#16 Vladimir Petrov
Vladimir Petrov was a great offensive force throughout his career, but he credited playing against the Canadians for making him a complete player.
"By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman. Phil Esposito and Bobby Clarke forced me to play a more defensive style. The experience made me a better all around player," he said.
The Soviet media did not necessarily appreciate Petrov's play however. He did scored 3 goals and 7 points and worked very effectively with Boris Mikhailov, but he was criticized for not creating more scoring opportunities.
"Our best center, Vladimir Petrov, was not very effective on offense," said sports writer Lev Lebedev of Pravda. "He took so much time firing his powerful slap shots that the Canadians had time to block them. Our best players have to learn to release their shots more quickly. That's one of the important lessons learned in the series."
STATISTICS Pos. GP G A P PIM -------------------------------------------- Vladimir Petrov C 8 3 4 7 10 --------------------------------------------
Vladimir Petrov was born on June 30, 1947 in Krasnogorsk just outside Moscow. He was raised in a sports family. His father was a famous bandy hockey player. He first played organized hockey at the age 11 for a club named "Zorkij" in his hometown Krasnogorsk. Petrov then went on to play two seasons (1965-67) for Krylja Sovetov (Soviet Wings) where he played under the guidance of former hockey great Alexei Guryshev. Between 1967-81 he played for CSKA Moscow and finished his career in SKA Leningrad 1981-83. In CSKA Hall of Famer Anatoli Tarasov put together one of the most devastating lines ever when he paired the center Petrov together with Boris Mikhailov and Valeri Kharlamov.
This trio was absolutely unstoppable. They scored 1086 goals in the Soviet league and 539 goals on the national team. In the World Championship All-time scoring table they are 1st, 2nd and 4th overall. Mikhailov had 98+71 = 169 points in 105 games. Kharlamov had 74+85 = 159 points in 105 games. Petrov had 74+80 = 154 points in 102 games.
So in 105 games they combined for an incredible 482 points ! almost 5 points per game. They were the highest scoring line in 1969,73,74,75,77 and 79. They still hold the record for most points by a line in a single WC tournament. 86 points in 1973. They also have the second best result (56 points in 1977).
Petrov himself won the scoring title in the World Championships four times. 1973 (34 pts in 10 games), 1975 (19pts in 10 games - tied), 1977 (21pts in 10 games) and 1979 (15pts in 8 games). Petrov still holds the record for most goals, assists and points in one tournament (1973). He was also a four time All-Star in the World Championships.
Petrov of course wasn't just a dominant force on the international scene. He and his linemates were as dominant in the Soviet league. Petrov himself won the scoring title in 1969-70 (51 goals in 44 games), 1972-73 (27+22=49 in 32 games), 1974-75 (27+26 =53 in 36 games), 1977-78 (28+28=56 in 36 games) and 1978-79 (26+37 =63 in 44 games). He's the last player to have scored over 50 goals in a season. Only Vsevolod Bobrov, Venjamin Alexandrov and Alexander Yakushev have scored over 50 goals in a season. All in all Petrov scored 370 goals in 553 league games.
So how come that the Mikhailov-Petrov-Kharlamov line was so good ?
" We complemented each other very well. We always gave it our best and we had a very good chemistry both on and off the ice, and I believe that was a big part of our success Petrov said. " We played together for a long time. I always knew were they would be on the ice. It was easy to play with Boris and Valeri because they were always in the right place. And we had a lot of fun The only reason why I had such a good career was because I played with two such great players."
On the contrary from most Soviet players, Petrov
wasn't a good skater. He didn't have that fluid skating style that many of his
teammates had. His strength was his excellent stickhandling and hard shot. He
also wasn't afraid to use his 6'1" and 205 Ibs body in the corners.
Petrov was also strong on faceoffs and a dangerous and aggressive forechecker.
Born: June 30, 1947 in Krasnogorsk Height: 6'0" Weight: 198lbs Position: C Shoots: R