We don't need this kind of hockey!

"We don't need this kind of hockey!" - this phrase became famous after the hockey match between the national teams of the USSR and Canada, which took place on September 28, 1972. The TV report was hosted by the famous commentator Nikolai Ozerov. To such an exclamation, Ozerov was provoked by the incredibly rough play of the rivals of Soviet hockey players, who, losing in professionalism, began to arrange fights on the ice.

This Ozerovo reportage was watched, without exaggeration, by the entire Soviet Union, all progressive mankind. Because the match was outstanding - the last, 8th game, of the USSR super series - Canada, in which, in fact, the fate of the first battle of the two hockey superpowers was decided.

The score in the series by that time was equal, if you win the match, you win the war - the tension, in a word, was colossal. After two periods, ours went into the lead 5: 3, but the Canadians fought to the end - in every sense of the word. They began to be rude, not only fists, but also psychological pressure went into action.

For example, one of the leaders of the national team, Alan Eagleson, could not stand the nerves. He sat on the podium and went into a frenzy due to the fact that the referee did not immediately count the Canadians' goal. And the goal was the most important - after it the score would have become 5: 5.

So, Eagleson suddenly climbed onto the site, grabbing the judge by the breasts - naturally, our valiant militiamen stopped him, who even then could not weakly grab him. They began to drag the Canadian away from the box - but the North American players did not leave this matter so easily, they themselves jumped up from the site, stood up for the boss - and took him to the bench. Where in our Union did they see this then ?!

One rudeness gives rise to another - angry Canadians began to arrange almost boxing fights on the site with our guys. It was then that this phrase escaped from the lips of Nikolai Nikolaevich, which in the blink of an eye became legendary: "We don't need this kind of hockey!"

All Soviet TV viewers then also thought so: what had long become the norm in the NHL was an overseas curiosity for us. It turned out that ours were playing hockey with the Canadians, and they suddenly began to play with us in completely unknown games.

Only then, after having cooled down properly, our specialists began to slowly admit that one or two such fights, which were started on the site in time, and taken over in them, sometimes turn on and charge the team so much that nothing and no one can stop it.

Canadians didn't just play like that - they lived for it. Professionals - what can I say! It was about them that Vysotsky sang: “For professionals, desperate little ones, the game is a lottery, whoever is lucky. They play with a partner like a bull with a matador, although it seems that the opposite is accepted.

But our guys were no worse - although they lost both that match and the entire series. But they proved to the whole world that we know how to play hockey no worse than its founders. We know how to fight, and defend, and replay them in a combination game - beautifully and convincingly.

These high-profile victories will come to us a little later - in the next super series, including at the club level, in the 1979 Challenge Cup, in which our NHLers put 6: 0 on their shoulder blades. Or in the 1981 Canadian Cup final, when we played the same Canadians as boys 8: 1!

Eh, there was a time about which we can only remember now. Ozerov was right: we didn't need such a Canadian hockey. Why, if you had your own brand? Which we, alas, have long lost - and so far we cannot return.