The Russian Five

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Chinaski*, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. Chinaski*

    Chinaski* Guest

    I'd like to know people's opinion of the russian five. Not the one that used to tear nhl apart in detroit, but the original. The one I idolized growing up. The best line ever assembled in hockey. It would be interesting if people would share their thoughts and recollect their favourites moments by these palyers.. I am more intersted in people who actually saw them, not just heard abot them.
    So it's Makarov, Larionov, Krutov, Fetisov, Kasatonov. Let's go.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jan 7, 2006
  2. RorschachWJK

    RorschachWJK Registered User

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    As a Finn I must say that though Soviet Union was a bitter enemy on the ice and a looming monster off the ice, absolutely the best and most beautifull hockey that I've ever seen was played by that quintet. It's still such a treat to watch DVDs of their games.

    Hats off to the Great Quintet ! :clap:
     
  3. Archijerej

    Archijerej Registered User

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    I've seen them only in 87' Canada Cup. What can you say about then that wasn't already said? but I'll try:

    Fetisov: Probably my favorite of the five. Supremely skilled defenceman. He could do everything. Stellar in his own zone. Could pass and carry the puck, control the tempo of the game and he had quite a shot. He was so skilled and confident with the puck that he could play forward easily. I remember one moment from the game #3. Makarov on the right point made an awesome spinorama move to fool a Canadian player and then made a pass to Fetisov, who was entering the zone. Slava then went in to the slot like he was walking in the park and asking Fuhr "where shall I shoot?" and scored. Magic! IMO Fetisov was up there with Bourque, Park and other best Canadian defenceman. He wasn't very physicall but that's a difference in style rather then a weakness. Shame that he couldn't play in the NHL earlier.

    Kasatonov: If he wouldn't be the more defensive Fetisov's partner he would be considered a puck moving defenseman, because he had all the skills needed. He was big out there, but mobile, he would pinn you to the boards but he (like Slava) was playing a rather finesse style of defending. Very reliable, really almost impossible to beat one on one and along the boards thanks to his smarts, positioning and excellent stickwork. Elegant, calm, if Fetisov was out of the play, he could make a very good outleat pass himself, establish possesion in opponents zone, quaterback the powerplay. Probably underrated player.

    Larionov: He was pretty much invisible on that series, was playing with injury as they say. So I can't elaborate.

    Makarov: Well, a magician. Kharlamov #2. If you haven't seen him, do it. I'm not going to describe the artist and spoil you the fun.

    Krutov: He was a sniper on that line. Really deadly snap shot, wrist shot. I think his other skills may be underrated.
     
  4. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Don't forget Krutov's penchant for hotdogs once he got to Vancouver. As legend has it, he got so fat so fast that he could no longer bend over to tie his skates and the trainers had to do it for him. :sarcasm:
     
  5. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Culture shock at it's finest I guess. I would have loved to have seen that 5 line up against Lafleur-Lemaire-Shutt Savard and Robinson though it couldn't have happened. Bowman would have Gainey in the mix somehow. I imagine there are those who'd love to see other 5's against them.

    Kurri-Gretz-Tikkanen Huddy Coffey
    Cashman Espo Hodge Orr Smith
    Bossy Gillies Trottier Potvin Morrow
    Hull Espo Maki Pilote Vasko
    Geoffrion Beliveau Olmstead Harvey Johnson

    Too bad we weren't privilged to see them against NA competition together in their prime. I'm sure they would have been dominant, but it would have been a treat to see a Bowman or a Shero's strategies against them on a regualr basis. Or a Blake or Imlach for that matter.
     
  6. Namso

    Namso Registered User

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    what was the detroit russian line again?
     
  7. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    Kozlov - Larionov - Fedorov
    Fetisov - Konstantinov

    And the Soviet 5 went by the "Green Unit" moniker didn't it? The forwards alone was the KLM line.
     
  8. Kaizer

    Kaizer Registered User

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    Yes, it's tradition. First unit of USSR/Russia hockey teams wears green at trainings.
     
  9. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Great in international play against largely inferior competition. I'll give them credit for the Canada Cups though, but even then they lost 2 of 3. Collectively a disappointment in the NHL.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2006
  10. Slitty

    Slitty Registered User

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    Is this tradition still maintained today?
     
  11. Fryer

    Fryer Registered User

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    If I am not mistaken, the original "Russian Five" were
    Mikhailov-Petrov-Kharlamov
    Gusev-Lutchenko
     
  12. Kaizer

    Kaizer Registered User

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    Yes.
     
  13. russianrocket24

    russianrocket24 Registered User

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  14. Leo Naphta

    Leo Naphta Registered User

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    I'd pretty much second that. I grew up in Sweden in the 80:s, and I remember that this famous quintet made Soviet almost unbeatable. I've never before or after seen any team line up a quintet that could play hockey like those five could. Player by player you could find players that were better in the history of hockey, but I doubt that a five-man unit ever was.

    Oh, and I will never forget the sheer joy of beating them to the gold in the World Championship in 1987. Still Sweden's finest triumph in hockey. :)

    By the way, the second unit was pretty good too back then. Bykov, Kamenskij, Chomutov were the forwards, but I've forgot about the d-men. I think Gusarov was one of them. Does anyone remember?
     
  15. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Thanks, I had the forwards, but was grasping for the d men.
     
  16. vitogor

    vitogor Registered User

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    Igor Stelnov? :dunno: I don't remember for sure...
     
  17. RedAce

    RedAce Registered User

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    I fell in Love with the Russian game because of those players. What i saw was so amazing they were so far ahead in skill and creativity then anyone else at the time. I stared to collect as much video as i could from 70's 80's of these guys
    And i am glad i did, i go back often and rewatch them do amzing things on the ice as a unit. They moved the puck around so fast put the puck into open spaces because they knew there teamate would be there. It was a revolutionary stlye of hockey that has always dommanated when it is worked to prefect like it was with the Russian 5 old and new.
     
  18. Archijerej

    Archijerej Registered User

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    I think it was first Ragulin, then Tsygankov, not Gusev as Lutchenko's partner.

    I'm almost sure that it was Stelnov indeed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2006
  19. Marcus-74

    Marcus-74 Registered User

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    Vasiliev- Gusev was usually the defensive pairing behind "Troika Petrova" (in the national team; I don´t know about Red Army). But there were other pairs too like Fetisov-Tsygankov and I believe that even Kasatonov (paired with Slava) got a chance to play a few games with them before Tikhonov forced them to retire (allegedly of course :D )
     
  20. Leo Naphta

    Leo Naphta Registered User

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    That's probably it. Thanks.
     
  21. TOPGUN

    TOPGUN I Am Terrible!

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    Nice site, loved reading it :clap:
     
  22. CCCP

    CCCP Registered User

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    Russian five was GREAT!!!
     
  23. Fryer

    Fryer Registered User

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    I think Vasiliev played for Dynamo, in Red Army club it was Gusev-Lutchenko for most of middle-late 70s, Ragulin played too but retired earlier, Tsygankov would sometimes replace Gusev
    However, I've read about them long time ago in some kind of a book and do not remember for sure
     
  24. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Well hey you've got to remember they entered the NHL not in their prime years either. Larionov and Krutov were 29, Makarov and Fetisov were 31 and Kasatonov was 31 too I believe. Fetisov and Larionov had good NHL careers. Makarov wasnt the player he was in the 80s but still had some good seasons. Krutov got too out of shape. Kasatonov played for a few years.

    But in the 80s they were stellar. Makarov I think was the best out of either one of them. Can you imagine him in the 80s? He's be right behing Bossy as far as best right wingers go. Some of the goals he scored were dynamite. The go ahead goal in the '84 Canada Cup vs. Canada in the semis was a thing of beauty. then in the '87 Canada Cup he just lfew all over the ice. Krutov was stellar in that series too. These guys never quit. they nearly broke our hearts. Krutov came oh so close to winning the '87 Canada Cup in OT of game 2 - twice! Kasatonov split the dewfense in double OT nearly ending the series. All great players.
     
  25. deathtoespn

    deathtoespn Registered User

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    The Soviet Five merged art and sport

    I went to my first NHL game in 1985, but I fell in love with the game of hockey in February of 1980, on perhaps the darkest day in the history of Soviet Hockey (behind the death of Kharlamov and the awful plane crash that Bobrov mysteriously avoided being on). So it is ironic that I spend so much time and money on books, tapes, and DVD's on Soviet hockey almost 26 years later.

    I was at the 1987 Canada Cup game between the Soviet National Team and Team USA in Hartford Connecticut in September 1987. I remember at the end of the first period, Chris Nilan or someone just ran somebody along the boards at center ice, the guy got up, picked up his stick and a nano-second later you could hear the puck hit his blade and it was directed right onto the tape of another Soviet player entering the zone at 100mph. It was the most amazing thing I ever saw--that player who had just been run and made that pass was Vladimir Krutov. I was flabbergasted.
    If you want evidence of the absolute genius and courage of Vladimir Krutov, I have a few more examples, but pick up Anatoly Tarasov's book and read the chapter on the three hockey speeds. Krutov is one of two players (the other Kharlamov) who was ever capable of attaining all three and I have some examples on tape.

    1983 Central Red Army vs. Minnesota North Stars. In this game, from the second period on, Krutov was unstoppable. The goals he scored in this game, the passes he made were unbelievable. Cheap shotted in front of the net several times, once after scoring a goal, Krutov was interviewed after the game and when asked about the North Stars play he respectfully looked at the camera and said "these guys are tough! all tough guys! I enjoyed playing here tonight!"
    That entire tour Krutov was simply the best player on the ice.

    1987 Canada Cup finals, games one and three, Krutov emerged as the unacknowledged genius behind the KLM. Everything at top speed; passes, shots--his wrists just exploded when he shot the puck. The only player I've seen in his class as far as the wrist shot is Brett Hull. The goal he scored in game one was a rocket, and he did it all with just his wrists.

    Larionov, Makarov, Fetisov, Kasatonov, all superb players in their own right, all went on to have success in the NHL. Krutov did not, the culture shift was just too much for him. When people criticize him because he got too out of shape, like he was some glutton or fool or immature man-child, they really reveal more about themselves than they do about Krutov. I spoke with Bob Mcammon, his coach when he was at Vancouver and the first question I asked him was: "what happened with Krutov? Was there any way he could have come back for a second season?" and Bob Mcammon (great man) just wistfully smiled and said: "John, he was done."

    Valery Kharlamov was magical. He was like this gift that came down from heaven to show us all what it really means to be beautiful and graceful and courageous. Krutov was a Kharlamov disciple, but from a different mold and built for a different era. In my mind (and in Tarasov's as well) the two will be forever linked because they were courageous, humble hockey masters who inspired everyone who ever saw them play. They taught us, hey man, THIS IS POSSIBLE if you develop the skill and are born with the courage.
    They say that you must be born with a gift to play in the NHL, and I believe that: but these two men should not be judged by what they did or did not do in the NHL.
    Red Ace has some good footage. Shoot him an email if you want to see these great players in their prime.
     
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