Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ken Dryden knew the Russians would be tough.



Tha Canadian Press ran a story in August 1972 just prior to the Summit Series titled; "Former Nats refuse to take Soviets lightly". In the article ex-Canadian national team member Ken Dryden expresses his knowledge of and concerns towards the Russians in the impending Summit Series. Dryden flat out warns his Team Canada teammates that they "could be in for a surprise if they continue underestimating the Russians".

Dryden is quoted; "You have to remember that a North American will appraise the Russians using his own standards. Just because a North American says that the Russians pass too much, doesn't necessarily mean that it's so. It may be true in our judgement but the Russians could still be right." He recalled how confused he was when facing the Russians in 1969 with the National team. "I'd get set for a shot. They wouldn't shoot. They'd pass instead. Against our National team they looked devastating by passing right in on the net."

Dryden had to admit it could prove to be a different matter against a team of professional all stars. "I realize that, but it still is possible to detect an attitude that could result in a surprise. Let's take the ban on the WHA players as an example. There is no way the NHL wants us to lose. If the NHL thought the addition of those WHA players represented the difference between our winning and losing, they would have played or the whole series would have been called off. So, the NHL takes it for granted that we will win." Some pretty harsh critique from Dryden. His concerns would of course be realized during the series when the Russians proved to be anything but pushovers.

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