Twenty years of Soviet Hockey: 1962 - 1982 (Index of player profiles in OP)

Discussion in 'All Time Draft' started by Sturminator, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    I'm going to post, over time, the complete resumes of the most notable Soviet forwards to compete in this era, which could be called the "Golden Era" of Soviet hockey. The dates selected are arbitrary, of course, but not without reason. They represent essentially the timespan which covers the beginning of Anatoli Firsov's Soviet League career and the end of Aleksandr Maltsev's.

    My research has been devoted to forwards only, with a focus on bringing together into one place all available information regarding Soviet League and international (IIHF, Olympics and various Canada vs. World tournaments) scoring, all star and MVP voting, and all other relevant information. One of the biggest problems faced in the past when trying to evaluate Soviet players is that the information has been so disparate, so incomprehensive and spread out among various poorly organized sources. There is no hockeyreference.com for Soviet League and international data, no season scoring tables, etc.

    This has been a laborious task for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that this information is hard to come by and rife with errors and inconsistencies among the various sources. I have tried, whenever possible, to reconcile these errors and create a composite picture of the truth through double and triple referencing of sources, but the conclusions are as imperfect as the data. I hope this research will be of value to the further appreciation and honoring of the careers of the players involved.

    Before we begin, questions to consider:

    - I would also like to open the discussion about Soviet MVP voting, observable trends in the voting results, possible problems with it, and its value in determining relative greatness among the players.

    - We should also ask the question: to what extent has the legendary 1972 Summit Series distorted our perception of the Soviet players involved?


    I will begin by posting full player profiles of the relevant forwards. Season-by-season breakdowns of Soviet League and international results will follow. A full list of sources will be posted for scrutiny at the conclusion of the project, and I invite any and all to fact check my work. So...first off: Anatoli Firsov.

    ----------------------------

    2018 Edit by Theokritos:

    In order to keep track of the various player profiles scattered throughout this thread, I'm adding an index with links to the individual profiles here.

    Alexandrov, Veniamin:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2016 (Theokritos)

    Almetov, Alexander:
    2016 (Theokritos)

    Blinov, Viktor:
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Brezhnev, Vladimir:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Davydov, Vitaly:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Firsov, Anatoly:
    2008 (Sturminator)
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2018 (Theokritos): Part 1 (Game), Part 2 (Career)

    Ionov, Anatoly:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Ispolnov, Vladimir:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Ivanov, Eduard:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Kharlamov, Valery:
    2008 (Sturminator)

    Kitayev, Dmitry:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Kuzkin, Viktor:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Kuzmin, Valery:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Loktev, Konstantin:
    2016 (Theokritos)

    Makarov, Alexey:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Maltsev, Alexander:
    2008 (Sturminator)

    Martynyuk, Alexander:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Mayorov, Boris:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Mayorov, Yevgeny:
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Mikhailov, Boris:
    2008 (Sturminator)

    Mishakov, Yevgeny:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Moiseyev, Yury:
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Nikitin, Valery:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Petrov, Vladimir:
    2019 (Theokritos)

    Polupanov, Viktor:
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Radayev, Gennady:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Ragulin, Alexander:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Romishevsky, Igor:
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Shadrin, Vladimir:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Spirkin, Boris:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Starshinov, Vyacheslav:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Vikulov, Vladimir:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Yakushev, Alexander:
    2008 (Sturminator)
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Yakushev, Viktor:
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Yaroslavtsev, Viktor:
    2018 (Theokritos)

    Zaytsev, Oleg:
    2015 (Sturminator)
    2017 (Theokritos)

    Zimin, Yevgeny:
    2018 (Theokritos)
     
    Last edited by moderator Theokritos: Aug 25, 2019
  2. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Anatoli Firsov:

    Born February 1st, 1941 in Moscow, USSR.
    Club team: CSKA

    [​IMG]

    Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

    1st (65-66), 2nd (66-67), 2nd (67-68), 5th (68-69), 5th (69-70)

    *note* - first season in which full scoring data is available for the Soviet League is 70-71. Data from before 70-71 is only goals. Data as deep as top-10 scoring is available for certain seasons, but not for others. In order to reduce distortions and be as fair as possible to all players involved, I have therefore drawn the line at top-5 scoring finishes. At any rate, it wasn't such a deep league that finishing out of the top-5 scorers probably meant much.

    Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

    1st (67-68), 1st (68-69), 1st (70-71), 6th (71-72), 7th (69-70)

    *note* - all available sources indicate that the 67-68 Soviet League season was the first in which MVP voting was conducted and a trophy awarded. Given Firsov's performances the two years before the 67-68 season, it is safe (though not certain) to assume he would have done well in the MVP voting had such a thing existed in those years.

    Soviet League all-star:

    (63-64) - (65-66) - (66-67) - (67-68) - (68-69)

    *note* - these are 1st team all-star finishes only. Data is available for some seasons as deep as 3rd team all-stars in the Soviet League, but again, in the interests of reducing distortion and because the league was relatively shallow on high-end talent, only the 1st team selections have been included. The Soviet league 1st team all-star forwards seem to have been simply the three best forwards, regardless of position, perhaps reflecting a broader Soviet attitude that forward positions were largely interchangeable.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IIHF Best Forward:

    1967 - 1971

    IIHF all-star:

    1967 - 1969 - 1970 - 1971

    World Championships top-5 scoring:

    1st (1967) - 1st (1969) - 1st (1971) - 3rd (1970)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Olympics top-5 scoring:

    1st (1968) - 5th (1972)
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  3. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Notes and comments on Firsov's career:

    - Why didn't he play in the 1972 Summit Series? The old story goes that Firsov was loyal to Tasarov and refused to play when the coach was replaced by Bobrov. That may be so, but it does appear that Firsov's career had taken a sharp downward turn by the time 1972 rolled around. He placed 6th in MVP voting at the conclusion of the 1972 season, and never again got an MVP vote.

    - We begin to see an interesting incongruity between Firsov's scoring finishes in the Soviet League and his MVP voting finishes in same. He finishes 2nd in goals on the way to his 1st MVP award (67-68) - ok, no problems so far. He finishes 5th in goals and again wins the MVP the next year (68-69). Ok. He finishes 5th in goals again in 69-70, but drops to 7th in MVP voting. He wins his 3rd Soviet League MVP award the next season (70-71) without placing in the top-5 scorers, and is not even an all-star.

    So what's happening here? Firsov's third and final MVP award is particularly interesting, given that he wasn't one of the league's top scorers, nor was he a 1st team all-star. It is reminiscent of Ted Kennedy's Hart season, or Bobby Clarke's first Hart in 72-73, in which he was only a 2nd team all-star at center. Was Firsov that kind of player? The differences between his performances in 68-69 and 69-70 seem to have nothing to do with scoring (both times he placed 5th), and yet in one season he was 1st in MVP voting and in the other 7th. Are the Soviet MVP voters taking more than scoring into account when casting their MVP votes? It appears so. We'll follow the trends in Soviet League MVP voting as the thread progresses.
     
  4. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    completely arbitrary so you won't mind if gaps are filled here too, no reason not to make it a more complete project

    between us we could do it all!
     
  5. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Of course not. I'm choosing to focus on forwards for the time being because a forward's career can be more "scientifically" broken down by sifting through raw data: scoring finishes, MVP voting, etc. Defensemen are always harder to quantitatively evaluate.

    The date is arbitrary simply because I have to draw the line somewhere, and my intent is to focus on the "Golden Era" of Soviet hockey that basically begins with Firsov and ends with Maltsev. We often act like we know a lot about this era, but I think to this point, much of what went on has been hidden in shadow.

    Help is always appreciated.
     
  6. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Boris Mikhailov:

    Born June 10th, 1944 in Moscow, USSR.
    Club team: CSKA

    [​IMG]

    Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

    2nd (69-70), 2nd (74-75), 2nd (77-78), 3rd (70-71), 3rd (78-79), 4th (68-69), 4th (76-77), 5th (67-68), 5th (72-73), 5th (79-80)

    Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

    1st (77-78), 1st (78-79), 2nd (73-74), 3rd (76-77), 3rd (79-80), 4th (72-73), 5th (68-69), 5th (74-75), 11th (75-76)

    Soviet League all-star:

    (68-69) - (72-73) - (73-74) - (74-75) - (76-77) - (77-78) - (78-79)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IIHF Best Forward:

    1973 - 1979

    IIHF all-star:

    1973 - 1979

    World Championships top-5 scoring:

    1st (1974), 2nd (1969), 2nd (1973), 2nd (1977), 4th (1978), 5th (1971), 5th (1979)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Olympics top-5 scoring:

    n/a

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Other:

    1979 Challenge Cup MVP

    [​IMG]

    Excerpt from The Red Machine:

    Mikhailov's Skating:

    Mikhailov's Passing:

    [​IMG]

    Mikhailov's All-Around Game:

     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  7. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Notes and comments on Mikhailov's career:

    - there is considerable misinformation on the internet regarding Boris Mikhailov's Soviet League career. I've seen him listed as winning the Soviet League scoring title three times. According to my research, he never did. However, I believe his ten top-5 scoring finishes speak for themselves.

    - Mikhailov's MVP voting finishes are very impressive. Two wins and eight top-5 finishes in an era of strong competition is something to consider. There is a strong argument that Mikhailov's Soviet League career is actually superior to Kharlamov's, whose profile we will see later (I'm doing them chronologically by birth year).

    - Boris' international career is surprisingly limited. He won Best Forward and all-star honors at the World Championships twice and was a top-5 scorer quite a few times, but he received only the two all-star nods, and was a disappointing Olympian. His MVP award at the 1979 Challenge Cup is, however, a plus.
     
  8. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    Read as led in goals scored three times, that I believe he did do.
     
  9. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    That is correct, although Mikhailov tied with two other players (Yakushev and xxxxxxx) for the goalscoring lead in 75-76 and was so far behind in assists that his offensive output is hardly comparable. This was the one down season during Mikhailov's long peak - he finished 11th in MVP voting.

    It is important to remember that the Soviet League did not count second assists in this era, which means that the points crown (at least for the playmakers) has even more weight than it would in the NHL. Focusing on goal-scoring titles in the Soviet League would introduce an even further distortion away from playmakers (relative to NHL stats) than the already pronounced distortion of not counting the second assist. With that in mind, I consider counting goal-scoring titles in the Soviet League as anything close to equal value with points titles (especially for CSKA players) rather inappropriate. At any rate, Mikhailov wasn't much of a playmaker for the first 2/3rds of his peak. He first totaled more than 15 primary assists in a season in 76-77, at the age of 32.
     
  10. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Aleksandr Yakushev:

    Born January 2nd, 1947 in Moscow, USSR.
    Club team: Spartak

    [​IMG]

    Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

    1st (68-69), 2nd (75-76), 3rd (73-74), 4th (66-67), 5th (69-70)

    Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

    3rd (74-75), 4th (71-72), 5th (75-76), 6th (73-74), 9th (79-80)

    *note* - beyond Mikhailov's win, no Soviet League MVP voting data is available for the 78-79 season. Yakushev may have factored into the MVP voting for that season, but I don't have the raw data at this point.

    Soviet League all-star:

    (75-76)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IIHF Best Forward:

    1975

    IIHF all-star:

    1974 - 1975

    World Championships top-5 scoring:

    3rd (1972), 3rd (1974), 4th (1975), 5th (1973)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Olympics top-5 scoring:

    n/a

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Other:

    1972 Summit Series: 2nd points (1st on Soviet team)
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  11. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Notes and comments on Yakushev's career:

    - there is extremely little congruity between Yakushev's scoring results and his MVP voting results. His best finish in the MVP race (74-75), he was not a top-5 scorer, and he got no MVP votes when he led the league in goalscoring (68-69). There is only moderate congruity between his scoring and MVP finishes in the other seasons, as well. Again, the Soviet MVP voters seem to have cared about a lot more than scoring.

    - the Summit Series may well have been the pinnacle of Yakushev's career. His results outside of that series, both in the Soviet League and international play, are underwhelming compared to other Soviet forwards of his generation.
     
  12. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Vladimir Petrov:

    Born June 30th, 1947 in Krasnoyarsk, USSR.
    Club team: CSKA

    [​IMG]

    Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

    1st (69-70), 1st (72-73), 1st (74-75), 1st (77-78), 1st (78-79), 2nd (76-77), 3rd (71-72), 5th (75-76)

    Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

    2nd (72-73), 2nd (76-77), 4th (74-75), 8th (69-70), 8th (77-78), 9th (75-76)

    *note* - beyond Mikhailov's win, no Soviet League MVP voting data is available for the 78-79 season. Given Petrov's points title that season, he may have faired well in the voting, but I don't have the raw data at this point.

    Soviet League all-star:

    (72-73) - (74-75) - (76-77) - (78-79)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IIHF Best Forward:

    n/a

    IIHF all-star:

    1973 - 1975 - 1977 - 1979

    World Championships top-5 scoring:

    1st (1973), 1st (1977), 1st (1979), 2nd (1975), 4th (1971)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Olympics top-5 scoring:

    n/a
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  13. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Notes and comments on Petrov's career:

    Here we see a very strange correlation between scoring and MVP voting results. Before the 72-73 season, Petrov had already finished 1st and 3rd in Soviet League scoring in two of the three seasons before the Summit Series, and yet had never placed higher than 8th in the MVP vote. Why not? And why did he start to factor into the voting more heavily later on in his career? Perhaps the key to answering this question, and perhaps to unlocking the mystery of the Soviet League MVP voting in general, lies in this quote from chidlovski's Summit Series profile of Petrov:

    After 1972, Petrov's work as a scorer doesn't really change much, but we see him get a lot more MVP love from the voters for his efforts. In 72-73, he again wins the points crown, and places 2nd in MVP voting. 73-74 is a poor scoring year for Petrov, but he does garner a few MVP votes, enough to place 13th, which is better than he did in 71-72, when he was third in the league in points. In 74-75, Petrov leads the league in points again, and places 4th in the MVP vote. In 75-76, he is 5th in points, and places 9th in MVP voting. In 76-77, he is 2nd in scoring and MVP voting. In 77-78, he again wins the scoring crown, but is not an allstar, and places 8th in the MVP vote. In 78-79, Petrov wins the scoring crown for the last time and is an all-star, but MVP voting beyond Mikhailov's win is not available.

    So what is going on here? If you believe Petrov's own comments that his defensive game improved after the 1972 Summit Series, that goes a long way to explaining certain voting trends in the Soviet League MVP results. Only the 77-78 season seems to be an outlier from this point of view, but perhaps he wasn't backchecking much that year? Reading between the lines, the statement: "By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman," could easily read: "I was considered a floater." Are the Soviet League voters taking a player's 2-way game into account when assessing his ultimate value in the MVP voting process? It certainly appears so.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  14. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Of course it's understood that on the ATD forum you'd constrain your analysis to the drafted Soviets:

    32- Viacheslav Fetisov, D
    43- Valeri Kharlamov, LW
    82- Valeri Vasiliev, D
    84- Vladislav Tretiak, G
    92- Boris Mikhailov, RW
    106- Sergei Makarov, RW
    117- Anatoli Firsov, LW/C
    126- Alexei Kasatonov, D
    133- Vladimir Konstantinov, D
    137- Igor Larionov, C
    150- Alexander Ragulin, D
    156- Vladimir Petrov, C
    167- Alexander Yakushev, LW
    177- Aleksandr Maltsev, RW
    213- Nikolai Sologubov, D
    216- Vladimir Lutchenko, D
    223- Vsevolod Bobrov, LW
    269- Vladimir Krutov, LW

    There should be a few more drafted, but if not, there will be a MLD so if you're patient and wait until a guy is picked before you discuss him. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  15. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    You've made the same mistake again VanI, Nedomansky is not soviet, he's Czech.
     
  16. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Valeri Kharlamov:

    Born January 14th, 1948 in Moscow, USSR.
    Club team: CSKA

    [​IMG]

    Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

    1st (71-72), 2nd (70-71), 3rd (68-69), 5th (69-70), 5th (77-78)

    Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

    1st (72-73), 2nd (71-72), 2nd (74-75), 2nd (75-76), 4th (70-71), 5th (69-70), 5th (73-74), 7th (77-78), 8th (76-77)

    *note* - beyond Mikhailov's win, no Soviet League MVP voting data is available for the 78-79 season. Kharlamov was in decline at this point, but his points totals for the 78-79 season were still quite good. It is unclear where he may have placed in the voting.

    *note* - Kharlamov tied Maltsev at 130 in total MVP voting points in the 71-72 season, but got two fewer 1st place votes, and was thus the 2nd place finisher. Their respective vote totals were: Kharlamov [25-25-5] / Maltsev [27-22-5].

    Soviet League all-star:

    (70-71) - (71-72) - (72-73) - (73-74) - (74-75) - (75-76) - (77-78)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IIHF Best Forward:

    n/a

    IIHF all-star:

    1971 - 1972 - 1973 - 1976

    World Championships top-5 scoring:

    2nd (1971), 2nd (1979), 3rd (1973), 4th (1977), 5th (1969), 5th (1975)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Olympics top-5 scoring:

    1st (1972), 5th (1976)
     
  17. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Notes and comments on Kharlamov's career:

    - and here we have the other side of the Petrov coin: a giant incongruity between MVP and scoring finishes in which a guy does much better than his scoring would indicate. Again we ask: what gives? I see four possible answers:

    1) Playmaking. The Soviet League awarded only first assists. There is a reason the NHL introduced the 2nd assist: without it, a lot of offensive production falls through the cracks. Kharlamov was a dynamic player who was capable of controlling the tempo of a game, and was easily the most creative player on the Army line. Perhaps the Soviet voters credited Kharlamov for a high level of offensive production that did not show up in the stats?

    2) Two-way play. From what I remember of Kharlamov, he did give a fair amount of effort on the backcheck, and he was capable of controlling the puck for long periods of time. I don't think anyone would call Kharlamov a great defensive forward, but he wasn't a floater, either, as far as I can remember.

    3) Leadership. Seems unlikely, given that Mikhailov was the captain and always viewed as the leader of both CSKA and the Red Army team.

    4) Style. It is possible that the Soviet voters simply found Kharlamov's game more aesthetically pleasing or that he was lionized by the Soviet propaganda machine and that politics entered into the MVP voting. I think this is false, but it is at least worth entertaining given what is known about Soviet politics at the time.

    My opinion as to why Kharlamov's scoring is so much lower than Petrov's and his MVP voting results so much better is a combination of 1 and 2. Kharlamov was always a reliable 2-way player, while Petrov likely began his career as guy who liked to stand in front of the net and pick up his teammates' garbage, and struggled with his poor skating throughout. Kharlamov's MVP results probably also reflect a large element of "hidden offense" that is stripped out of the scoring results by the exclusion of the 2nd assist.

    Even crediting MVP voting results more highly than scoring (which I think is fair), it is difficult to call his career much better than Mikhailov's when looked at from afar. They have the same number of Soviet League all-star selections. Their MVP results are quite similar. Their IIHF results are roughly equal, with Kharlamov getting more all-star nods, but Mikhailov picking up two Best Forward awards. Kharlamov was easily the better Olympian and better in the Summit Series, but Mikhailov was MVP of the 1979 Challenge Cup. Edge to Kharlamov in terms of international play, but edge to Mikhailov in terms of Soviet League play, for the raw scoring and for winning two MVPs, if nothing else.

    The lion's share of Kharlamov's success is restricted to a narrower timeframe - basically six dominant years from 1971 until his first car crash in 1976 - and I think it is quite clear that he peaked higher than any Russian before or since. Mikhailov gets the edge in terms of career value, though. In the final analysis, I don't think the two men are far apart.
     
  18. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Aleksandr Maltsev:

    Born April 20th, 1949 in Kirovo-Chepetsk, USSR.
    Club team: Dynamo

    [​IMG]

    Soviet League top-5 scoring finishes:

    1st (70-71), 2nd (73-74), 3rd (75-76), 3rd (76-77)

    Soviet League MVP voting finishes:

    1st (71-72), 2nd (69-70), 2nd (80-81), 3rd (70-71), 4th (73-74), 4th (75-76), 4th (77-78), 4th (79-80), 6th (76-77), 8th (72-73), 8th (74-75)

    *note* - beyond Mikhailov's win, no Soviet League MVP voting data is available for the 78-79 season. Maltsev was injured this season, and certainly didn't factor into the voting.

    *note* - Maltsev tied Kharlamov at 130 in total MVP voting points in the 71-72 season, but got two more 1st place votes, and was thus the winner. Their respective vote totals were: Kharlamov [25-25-5] / Maltsev [27-22-5].

    Soviet League all-star:

    (69-70) - (70-71) - (71-72) - (73-74) - (77-78) - (79-80) - (80-81)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    IIHF Best Forward:

    1970 - 1972 - 1981

    IIHF all-star:

    1970 - 1971 - 1972 - 1978 - 1981

    World Championships top-5 scoring:

    1st (1970), 1st (1972), 3rd (1971), 3rd (1978), 3rd (1981)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Olympics top-5 scoring:

    1st (1976), 5th (1972)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Other:

    Canada Cup 1976: allstar

    All-time Soviet international goal leader: 213
     
  19. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Notes and comments on Maltsev's career:

    - Maltsev's career seems to have been somewhat a compromise between Kharlamov's and Mikhailov's. On the one hand, his style of play and scoring-to-MVP voting results are very Kharlamov. On the other hand, his career looks a lot more like Mikhailov's in that he has a brief peak of true dominance (69-70 through 71-72 in Maltsev's case) and a long career at a very high level.

    - Maltsev is perhaps the greatest international forward (leaving Tretiak and the defensemen out) in Soviet history. His achievements on international ice outshine all of the players thus far profiled, and there is a good argument that he was superior to Makarov, or at least on the same level.

    - given the similarities in overall quality between Maltsev's career and that of Army Line bookends Kharlamov and Mikhailov, it is strange that he goes largely unheralded among North American fans. This is probably due to nothing more profound than a lack of press. Maltsev didn't stand out like Kharlamov in 72 (though his 0-5-5 was good for 9th in scoring in the tournament, tied with Mikhailov, Cournoyer and Park), and was never a member of a famous line, nor Soviet captain like Mikhailov. He played for Dynamo and not for CSKA, and was never a Soviet champion. In short, Maltsev's greatness was quieter than that of his better-known countrymen. There is good reason to believe, however, that he was of similar quality.
     
  20. pitseleh

    pitseleh Registered User

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    Yep, I think you've got it. Also, Maltsev never stood out as much against Canada as Mikhailov, Kharlamov, Yakushev, or Makarov did at different points in time. Maltsev's strongest 'visible' performance was in the '76 Canada Cup, when he was named an all-star, but even then he didn't really stand out in the game against Canada.
     
  21. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Maltsev was the Soviet player of the game for that contest. Though he didn't score (the Soviets did put up one goal), he must have done something well to merit that small laurel. He played very well against the Czechs and a team Sweden that iced Borje Salming. Kind of a shame that Maltsev's best showing against North American professionals came in probably the most lopsided international tournament ever. That 76 Team Canada was stupid good, and the Soviets decided to play games with their roster for the tournament due to some combination of political intrigue between Tasarov and Tikhonov and probably knowing that with Kharlamov nursing two broken ankles, they were better off playing the "we didn't really try" card than getting beat fair and square.
     
  22. pitseleh

    pitseleh Registered User

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    I've seen the game a couple times on the DVD and I think he got the player of the game for being the best of a bad lot rather than really standing out as someone great. You could see his exceptional stickhandling and he had some moments but it wasn't the same as Kharlamov or Yakushev in '72.

    He was great in the tournament in other games but I'm guessing in Canada most people only really followed Canada in the tournament and because of that they didn't see him at his best. All of the games on the DVDs involve Canada, so it may be that only the Canada games were broadcasted live.
     
  23. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    That was pretty much how things went in the 1970's. I used to watch Canadian TV feeds in New York for my international hockey, and it was very nationalistic stuff. I can't even recall watching the 76 tournament. I think there was relatively little interest because it was clear the Soviets weren't icing a competitive team, and no one in North American gave a damn about Czechs, Swedes or any other variety of European Ice Capades princesses at the time.
     
  24. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    Being an AS in a short tournament is pretty meaningless as they try to spread it among a few teams. Darryl Sittler was picked as AS LW probably as a reward for scoring the winning goal. I don't even remember him playing LW.
     
  25. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    I tend to agree with this. In 76, they even went so far as to pick players of the game for each team, rather than for the game, as a whole. The whole tournament was fairly meaningless, actually. It's not like anybody bothers to underline Canada Cup 76 MVP on Bobby Orr's resume. Maltsev leading the Olympics in scoring in 76 is more impressive to me.
     

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