Capitalism vs. Communism: On ice advantage?
An iconic period in time where the world held their breath, not when the air hung stale over the threat of an inter- continental nuclear war was possible but comparably so during the 1972 Canada vs. Russia summit series. Ideally this should have not caused as much as a stir as it did, the threat of an all out nuclear war as over and a detente had been called. With two hockey loving countries buying for the title things did get especially heated both on the ice and in the hearts of players and spectators. The assumption was that Canada would thump the Russians with the unofficial national sport, but as the series began to get underway the first few games did not look promising as Socialism had the lead. At what point in the 1972 Series did the politics begin? Was the series more about international politics or the great sport of hockey? The styles of play reflected the countries’ political agenda to a point; Canada’s aggression and Russia’s regimented style, altogether certainly not consuming the series with its influence entirely. Hockey in the ’72 series was hyped up with the use of media and the western spectators seeing the game as an outlet to beat down socialism. International politics stemmed from the game leaving more positive legacies and thus a constructive hockey series that was not held up with the realms of idealism and more for the love of the game. At center ice the exchange of pins began the Summit Series on diplomatic legs, or shall it be said blades, players are shown to have a cordial relationship as the series begins. As the first minutes of the period begin Canada does not start hitting against the boards until the team feels the pinch of the points rising against them. Russia much less physical (as mentioned by Paul Henderson) and later, Russian player Vladimir Jurzinov recounts his team was better conditioned then the Canadian team. After the team Canada coaches realised that...
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