#13 Boris Mikhailov
Boris Mikhailov was a leader on the Red Army squad, much in the same yet less flamboyant way that Phil Esposito was to Canada. Mikhailov's best game was game 4 in Vancouver when he scored 2 first period powerplay goals and assisted on another in the second period. Mikhailov is a Legend of Soviet hockey, but his performance in the Summit Series was marred when he did hockey's most unthinkable act, kicking and bloodying Canada's Gary Bergman
STATISTICS Pos. GP G A P PIM -------------------------------------------- Boris Mikhailov RW 8 3 2 5 9 --------------------------------------------
Boris Mikhailov is one of the most famed hockey players ever to come out of the former Soviet Union. From 1956 until 1981 he was a player of extraordinary magnitude and continues to be a force in Russian hockey today.
Mikhailov, famous for wearing the dreaded #13, combined with Valeri Kharlamov and Vladimir Petrov to form perhaps the greatest Russian unit of them all. This is supported by the trio's play in the 1973 World Championships when they finished 1-2-3 in the scoring race as the trio average just under nine points a game! In 15 World and Olympic Championship tournaments, they scored a combined 275 goals and 537 points!!
#13 personally scored 108 of those goals in the 120 games. He also added 77 assists and 60 penalty minutes.
His long list of accomplishments in International Hockey include:
During Soviet League play, he played in 572 games scoring a record 427 goals along with 224 assists for a record 651 points. The 8-time Russian All Star led the league in scoring three times and was named MVP twice.
Mikhailov was surprisingly "Canadian" in his approach to hockey. The Soviets prided themselves on being the opposite of North American hockey, yet Mikhailov is remember as a guy who loved to mix it up and go to the corners, digging for loose pucks. He had a knack for scoring important and clinching goals, more often than not they were by banging for loose pucks and scoring "garbage goals." He was the leader of many great Soviet squads and always gave 110%.
In perhaps his finest moment, Mikhailov was named as the Most Valuable Player in the 1979 Challenge Cup between the Soviet Red Army and the NHL All Stars.
Boris' last game with the Soviet National team Isvestija game. In front of 14000 people at the famous Luzhniki Ice Palace his teammates carried him around the rink on their shoulders to a thunderous ovation. It was the finest compliment and thank you for all his dedication and effort.
Canadians never came to like Mikhailov, in fact they singled him out as perhaps the one player we hated the most during Hockey's "Cold War." While we were awed by Tretiak's goaltending and fascinated with the skill and passing of the likes Kharlamov and Petrov, Mikhailov sticks out in Canadian memories as the man who kicked out at Gary Bergman during the 1972 Summit Series. During the immense emotion of the tournament Mikhailov had broken from Soviet thinking and showed rare emotion by committing hockey's cardinal sin, kicking at another player.
That one incident is unfortunate since it was one of the few times Canadians saw #13 play. But that incident shouldn't take anything away from one of the true Legends of Hockey.
10/6/1944 Moscow, USSR