“It’s not how fast you skate, it’s how fast you think.”

Here is a fascinating article from former Red Wing Igor Larionov from The Players’ Tribune:

I roll my eyes whenever I hear people talk about how fast the game is now and how sophisticated the systems have become. Watching the game, does it really seem much faster? Does it really seem more advanced? We had a saying in the Soviet days that I wish more coaches and scouts would adopt today: It’s not how fast you skate, it’s how fast you think.

For those not familiar with Igor and his early years, before he came to the NHL he centered one of the best lines in the history of hockey, the KLM line. The KLM line was the top line of the Soviet Red Army team that dominated international hockey in the the eighties, their only blemish being “The Miracle on Ice. The KLM line featured Igor Larionov centering Vladimir “The Tank” Krutov and Sergei Makarov.  They were truly a joy to watch a moving concerto; everything working in perfect harmony.  I liken them to a fine Swiss watch with all the parts moving but each performing their function flawlessly.

(Note: Igor Larionov didn’t join the Red Army until 1981. Additionally, the Soviets liked to keep five man units together.  Joining the KLM line were defenseman Slava Fetisov, Red Wings fans will remember him, and Alexei Kasatonov.  This five man unit was known as the Green Unit, named for the green jerseys they wore in practice.  An interesting aside, all five members of the Green Unit were left handed.)

Green Unit

Check out Igor’s article as he shares a little insight on what it was like to play for the Soviet Red Army.  It wasn’t fun but it was beautifully to watch.

OK, I’m Sorry…

I know this is a baseball blog and baseball is my true passion.  But I’m also passionate about the sport I grew up playing, hockey.  I like to tell people that I’m married to baseball but hockey is my girlfriend.  Anyway, I just saw this picture of Pavel Datsyuk on Facebook and I’m getting excited for hockey to start.

Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Datsyuk Fishing

One thought led to another and I started thinking about my favorite youtube videos.  The video below shows the beautiful Larionov sisters, Alyonka and Diana, daughters of Red Wing and Hockey legend, Igor, singing Ave Maria in Red Square.

This thought led me to yet another.  The picture below is courtesy of Alyonka “Wonka” Larionov’s facebook page.  It is a picture of her, her sister Diana, and father Igor with the Stanley Cup.  It is so cute.  I reminds me of when my own nieces were little.

Igor, Alyonka, and Diana Larionov
Igor, Alyonka, and Diana Larionov kissing the Holy Grail, the Stanley Cup. One sip gives you eternal life.

OK, back to baseball, I promise.  But I hope you enjoy.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural