Soviet Hockey: KLM, the Best Hockey Line Ever?

All three had trouble adapting to smaller rinks and the NHL dump and chase style of hockey. The Canadians won two of these games. This was true during the NHL Soviet matchups.

Krutov played with the Canucks for a year and quit. The two teammates were happy to play together again. All three games of the finals were 6-5. That was the United States Miracle on Ice, year. The Soviets also played fewer games per season. Canada held the lead to win the game and series. Opposing coaches played their fastest forwards to try to keep up with the KLM line. Dump and chase is shooting the puck into the opponents zone and chase after it hoping to regain control and score. The Triple Crown Line of the LA Kings with Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer was another. Larionov adapted and finished his three-year contract with Canucks.

Makarov and Krutov were on the Olympic team in 1980. Perhaps the greatest offensive hockey line was the Soviet KLM line of CSKA Moscow, the Red Army hockey team.

Soviet hockey teams of the 1970s and 1980s were a potent force on international hockey rinks. He holds the record of scoring the most points for CSKA. Several players kept pressuring the government to release them to play for the NHL. The most titles won in the NHL are 26 by the Montreal Canadiens.

1987 Canada Cup


Some consider the finals between the Soviets and the Canadians in the 1987 Canada cup to be the best hockey games ever. The former KLM line members were used to precision passing, skillful puck handling and speed to score. The fact that they were on the tail end of their prime didnt help.

The Russians had offers to play for the NHL, but Soviet officials refused to let players go. Coach Scotty Bowman saw the value of pairing Russian players. He was fast and had a powerful wrist shot. The USSR won game 1 in an over time, Canada won game 2 in a double overtime. In game 3, Lemieux scored the winning goal with 1:26 left in regulation play. One of these was the 1987 Canada Cup and some consider them the best hockey games ever played.

A Larionov and Makarov reunion came in 1993. Larionov was part of the Red Wings team that won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

During the cold war they played individual series against American and Canadian teams. The Soviet League existed 46 years and the Red Army team won 32 international titles. Larionov became part of the Russian Five with forwards Sergi Federov, Vyacheslav Koslov, and defensemen Fetisov and Vladimir Konstantinov. They helped the Sharks beat the Red Wings in the playoffs and took the Maple Leafs to seven games before losing.

The KLM Line

Soviet Hockey

From 1981 through 1989, CSKA had the KLM line, one of the most potent hockey lines ever. The next year the NHL changed the rule so that the Calder winner had to be younger than 26 years old. They dont have their own exhibit. Makarov was the fast, had great puck handling skills and able to solve problems to score. The Production Line of Gordy Howe, Sid Abel and Ted Lindsey of the Detroit Red Wings are an example. NHL

The Detroit Red Wings picked up Larionov early in the 1996-1997 season. The San Jose Sharks acquired Larionov from Switzerland and Makarov from the Hartford Whalers. Some consider game two of the final matchup the best hockey game ever played. He didnt adapt. The two teams tied their round robin matchup. Makarov won the Calder trophy for best rookie. Every able-bodied male in the Soviet Union had to serve a term in the army, and the army transferred the best hockey players to CSKA. Defensemen Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexi Kastanonov with the forwards were the group known as the green unit because of the green practice jerseys they wore.

Hockey teams play units of center, left wing and right wing forwards and two defensemen. 248. The best of these was CSKA Moscow, the Red Army team. The Soviet trainers kept players under strict regimentation, while the NHL was more lenient and less restrictive. Other Soviet players followed him to the NHL.

Krutovs nickname was Tank because of his stocky size. He was good in the corners and in front of the net. KLM referred to the last names of the three forwards which consisted of right wing Vladimer Krutov, center Igor Larionov and left wing Sergi Makarov. Larionov was. It was played in Canada with Canadian officials. The Canadians matched the KLM line with a line that included Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. The Soviets formed the CSKA in 1946 to play in Soviet and European hockey leagues. Krutov and Makarov are mentioned in relation to Larionov by the NHL Hall of Fame. Larionov had an on ice intelligence and a knack for directing play. These differences affected the Russians play and slowed their adapting to the NHL style. The KLM line remains one of the great hockey lines of all time.

Krutov and Makarov werent fluent in English which added to their discomfort. With Swede Johan Garpenlov, they formed the Sharks GLM line. Viacheslav Fetisov was one of the most persistent, and the first Soviet to play in the NHL when the Soviets became less restrictive. Larionov was on the Olympic team in 84 and 88 when the Soviets won gold medals.. Often the fans nickname the forward line or units. Forwards Larionov, Federov and Koslov was known as the comrade line. It was the last series with cold war overtones.

The NHL Hockey Hall of Fame inducted Larionov on June 17, 2008. He was knicknamed the professor. These matches were considered as cold war battles. He played for the New Jersey Devils in 1989

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