Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summit Series '72, The Russians Arrival & Sinden's Predicitons

 The Russian team on the bus from the airport, Tretiak at far left of photo.

The Russian hockey delegation arrived at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal on Wednesday, Aug 30 at about 5:00am Moscow time. The players dined by candle-light down the hall from the press conference where the Russian brass met the media. Most of the team was too tired to eat, sipping Cokes and eating a light meal, mainly salad. They then retired to their rooms to prepare for Thursday's 10:00am practice at the St. Laurent Arena in the north end of Montreal. This would be followed by another on-ice session at 8:00pm.
Russian head coach, Vsevold Bobrov stated, "We shall have to play in Canada at 3:00am Moscow time. We will also have to adjust ourselves to the quite peculiar size of Canadian playing grounds." He added, "However, I think these difficulties will be overcome."
Meanwhile Harry Sinden continued his pre-series worrying over his players and their expectations for the series. Specifically he reacted to defenceman Don Awrey's comments when he said, "The pressure will be fantastic - it'll be like playing the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals on the first night of the season." When this comment was relayed to Sinden he offered, "Awrey thinks it's going to be like a Stanley Cup game. Has he got a surprise coming to him when the band strikes up those national anthems at eight o'clock. He's never been in anything like this. It'll make the playoffs seem like a scrimmage."
Sinden continued his rant, this time throwing in a few predictions, "This isn't going to be a cakewalk. You can't humiliate the Russians. Oh, we'll beat them because we're better. But the games, they'll be decided by one or two goals. Saturday night (Game One)...3-1, maybe 4-2 for us. That's what I hope. Twenty-two million Canadians are demanding that we win - absolutely demanding it! You'll be remembered for a year for beating Russia. You'll be remembered for the rest of your life if you lose. That's pressure baby." Sinden finished his diatribe with, "Believe me, we'll beat 'em but not by much, and it's going to be life-and-death." Well, he did add after his game one prediction, "That's what I hope" perhaps knowing in the back of his mind that it would be more of a battle than he was letting on. He certainly nailed his last prediction;

"Believe me, we'll beat 'em but not by much, and it's going to be life-and-death."  

Coach Vsevold Bobrov (2nd row) and Assistant Boris Kulagin (front right)

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