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Anyone collect the Soviet Red Army ?

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  • Anyone collect the Soviet Red Army ?

    I've got too much Don Cherry in me, so I avoid them like the plague. Anyone collect these guys ? I am sympathetic to them, however I loved
    it when our college kids crushed their dreams and egos in 1980.

  • #2
    A lot of people have told me that Vladislav Tretiak is the greatest goalie of all-time. The thing is, he never played in the NHL (though a lot of teams were interested in signing him). Due to this reason, he never had any cards made by the major NA card companies. There are a few oddball cards of his that were produced in Europe, but they don't interest me. And of course, I don't care about the modern autographed crap.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I've heard the same thing about how great those Soviet teams were. They trained 4 hours a day, 11 months out of the year. Their average age was
      around 27 years old when they played the 1980 Olympics, and they lost to a bunch of college kids who were only together for less than a year.
      So 27 year olds losing to 22 year olds. Imagine if it was 1986 and Gretzky, Lemieux, Coffey, Bourque, Yzerman, Hawerchuk, and others lost to a bunch of college kids in a gold medal game. Doesn't sound to me like those Soviets were so great.

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      • #4
        OMG...it is 1972 again....

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HockeynutRick View Post
          OMG...it is 1972 again....
          No Orr or Hull. I don't think the Soviets would have lasted 8 games if those 2 played.

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          • #6
            Tretiak only played in the first period and was replaced with another goalie. I am not sure why the Soviet coach did this because it was 2-2 up to this point. His replacement let in three goals and they lost. Would Tretiak have done the same? We'll never know. Anyhow, let me ask you this question: if a prime Patrick Roy was put in net (against the 1980 US team), do you think he would have shut them out? Probably not. I am not going to judge Tretiak based on just one period.

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            • #7
              In 1979, the Soviet team played the NHL All Stars and beat them 2 games to 1. In the 3rd game, they sat Tretiak and started Myshkin--they won 6-0.
              In 1980, before the Olympics, the Soviet team played Team USA and won 10-3. It was just an exhibition game though.
              Personally, I see the 1980 USA Olympic team victory as one of the greatest hockey moments of all time, but the Soviets had proven themselves many times over before that game. I don't see how you can go back now and question their talent. Team USA had an historic night and pulled off the greatest upset of the 20th century.

              I collect some of the European cards of Soviet players. They are a big part of hockey history and their early cards are tough to find in nice condition.

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              • #8
                Tretiak and Marty Brodeur are one in the same. Very good goalies on very good teams. Not saying the Soviets didn't have good teams or good players. I just shake my head at the term "all time great" next to their names. These guys trained twice as much as everyone else in the world, and they still couldn't beat a bunch of college kids when the gold medal was on the line. Most of these college kids did not go on to have great NHL careers. I personally think you could question Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Bourque, and Coffey's "all time greatness" if their team lost a gold medal game to Germany in the Olympics. No doubt they would have been very good players, but they also would be an embarrassment to their country because of that loss.

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                • #9
                  I recently re-watched the 1987 Canada Cup, which has to be the pinnacle of hockey as entertainment. That team had every great player I grew up watching - Gretzky, Lemieux, Bourque, Coffey, Messier, Gilmour, Fuhr. (Yzerman is the notable exception.) Gretzky and Lemieux are the two greatest players I have ever seen play in the NHL. Nobody since has come even close. Yet, that team barely scraped out a win over the Soviets. That tells me all I need to know about how good that Soviet team was.

                  Ken Dryden nailed the 1980 Olympics, calling it "the greatest fluke in hockey history." But let's give Herb Brooks credit where it is due. He convinced that team they could win.

                  I cannot recommend enough the documentary "Red Army." It focuses on many of the players from the 1987 Canada Cup team, and how they eventually got to play in the NHL. It is a fascinating and sad movie to watch.

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                  • strohman
                    strohman commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I finally got the "Red Army" movie at Christmas. It was definitely a movie worth watching! A number of other guys on here have commented on that movie in the past too.

                • #10
                  Originally posted by daveweir View Post

                  Ken Dryden nailed the 1980 Olympics, calling it "the greatest fluke in hockey history." But let's give Herb Brooks credit where it is due. He convinced that team they could win.
                  Ken nailed it by calling it the "greatest fluke in hockey history" ? Was it a fluke that the USA was the only undefeated hockey team in the entire tournament ? Was it a fluke that they gave up LESS goals then the Soviet Red Army in the entire tournament ? Was it a fluke that Team Canada only lost to this Soviet Team by a score of 6-4 ? Canada's best players were only a very young Glenn Anderson, Randy Gregg, and a few others. No other real NHL'ers to speak of on that team other than Anderson.

                  Perhaps Ken should give more credit to goalie Jim Craig who let up the least amount of goals in the entire tournament. Why didn't he give Craig more credit ? Because Craig had a better goals against then Tretiak ? Perhaps just say that Craig was better. Soviets outshot the Americans something like 38-19 in the gold medal game, and Craig totally outplayed the Russian goalies.

                  No Ken, it wasn't the "greatest fluke in hockey". It was just that your Canadian ego was hurt because your NHL'ers got their butts kicked by this Red Army team in a 3 game series in 1980, and Canada's Olympic team couldn't beat them, but team USA did.

                  Perhaps Ken can't just face facts that Team USA was incredible throughout the entire tournament, and earned the gold.. That's right, EARNED the gold.

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                  • #11
                    Tribalism. Blech.

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                    • #12
                      Pulling Tretiak in the ( USA game) was not as crazy as some people think. In Russia's previous game, Tretiak stopped only 22 of 26 shots for a 84.6 save percentage. In the gold medal game, Tretiak only stopped 6 of 8 shots in the 1st period for a 75.0 save percentage. Myshkin did no better the rest of the game stopping only 6 of 8 shots for an equal 75.0 save percentage. Jim Craig on the other hand had a 92.3 save percentage in the game, stopping 36 of 39 shots. So while Jim Craig had a save percentage like an NHL goalie, Tretiak had a save percentage that even back up goalies can not afford to have. One of the greatest of all time ?
                      Last edited by exodus; 05-10-2018, 05:34 PM.

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                      • #13
                        The USA-Soviet game wasn't the gold medal game. Team USA had to beat Finland in the next game to capture the gold medal. Jari Kurri was on that Finnish team.

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                        • #14
                          Correct, it was a round robin series. US tied Sweden in prelims, beat Russia, and then beat Finland for gold.

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