Wednesday, July 25, 2012

For Your Viewing: 1976 Canada Cup

Haven't seen a hockey game in a month? Sick of hearing where a free agent might go because he finally narrowed his list of teams down from 15 to 5? For Your Viewing helps your hockey withdrawal during the summer months and gives you a classic hockey video to watch and pass the time. It might be a game, a movie, or even just a clip, but they're all great to watch while sitting back with a cold one in hand. Sure beats counting down the days until training camp. 
Following the 1972 and 1974 Summit Series' and the demand to see the best players in the world play against each other while representing their countries, the Canada Cup was created. The first tournament took place in 1976 and featured six teams consisting of: Canada, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, United States, and Finland. The 1976 Cup is legendary for being the first true best-on-best tournament in hockey history with professionals participating and the team that Canada iced is considered one of the best teams to ever wear the maple leaf. In fact, 16 of the 21 players on Team Canada are now inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and Stanley Cup champions like Lanny MacDonald and Bobby Orr consider this '76 Canada Cup title the highlights of their careers

The tournament was played over two weeks in six cities and was competitive enough that it saw each nation participating in the tourney win a game in the round robin. While the Soviets didn't ice one of their best teams (team politics), they would get themselves into a position to play Canada in an unofficial semi-final to see who would play the World Champion Czechoslovakians in the best-of-three final. Canada would win that game and the Soviets would complain about the officiating as they did all tournament; even threatening to withdraw from competition. All this would lead up to a Canada-Czechoslovakia best-of-three final.

Game 1 - Canada vs Czechoslovakia at Maple Leaf Gardens:

Game 2 - Canada vs Czechoslovakia at the Montreal Forum:



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