looking at the clock and counting the minutes until the final whistle. In opposition to this, Konovalenko was always calm and focused, with nothing but the game on his mind. That's the way Kolodny/Ryzhkov portray it.
    They also disagree with the IIHF Directorate picking Urpo Ylönen (Finland) as the "Best Goaltender" of the tournament. Their explanation for this choice: "It has long been known that a goalkeeper on a weaker team looks, so to say, better. He has to fend off a lot of shots and if his team loses no-one will dare to call the goalie the culprit." Ylönen was always guaranteed applause in matches against stronger teams. Conversely goaltenders like Konovalenko (USSR), Holmqvist (Sweden) and Dzurilla (Czechoslovakia) have no opportunity to add glory when playing against weaker teams of plenty of opportunity to stain their reputation.

    Right defenceman: Jan Suchý (ČSSR) 78 points, Lars-Erik Sjöberg (Sweden) 5 points.

    Now this is interesting. The Finnish yearbook which gave us the full All-star voting results quoted above just lists all defencemen and then all forwards together while Kolodny/Ryzhkov list them by specific position: Right defencemen, left defencemen, right winger, center, left winger. (The order, right to left, is characteristic for Russian sources. In Russian it's "Mikhailov-Petrov-Kharlamov", not the other way round.) So were the World Championship All-star teams actually selected by specific positions after all?

    Jan Suchý was the landeslide winner in this one. But Kolodny/Ryzhkov got a question: "Who are you, Jan Suchý? A defenceman or a forward?" They recall his first appearance at the WHC in 1965: "He was steady and reliable enough [for a defenceman]. And perhaps we wouldn't even ask this question ('who are you, Jan Suchý?') if not for his shot. Even back then it was notable that his shot was more accurate than that of many other players. One shot – one goal. Two shots – two goals. And on it went." No question Suchý was "excellent" in the 1970 WHC "as a forward". Being double-shifted when Czechoslovakia was down to five defencemen, he still managed to join in the attack as usual. And as a defenceman? Kolodny/Ryzhkov quote a statement Suchý himself gave after the tournament: "When I go on the attack with my [club team] Dukla [Jihlava], the forwards are obliged to cover up for me. In Stockholm [=1970 WHC] there was no safety net. But I don't change my style of play because of that." Kolodny/Ryzhkov hold back on a final judgment, but they make it clear that Suchý was all offence at the 1970 WHC and didn't play (or wasn't asked to play?) a balanced game.

    Left defenceman: Lennart Svedberg (Sweden) 58 points, Thommy Abrahamsson (Sweden) 12 points.

    Kolodny/Ryzhkov characterize Svedberg as a "pronounced individualist" in love with the spotlight. Renowned for his offensive forays, he "acted like a forward" as soon as he entered the zone of the opponent. His offensive play in the first half of the WHC earned him the praise of the international journalists, but team coach Arne Strömberg thought it was not always to the benefit of the team, so he made Svedberg play more conservatively. Apparently with good results: Kolodny and Ryzhkov say that the pairing of Lennart Svedberg and Arne Carlsson "was probably the most reliable" one in the second round of the WHC. So unlike Suchý, Svedberg did not only demonstrate his offensive but also his defensive qualities at the 1970 WHC.

    Right winger: Aleksandr Maltsev (Soviet Union) 80 points. (Valery Kharlamov is listed as second with 3 points. That's a mixup on part of the authors. They probably had Vikulov in mind.)

    Maltsev made headlines as "hero" of the tournament and won all the individual honours he could possibly win. Kolodny/Ryzhkov portray him as a natural born athlete who also excelled in soccer and basketball. After giving his WHC debute in 1969 he had "matured as a hockey player" by 1970 and he had entered the rows of the hockey greats more easily than anybody since Veniamin Aleksandrov. Maltsev's qualities: "fantastic" speed, fine technique, an accurate and strong shot and the ability to "explode" and unexpectedly "jack up the pace". But now that Maltsev has gained recognition the biggest test is still ahead of him, Kolodny/Ryzhkov say: the "test of glory", of not getting carried away by the recognition. They cite Veniamin Aleksandrov again as a role model for Maltsev as he never stopped being self-disciplined and subjecting himself to the highest demands. Considering some of the later criticism Maltsev faced, he obviously would not always live up to the ideal the authors had in mind here.

    Center: Václav Nedomanský (ČSSR) 35 points, Vyacheslav Starshinov (Soviet Union) 12 points.

    Kolodny/Ryzhkov describe Nedomanský as an imposing figure with a powerful shot – someone impossible not to notice on the ice. A "typical goalscorer", he would rather use his big shot than "fancy moves" to cut through resistance. Even though he was a powerful guy, he used to shy away from the physical game in earlier years, but last year (1969) he showed that "the trips to Canada served him well". Expectations before the 1970 WHC were high, Kolodny/Ryzhkov say that some journalists predicted Nedomanský would become even more dangerous now that bodychecking was allowed in the offensive zone too and that he would become the star of the tournament. However, this did not come to pass, at least in the eyes of Kolodny/Ryzhkov. Their arguments: Nedomanský (10 goals) was the second best goalscorer in the tournament after Maltsev (15), but he preyed on weaker teams and his defensive performance was not up to the standards a center should be held to.

    Left winger: Anatoly Firsov (Soviet Union) 59 points, Lars-Göran Nilsson (Sweden) 8 points.

    Kolodny/Rzyhkov have disappointingly little to say about the actual game and performance of Firsov. They give a short recap of his career and his earlier achievements before deferring to Anatoly Tarasov's book "Совершеннолетие" where it says that Firsov possesses speed of thought, speed of hand and speed of foot. They add that Firsov was always the "center of events" on the ice and that he "always came up with something special". Afterwards they proceed to praise his character and his role model qualities: determined, tireless, cheerful and a selfless mentor for Polupanov and Vikulov since 1966. Not uninteresting, but not really offering us anything tangible about the 1970 WHC either.

    Trivia:

    -An eery read: "Suchý has always been possessed by the need for speed. He drives his car in such a way that his own father doesn't risk to be a passenger". That's what Kolodny/Ryzhkov write in December 1970. Nine months later Suchý had a terrible car crash and at least according to this report it claimed the life of his passenger.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  13. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Injury

    ^^^ What was the Soviet's policy about injuries?

    Could a player lose his spot because of injury?

    Would coaches encourage a player to play if he was < 100% physically?

    Did players hide minor injuries?
     
  14. Sanf

    Sanf Registered User

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    IIRC in Viktor Konovalenkos book, Konovalenko tells a story about the Winnipeg Centennial tournament. Him and Jevgeni Majorov were feeling sick. Fever IIRC. Tarasov demanded that both of them have to play in the game against Canada. It was too important game to miss. Konovalenko played, Majorov didn't. According to Konovalenko that was the conflict that pretty much ended Majorovs NT career. That was few years earlier, but in Tarasovs era.

    But with Soviet hockey there usually is few different versions of every story.



    Is there any mentions why Konovalenko was out of the national team before that. There is many versions about this, but one of them is that Konovalenko had criticized Tarasovs system and was banned because of that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  15. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    That would obviously depend on the nature & severity of the injury. If it negatively affected a players' performance and a better alternative was available then sure.

    Unless a promising alternative was available or the game ahead was perceived as either easy or not overly important then yes. I was about the recite the same example that Sanf has now brought up, the only difference is that in the version I've read it was not Viktor Konovalenko but Veniamin Aleksandrov who was out with an inury. And it was at the Walter Brown Memorial tournament in Colorado in December 1964. The Soviets were on the verge of failing to win the tournament after a defeat against Czechoslovakia and with Aleksandrov definitely out the coaches certainly expected Yevgeny Mayorov through his injury (which was less severe than Aleksandrov's). Mayorov's refusal (in combination with the brusque way he expressed it) made him look soft and drew the ire of Chernyshov and Tarasov. It's true that the whole episode pretty much cost him his spot on the national team, right in the middle of his prime.

    An example of a Soviet playing despite of an injury would be Valery Kharlamov who was clearly not fit to play after the Clarke slash in 1972. The only reason he returned in game 8 is because assistant coach Boris Kulagin hoped Kharlamov's presence would have a mental impact on the Canadians and make them waste time and effort covering Kharlamov. After game 8 Kharlamov didn't play again until October 14th even though the Soviet league season started on October 2nd, so it was clearly exceptional for him to play in game 8 with that injury.
     
  16. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    1957 Soviet Tour

    Very interesting account above. Forgotten part of the 1957 Soviet Tour of Canada.Nikolai Puchkov had suffered a broken jaw in the Soviet Union in the lead-up to the tour and was forbidden from playing by doctors. After losing the first game and tying the second with a back-up goalie, the Soviets started Puchkov against KWD. They lost:

    https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=QIY0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=dKgFAAAAIBAJ&hl=fr&pg=7255,5401860

    But with Puchkov playing the remaining games they went undefeated.
     
  17. Sanf

    Sanf Registered User

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    It was actually Walter Brown Memorial. Memory failed me (atleast) on that part.
     
  18. VMBM

    VMBM Touch a mountain... m'kay?

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    Yep, Kharlamov tells the story in his book.

    Not actual injury, but I know that Sergey Kapustin was suffering from a very high fever when he played in the deciding 1978 WHC game vs Czechoslovakia (Viktor Tikhonov tells about it in his book), and he played for the exactly same reason as Kharlamov in 1972; while young Sergey Makarov played many shifts with Zhluktov and Balderis (Kapustin's linemates) in the game, Kapustin got just enough of ice-time to, er, make his precence known. Vasiliev was very sick during that game also. And I know that Anatoly Firsov played with a high fever in some important game(s) too. Can't help wondering what these kind of situations possibly did to their health (heart). I don't know whether they were asked or ordered to play, probably the latter, heh. And they very well might have played willingly anyway, who knows...
     
  19. DN28

    DN28 Registered User

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    Thus it comes as a no surprise that WC 1970 was easily Suchý's most productive tournament. He scored 15 points (8+7) in 10 games, fourth in points overall (only Maltsev, Nedomansky and Firsov scored more). This was for the first time ever that a defenseman placed in Top 5 scoring of any WC (after WWII at least).

    Funny that this was also the most productive Nedomanský's championship and he scored only 2 points more than Suchy here!

    This WC however, was dissapointment for CSSR after two great previous tournaments, so it's not surprising that Suchy altered his game in the following WC in 1971 in order to be more efficient in his own zone. Thus he scored only 5 points there but Czechoslovakia actually became the European champions because of beating USSR in one game and tieing in another.

    Yes one of his passengers died and even more eery is the fact that Suchy's father died in car accident in that same year! (few months before his own accident)
     
  20. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    4) Vyacheslav Starshinov

    Team captain Vyacheslav Starshinov's contribution to the book consists of a review of his own teammates and their performance at the 1970 WHC. His account, apparently delivered in speech, was brought to paper by G. (?) Pakhomov and Gennady Radchuk. Starshinov starts off by thanking the coaches Chernyshov and Tarasov for leading the Soviet team to ten gold medals in a row. Then he proceeds to review one Soviet player after the other. The reviews are pretty short but they're still valuable as Starshinov does not shy away from providing his honest opinion.

    Viktor Konovalenko:
    "I had the opportunity to play together with him in all [seven] World Championships he took part in. I declare that our goaltender has never before played as great as this time in Stockholm. With the years came wisdom and serenity. Like me, Ragulin and Davydov are convinced that Konovalenko was like someone reborn on the ice in Stockholm."

    Vladislav Tretyak:
    "Vladislav initially felt that playing at the WHC was not so different from junior competitions. Sure, the European Junior Championship is a serious test, but playing at a senior WHC is still a different animal." Starshinov says he's sure the few games Tretyak played in were enough to teach him that. "A promising athlete" that Tretyak is, Starshinov concludes.

    Aleksandr Ragulin and Igor Romishevsky:
    "Our most experienced defensive pairing. Perhaps they didn't shine as much as we would have liked. But what can you do, at 30 it's not easy playing with as much zest as with 20. But no-one will dare to say they weren't solid. They were reliable and that's why counts most."

    Yevgeny Paladyev and Vladimir Lutchenko:
    "I'm pleased with them. Even after Paladyev became World Champion last year and was awarded the title Honoured Master of Sports I've heard the talk that he was rushed to the national team. Last fall there was reason for such talk as Yevgeny had a weak start into the season with our team Spartak. But Paladyev has always been characterized by courage and refusal to back down. He did not lose these qualities in that difficult fall for Spartak and in winter he regained his form. At the World Championship we saw Paladyev disciplined, tough and strong-willed. There's only one thing I regret: Paladyev stopped following the example of last year when he use every chance to shoot on the goal (though all of our defencemen are now scoring less!).
    I confess that I didn't really believe in the capability of Vladimir Lutchenko. Perhaps due to the fact that he missed a lot of games with his club in the fall, he could not find his game. But at the World Championship Lutchenko played very confidently and reliably."

    Valery Nikitin and Vitaly Davydov:
    "They were solid. These two are very different players: Davydov is extremely disciplined, he concisely executes the instructions of the coaches, he's brave and fearless in physical encounters. Even though he's 31 he plays with a kind of youthful temperament. Nikitin is a different kind of player. The national team values it highly when a defenceman is able to set up quick counterattacks, but Valery is used to play a pace-reducing game with [his club team] Khimik. With the national team he had to relearn. He did everything he could."

    Valery Vasilyev:
    "One of the newcomers. His strenght clearly lies in the ability to break up opposing attacks. But his passing game leaves something to be desired, he hesitates to pass."

    Vladimir Vikulov:
    "The strongest player on the first line, he delivered constantly throughout the entire tournament. It's been a long time since one of our wingers played so solidly and confidently. Persistent and bold, Vikulov went into the thick of the attack. He scored important goals and didn't back down to the strenght of any opponent."

    Viktor Polupanov:
    "He was good in the last two games and not so good in the first game. The coaches repeatedly replaced him with Mishakov. I predicted to the coaches that a proud guy like Polupanov would not just swallow the fact that he was being held in reserve and that his linemates did well without him. And so it happened: towards the end of the tournament Viktor noticeable upped his game."

    Anatoly Firsov:
    "Measured by his earlier standard he played a tournament without shine. But let's not forget he was suffering from high fever on one day (he didn't play in the first round against Czechoslovakia) and of course that did reflect in his form. And even when he returned after his illness he didn't fail to fit right in. His courage, skill and dedication continued to be indispensable for us forwards."

    Yevgeny Mishakov:
    "He impressed all of us with his capacity for work, his ability to put the opponent under permanent pressure. In my opinion he did better than last year."

    Valery Kharlamov, Vladimir Petrov and Boris Mikhailov:
    "Before leaving for Stockholm there were high hopes for this trio. You bet! This line had scored more than 100 goals in domestic games. But on the ice in Stockholm Petrov and his peers where unimpressive, especially in the first round. It says everything that they couldn't even get a standard combination done that has been drilled until automatism in training. Apparently Petrov began the WHC tired from our strenous [domestic] competition. (...) After they didn't have success in the first few games Petrov and his comrades perhaps tried a little too hard. Their game didn't become sharp. Fortunately they finally found their game in the last match of the tournament and we got to see the line in old strenght again."

    Aleksandr Maltsev:
    "He was magnificent. There has been so much written about it that I don't want to repeat it. Only one thing: it's most important for him now to deal rightly with the flow of praise.
    I think that Maltsev's successful performance was in part made possible by moving him from center to the wing, in other words: freeing him from the work load of defensive duty. At the center position he easily got tired in the past so that he was not always ready to follow through with an attack. In the role of a winger all of his energy went into the attack."

    Aleksandr Yakushev:
    "Chernyshov wanted to know my opinion: should he be added to the first team [again] or not? (...) I believed in Aleksandr and asked Chernyshov to put him on our line on the left wing. It's nice that Yakushev played well. I think he will get a permanent spot on the first team next year."

    Vyacheslav Starshinov:
    "Prior to the tournament I was very nervous. I picked up a serious injury in Canada and, I confess, returned prematurely and against the advise of the doctors to play for Spartak Moscow – I was keen on getting in good form. When I was picked for the WHC team I was relieved and after we won the first game against Finland I was in seventh heaven. However the coaches told me that I had created a lot of scoring chances but failed to score. In response I silently nodded my head in agreement, thinking to myself that if I had created a lot of scoring chances then that was a good thing, considering my extended absence from playing."

    Vladimir Shadrin:
    "He only got to play once. Of course he was a little sad about it, but what can you do. I believe in his future."

    Additional remark:
    Thanks to Acallabeth and sqw3r for their help with a Russian passage in need of an explanation.
     
  21. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    5) Oleg Spassky

    Spassky's review of the WHC strikes me as a bit "all over the place", but he still provides some interesting pieces of information:

    -He quotes Anatoly Firsov as saying that the Soviet had been able to surprise their opponents with the 1-2-2 system in 1967 and 1968. But by 1969 the Czechoslovaks had unexpectedly adopted that system for themselves which was a huge factor in their two wins over the Soviets in 1969. It's not viable to stand still, one must always keep improving, Firsov says. And that's what Chernyshov and Tarasov always strive for and what earned the Soviets their tenth title in 1970, he adds. Spassky agrees that the coaches deserve credit for this, but he doesn't think tactical tweaks were the biggest factor in 1970: Even more important was the mental preparation of the players. Keeping them hungry and maintaining the team spirit were the main achievements. Group dynamics, that's what team sports are about, Spassky says.
    -In the first few WHC games Aleksandr Maltsev scored several goals, but failed to register any assists. This changed over the course of the tournament. Spassky's take: "Maybe I venture to make a mistake when I draw meaningful conclusions from the stats table, but..." His impression is that Maltsev, initially a bit "reluctant" to pass the puck, "matured" as the tournament went on. Spassky's view doesn't come without an ideological connotation though: Maltsev's maturation was also a "moral" one as he developed a better "understanding of collectivism".
    -Having played center himself at the 1969 WHC and now winger on a line centered by Vyacheslav Starshinov, Maltsev was in the position to "understand very well" what the performance of Starshinov meant both "for the team" and for Maltsev's own "enormous personal success" in 1970. Maltsev didn't fail to express his "sincere gratitute" for Starshinov's help.
    -Spassky doesn't think there is reason to be disappointed with the Kharlamov-Petrov-Mikhailov line. The expectations for them were too high before the WHC he argues: sure, they were outstanding in 1969, but back then opponents were not yet aware of their qualities and didn't give them the attention they got in 1970. Also, the performance of the other Soviet forward lines was better in 1970 than in 1969 so that it was harder to stand out this time.
    -He quotes a comment Kharlamov himself gave in the newspaper "Smena": Kharlamov said the trio cracked under the high expectations and was subject to harsh criticism by the coaches. "It began in the first match, in the game against Finland. Right up to the game the coaches applauded us in the training, but the next morning... What do you think, you can unlearn how to play hockey for one night?" Unfortunately it wasn't the last night. "We were accused of all mortal sins. Petrov was even benched. The three of us were blamed for selfishness, for the lack of passes. We all understood. We tried. Our sweat was pouring down in streams, both in game and in training. Laziness is probably the only thing we were not accused of. We gave everything we had in every match." It didn't help, the line just didn't get loose. The coaches told them to play a simpler game. And again: "We tried it." It didn't work. Seems Spassky's lenient view of their performance was rather an exception.
    -One more quote by Firsov, this time lamenting the state of the Soviet defence prior to the WHC tournament: Viktor Kuzkin was out with an injury suffered in Canada, veterans like Ragulin and Davydov had trouble finding their form, Paladyev got ill and Romishevsky and Lutchenko are described as "unsettled" and "confused". Firsov credits Chernyshov and Tarasov with psychological guidance that helped building up the players' confidence in time for the WHC. More opportunity for Spassky to highlight this aspect of both coaches' work and to cite corroborating statements by Vikulov, Starshinov and Vasilyev.
    -After the tournament Tarasov was asked for his opinion about the WHC All-star team. "The coach shrugged. 'Who is supposed to defend on that team?'" Spassky agrees: Jan Suchý and Lennart Svedberg are offensive defencemen who love to play at the forefront of the attack. Both are great players, but the objection is that their play is not without risk. For example, in the first WHC game between Sweden and Finland (March 17, Finland won 3-1) Svedberg gave the puck away on one of his forays which led to a breakaway opportunity for the Finns who promptly scored to make it 1-0. The Soviet defencemen, Spassky says, were "less visible" than Svedberg and Suchý because they played "safer" and with "strict tactical discipline" – in Spassky's eyes "a testimony of moral maturity".

    Trivia:
    When IIHF president John F. Ahearne tried to hold a speech after the final game of the tournament had come to an end, he was interrupted by "Go, Canada, go!" chants in the stadium. Clearly not everybody was happy about the absence of the North Americans.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  22. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    6) Vladimir Dvortsov

    What Dvortsov offers is a recital of 1970 World Championship trivia. Anecdotes (both on ice and off ice), topics that were talked about by the media, the players and the fans, bits and pieces from newspapers and player biographies and so on. Which movie did the Soviet team attend on a free day, what did the fan post from Russia say, did you know that Tretyak started playing hockey because of his mother, Arne Strömberg once dreamed of becoming a priest when he was a kid... stuff like this. Not that interesting on most accounts, just adding some colour to the picture. Some of the more interesting stories:
    -At the end of the game between Sweden and Czechoslovakia there was a scuffle when Ulf Sterner got too close to Vladimír Dzurilla. It resulted in Sterner being carried off on a stretcher (no lasting injury) and a Swedish fan from Malmö trying to press criminal charges against Dzurilla – the attempt was shut down by "Police Commissioner" Sven Turander.
    -IIHF president Ahearne took some flak from the Swedish media. Svenska Dagbladet advised him to take care of consistent refereeing instead of holding press conferences.
    -In the second game between Finland and East Germany the puck flew over the boards no less than 15 times. A great game for souvenir hunters.
    -Former Swedish defenceman Roland Stoltz was overwhelmed by the popularity of the tournament: "I never could have imagined that even housewives would be so interested in hockey. They call the radio station and ask for a special report, they want everything explained in detail."
     
  23. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    7) A. Zaitsev

    Another contribution leaning towards trivia. This one gives a little insight into the life of the Soviet team in their Stockholm hotel. The fan post from back home, the party on Chernyshov's birthday... all not really useful for our purpose. Only one thing: the autographs of Firsov and Starshinov were the most prized ones among hockey fans who came to the hotel. Clearly the two biggest names of the Soviets at the 1970 WHC. Oh, and the ladies preferred the autographs of Maltsev and Czechoslovakia's Nedomanský.

    Okay, next write-up please.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  24. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    8) Dmitry Boginov

    Dmitry Boginov, former head coach of Torpedo Gorky (1955-1963) and Dinamo Kiev (1963-1968) and former assistant coach with the Soviet B national team (circa 1961), was also an eager writer. His comments were frequently published in the daily paper "Sovietsky Sport" and in its Sunday supplement "Futbol-Khokkey".

    Rule change
    In his contribution Boginov reflects on the impact of the new rules on the 1970 WHC. It was the first World Championship where bodychecking was allowed in all zones of the ice. He notes that the rule change had caused quite some concern among the coaches and players in the fall of 1969. There was a fear that hockey would become less attractive, that finesse would be sacrificed in favour of roughness and that it would benefit weaker teams that only want to "destroy instead of create". It was apparently expected there would a few real upsets at the 1970 World Championship. And indeed, early in the tournament Finland managed to defeat Sweden 3-1. Would they have achieved the same under the old rules? Boginov quotes a post-game statement by Swedish head coach Arne Strömberg who said the Finns made good use of the new rules but also took advantage of the Swedish players not being on their guard enough after their recent victory against Czechoslovakia. The Finns were quick and determined and made effective use of every mistake the Swedes made. In their own end they made life miserable for the Swedish forwards with their selfless and physical play, Strömberg said. Boginov adds that Finland (a team he does not want to count among the technically inferior teams by the way) did indeed play a quite physical game at the WHC, which even prompted a saying: "The Canadian team is here in Stockholm, they just act as the Finnish team." Boginov credits this to their assistant coach Viljo "Joe" Wirkkunen, a Finnish-Canadian from Ontario whom the team had worked with for "almost a year" prior to the WHC. And yet the Soviets were able to defeat Finland 16-1 in their second game, which Boginov takes as confirmation of Sven Tumba Johansson's prediction that the new rules would not hurt technically skilled players – provided they were fast skaters. (And therefore it's no surprise for Boginov that Roland Stoltz – who "had many valuable qualities, except for one: speed" had spoken out against the rule change.) Boginov also agreeds with Nikolay Puchkov (head coach of SKA Leningrad at that time) whom he quotes as saying the rule change would actually serve as a catalyst for the improvement of individual skills.

    "Toughness"
    Next Boginov argues against those voices in Russia who claimed that the WHC had been lacking in "toughness". Boginov says it's wrong to mistake the absence of "dirty" and "rude" hockey (the examples he gives are high-sticking, elbowing and bone-breaking bodychecks – means normally used by "low-class players") for the absence of "tough" hockey. The point in stopping an opponent with physical means is not to injure him. A positive example from earlier days: Alfred Kuchevsky was a "very tough defenceman" who was "perfectly able to separate an opponent from the puck", both at the boards and on the open ice. The latter area is actually the more important one: "Only near the goal, in the most dangerous area, bodychecking becomes the only weapon that can save the day." Bodychecking in the board area on the other hand is secondary. Other examples of tough but clean defencemen Boginov comes up with: Nikolay Sologubov, Ivan Tregubov, Genrikh Sidorenkov, and Dmitry Ukolov from the Soviet Union and Lasse Björn (Sweden), Roland Stoltz (Sweden), Rudolf Potsch (Czechoslovakia) and František Gregor (Czechoslovakia) from abroad. Oustanding examples from the 1970 WHC: Arne Carlsson (Sweden), Oldřich Machač (Czechoslovakia), František Pospíšil (Czechoslovakia), Vitaly Davydov and Igor Romishevsky among defencemen. Of the forwards Boginov says there are "too many" who were "tough" to name them all, but he singles out Vladimir Vikulov as someone who combined finesse with physicality: He "never" failed to succeed in physical encounters in front of the goal and was regrettably underrated by the international journalists in the All-star poll, Boginov says.

    Examples
    Boginov also cites an example of a WHC game where the line between tough and rude was crossed: The Finns had played a tough but clean physical game from the start of the tournament on, but in their encounter with Czechoslovakia it showed that this could not be done without speed. As the game went on the Finns got tired and started to restore to "illegal practices" since they were no longer able to keep up with the Czechoslovaks and to keep them in checking distance as is necessary for a clean physical game. On the other thand, the second game between Sweden and Czechoslovakia (2-2) was a nice example for a tough and clean game. Boginov highlights the performance of the Czechoslovaks who spent a lot of time in the offensive zone and were always in checking distance. Every time a Swedish player got the puck he was "immediately attacked" and put under pressure. Defencemen Oldřich Machač and František Pospíšil and forwards Július Haas, Jan Hrbatý, Jiří Kochta, Stanislav Prýl and František Ševčík are said to have made good use of their body in this game and "perhaps only Václav Nedomanský was clearly inferior to his peers in relation to a tough game". Overall this was Czechoslovakia's best game at the 1970 WHC, Boginov concludes.

    Defencemen
    Next Boginov turns to the WHC All-star defencemen Jan Suchý and Lennart Svedberg. He says that in 1969 both players were recognized as exemplary "modern attacking defencemen" for being reliable defensively and for participating in the offence. In 1970 however the defensive reliability was missing, Boginov says. His original condemnation had already been published during the WHC tournament in the "Sovietsky Sport" newspaper where Boginov claimed he wouldn't like to have someone playing like Suchý or Svedberg on his own team. Boginov concedes that this original criticism had possibly been too brusque, but he repeats that he is not convinced Suchý and Svedberg were the best defencemen at the 1970 WHC. The brilliance displayed by both players in their individual forays was sure to draw the applause of the audience, but did it actually help their teams to win? Every time they lost the puck the opponent had a good opportunity for a counterattack. In the first game against Finland Jan Suchý got 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists), but he also had "four or five blunders in defence", one resulting in a goal for Finland. Lennart Svedberg played very well offensively against the Soviets, but in the second match Boris Mikhailov had three breakaway opportunities because Svedberg, "joining the attack, forgot his defensive duties". Boginov concludes that these "attacking defencemen" had essentially turned into forwards and that a real demonstration of what modern defencemen should play like was rather given by players like Oldřich Machač (Czechoslovakia), Arne Carlsson (Sweden) and Juha Rantasila (Finland) who also joined in the attack but only when it was safe to do so. What about the Soviets? According to Boginov the Soviet defencemen failed to contribute offensively like modern defencemen should. Being unable to combine defensive reliability with offensive contribution, they rightly focused on their core job: to defend.

    Goaltenders
    Having spoken of the gambling style of Suchý and Svedberg, Boginov proceeds to mention Vladimír Dzurilla's habit of occasionally venturing far out of his goal, "almost to the middle of the rink". Says Boginov: "This is not a gimmick. Goaltenders of Canadian professional teams have played in such a manner, in particular Jacques Plante." His sources seems to have been Canadian coach Jack McLeod, but McLeod had also said that the Canadian goaltenders would not do it "if the risk was greater than half a percent." Dzurilla on the other hand took a huge gamble when he did it in the third period of the first USSR vs ČSSR game and it led to a goal for the Soviets. However, Boginov says that Dzurilla wasn't in his best form at the 1970 WHC anyway. As for Konovalenko not winning the "Best Goaltender" award, Boginov sees "only one explanation": Some might not have viewed Konovalenko as the most efficient goaltender. He says it was considered "absolutely normal" to say that the goaltenders of the top nations didn't need to bring their A game in matches against inferior opponents like East Germany or Poland since giving up a goal would not make a difference. And indeed Boginov recalls that Holmqvist and Dzurilla were "rather careless" in games against the underdogs, but what is overlooked, Boginov says, is that every goal they allowed meant more work for their team mates. Konovalenko got it right when he played as if it was life or death in every single match.

    Forwards
    Proceeding to the forwards, Boginov says he wouldn't hesitate to name Vyacheslav Starshinov the best center forward at the 1970 WHC – the position "commonly believed" to be the key position in hockey with its particular combination of defensive and offensive responsibilities. He compares Starshinov's performance favourably with Václav Nedomanský (his powerful shot was "spectacular, but not effective") and Ulf Sterner (a knee injury limited his offensive contribution and defensively he was "very bad"). As for the wingers, Boginov claims that up until the 1970 WHC high speed alone was enough of a weapon to make a winger rank highly. Swedish forwards Stefan Karlsson, Stig-Göran Johansson and Lars-Göran Nilsson are cited as examples of wingers whose speed still allowed them to play "great" at the 1970 when "the opponents conceded them space to pick up speed and break out". Demands were getting higher though and that's why wingers like Kharlamov, Vikulov and Maltsev where "among the favourites" in Stockholm: their combination of speed and fine technique allowed them to find a way to the goal even when they were surrounded by three or four opponents. However, Boginov closes his write-up, the 1970 WHC also showed that there were very few wingers of that calibre to be found for the time being.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  25. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Excellent

    ^^^ Excellent summation and analysis of the 1970 WHC, the 1969 rule changes - although some elements were not discussed like the elimination of icing during the PK.

    Positional breakdowns were very revealing, the impact of speed, mobility within the context of the new rules. The contributions from coaches and former players very pertinent and the additional details about injuries, conditioning, in game mistakes, etc filled in much of the puzzle.

    Also the failure to include Alexander Ragulin in the discussions about defencemen is telling.Nice thumbnails about some of the older/retired Swedish, Czech, Soviet defencemen is very interesting. A great counterpoint would have been including some of the contemporary Canadian, defencemen, Lamirande, Dewsbury, Smith, etc.

    Great contribution.
     

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