It doesn't matter of course. The Soviets have had better goaltending in the two Dryden games, they have had slightly better luck and the Canadians have had a penchant for getting hurt when they make glaring mistakes and also when they take very long shifts. So while the traditional narrative is incorrect the fact remains that the Canadians are down in the Series when it heads overseas.
Colin (aka Mr Debakey) did the work on this one again and we will start with his take on the game.
The first thing one notices when watching Game 5 of the 72 Summit Series is how far satellite technology has come since 1972. The damn picture is constantly breaking up – more than once leaving your intrepid shot counter to guess as to what exactly happened.
Team Canada instituted major changes for the Moscow half the Series. The 37-man roster was essentially chopped by 40%. A core group [selected during the try-out phase in 4 major Canadian cities] practiced together, and supplied the starting line-up for each game.
Harry Sinden chose to leave Option 3 behind on the hippie-strewn streets of Vancouver. The Game 5 roster reverted to three lines, two extra forwards and three defense pairs:
Parise – Esposito - Gilbert
Henderson – Clarke – Ellis
Mahovlich – Ratelle- Cournoyer
Pete Mahovlich, Perreault
Park – Bergman
Stapleton – White
Seiling – Lapointe
If Game 4 was a melee, Game 5 was a series of set pieces. There was very little changing on the fly; I'm guessing because the benches were an extra 12 feet away [4 meters children].
Canada had last change and Sinden matched hard.
Clarke against Maltsev every time.
Esposito against Shadrin and Ratelle facing Petrov as much as possible.
I don't think Sinden cared where the face-off was. He wanted match-ups.
The Clarke line killed the Maltsev line; Henderson with two goals and Clarke with one.
Additionally, Ellis, Clarke & Henderson were the only Canadian forwards with a positive ES Corsi.
The Defense pair of Seiling & Lapointe were also +1. They were Plus-4 when playing behind the Clarkes [about half the time], Minus-3 with the rest.
Brad Park was +1 too.
The Clarkes were on for two goals against. On the Soviet's 2nd goal, they got caught on a long shift. The Soviets changed, but only Clarke got off for Canada. Esposito absorbed a GA skating with a tired quartet.
On the USSR's 5th and winning goal, Seiling got beat along the boards, allowing Vikulov a free shot at Tony Esposito. This was Seiling's last shift in the Series.
The only skaters not on the ice for an ESGA were the two extra forwards, Perreault and Mahovlich.
I should say something about Henderson [in the red helmet], two goals in this game. A bucket of game winners in the series. When you break it down though, that 28% shooting percentage was just the icing on the cake. His speed drove the Soviets crazy. His anticipation broke up their attacks. And he did the same thing in 1974 during the 2nd Canada-Soviet Series. The man was made for international hockey.
The referees in this game, Czechoslovakia’s Rudolph Batja and Swede Uve Dalberg, were excellent. The Game 4 zebras were good too. Legend has it Game 6 was different. There was an incident where a Soviet forward spears Cournoyer. A furious Cournoyer begins swinging his stick machete style at the Commie’s ankles [happily, the puck was down there too]. The referee lets play continue.
Team Canada had a flock of kids on the original 37-man roster: Perreault, Tallon, Dionne, Martin and Guevremont. Only Pereault saw any game action – and only in Games 4 & 5. He was Plus 2 in the two games – a Goal and an Assist. His territorial measures were fine. His pizzazz levels were excellent.
These kids’ ice time was doomed when Canada lost the first game. Coach’s fondness for veterans was probably stronger then than it is today.
Black Dog discussed shift length in an earlier post. He’s just like Foster Hewitt! Even though the shifts were ridiculously long by today's standards, Hewitt can’t help commenting on the frequent line changes.
Hewitt, was in the final years of an illustrious career. In addition to short shifts remarks, he thought it necessary to remind us regularly that when a team is killing a penalty, icing the puck is “what they're allowed to do”.
I think the icing rule was put in place in 1939.
The best comment, though, comes from Hewitt's sidekick, Brian Conacher. Our Boys had played a couple of “Unfriendlies” against the Tre Kroner in Stockholm between Games 4 & 5. Now, on to Moscow. A Soviet player is slow to get up after being smoked by a Team Canadian. Conacher is sure the Soviet is milking it and snorts “You'd think he's a Swede...”.
The Moscow games were telecast early afternoons in Edmonton. We headed back to class that weekday afternoon with Canada leading 4 – 1 confident that Our Boys had their 2nd win of the series.
I can't remember my exact words when I heard the final score, but I'm sure at least two of them were “no” and “way”.
And, finally, Vive le Quebec in 72 - Yvan Cournoyer, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Jean Ratelle, Gilbert Pereault, J. P. Parise, Rod Gilbert, Marcel Dionne, Richard Martin, Jocelyn Guevremont.
Plus Jacques Laperriere, Jacques Lemaire, Jean Pronovost, Carol Vadnais and Guy Lafleur….
Lets start with Colin's numbers first, ok. First his detailed event log and then the breakdown by player at ES, Canada PP, USSR PP, 4v4, and finally the totals. And then my charts giving a simple breakdown by player for Corsi and scoring chances.
So Corsi is relatively even, as it has been all series. ES is 64-68, PP is 8-1, SH is 0-9 for a total 72-78
Scoring chances is where things have turned. ES is 26-36. PP is 4-0. SH is 0-1 so a total of 30-37.