Roy MacGregor of The Globe And Mail has a fantastic article looking at the evolution of the Russian hockey star.
“Individual enterprise was alien to the Soviet way and to the 1972 Soviet hockey team,” Martin says. “The Russian game, until the system changed, was based on the collective philosophy. Players were confined to training camp barracks year around. They were trained to keep emotions under control.”
The diva personality, he believes, was always there, even if mostly hidden. “The Russians played in harmony,” he says. “They were the Bolshoi on blades, a socialist symphony. It was a highly skilled, artistic, passionless form of hockey. That’s how they won. That’s also how they lost.”
Here's the full article. The aforementioned "Martin" is Lawrence Martin, a Canadian political journalist who was stationed in Moscow in the 1980s. He studied Soviet hockey in his off time, and penned one of my favorite books of all time - The Red Machine: The Soviet Quest to Dominate Canada’s Game.
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