on September 27, 2006
I was born in 1979, so I wasn't even alive when this series was played. Growing up, I knew of the series and its players, but understood little of how it played out, and what it meant. All I knew was "the goal". So I bought this set, wanting to see it mostly out of curiousity. I had a bunch of people over to watch Game 1, all of us never having seen it. Despite the poor audio and picture quality and terrible (hilarious) graphics, it didn't take long for us to get into the game as though it were happening right then and there. My dad could only shake his head.
We found ourselves immersed not only in the drama on the ice, but research revealed all of the drama off of it.
Suddenly, there we were; a group of Canadians removed from our time, transported back to September of 1972. Communism is alive in the USSR, Trudeau is Prime Minister, and practically no Canadians wear helmets. On the day following the games we would be at work, saying things like: "Can you believe that goal by Pete Mahovlich last night?" and, "Man, Tretiak is INCREDIBLE!" or, "Bergman is all OVER the place!" People thought we were nuts.
As the games went on, and things were looking grim, the remembrance of the outcome began to creep back into our consciousness, and I wondered how we were ever going to come back...
And then "the interview" after Game Four.
When I read about the aftermath - the letters and telegrams of support sent to the players in Moscow; the THREE THOUSAND Canadians who made the trip to cheer the team - it really began to dawn on me - the true magnitude of this event not only in Canadian hockey, but in Canadian history, period. The thought of thousands of Canadians flying half way around the world to watch a hockey game, the schools and businesses that essentially shut down to watch the games... unbelievable.
The eighth and deciding game was watched in a theatre-style classroom, on a big screen. There was excitement and anticipation in the air. Then, after fifty-nine minutes and twenty-four seconds of some of the hardest fought hockey I had ever seen, we heard the call we all were waiting for - the call from Foster Hewitt that all Canadians have heard...
"Here's a shot... Henderson makes a wild stab for it, and falls... here's another shot... right in front... THEY SCORE! HENDERSON HAS SCORED FOR CANADA!"
Now, I am not one for blind patriotism, but in the end, those players and those fans made me as proud to be Canadian as I ever have been in my entire life (how bizarre!).
This series is an absolute must for all Canadians, hockey fans or not. To have the opportunity to see those players - the Espositos, the Mahovlichs, Clarke, Cournoyer, Bergman, Dryden, and Henderson, and so on - required viewing for all hockey fans too young to have seen them.
Before I saw it for myself, I thought it was just a hockey series. Boy, was I wrong.
on April 16, 2004
As a 10 year old, I was glued to the TV during this series. I've spent the past several nights time travelling back to 1972. Sometimes in life you can't go back. In this case you can.
There are a lot of great interviews with the players in 2002. Think about how often you hear baseball players say winning the World Series is everything. Think about how often hockey players say winning the Stanley Cup is everything. Now imaging Phil Esposito, in a post game 2 interview, saying that single game win is better than winning the Stanley Cup. Cournyer said something similar (per Gary Bergman).
Game 6 is as good of a game as you'll ever see. I couldn't believe how many guys got knocked to the ice. I also now realize how great Phil Esposito was. He was often ridiculed for scoring garbage goals on rebounds. He was a lot more than that.
If you're a hockey fan, and/or you remember the tension between North America and the USSR in days of old, buy it! It's $35CAN very well spent.
on October 3, 2010
I can't get enough of this DVD set! You get all 8 games of the 1972 summit series in their entirety, plus loads of extras, including interviews from players of Team Canada, footage of the presentation of the "Team of the Century" award at the Hockey Hall of Fame, and let's not forget Phil Esposito's famous speech after game 4 in Vancouver.
The only problem I noticed was that the audio was a little ahead of the video in game 5, but it corrects itself at the start of the 3rd period. The video quality for the 4 games in Russia has a few blips here and there, as well as bits of audio missing, but they are so few and far between that you won't even notice.
Despite the video quality in the last 4 games, I still have to give this DVD set a perfect 5. What you see on these dvds is exactly what was seen on television sets back in 1972, so it is just part of the experience.
Any hockey fan will enjoy this set. Highly recommended!
on January 3, 2004
Great deal here, two CD's, while other places sell each one seperatly, plus free shipping, what a deal!
As for the game, it definately was the best ever because it was more than a game, it was a clash of cultures, idea's, faith, and politics. As for the Swede who said Canada won because of cheating is wrong. Canadians didn't try to stack the deck with horrible refs, wake up the players in the middle of the night with phantom phone calls, loose their equipment, steal their food, box the visiting team fans into a corner, restrict movement in the city and out and out just make life miserable over there. I think the Swede is just jealous they got beat cleanly in the pre-russia games.
on December 24, 2005
This DVD set, regardless if it's not quite up to par, will emerses your mind and soul in one of the most historic WORLD sporting event series ever played. It is a little grainy, but film that is 33 yrs old, and it's still very much enjoyable.Esposito, Dryden, Mikita, Mahovlich, Kharlamov Yakushev, Petrov, the Hall of Fame list,
goes on. If "YOU" love hockey,as much as i do, you will totally enjoy the pure nostalgia of these games. It's a "WINNER!"
on December 18, 2004
Even though i live in wee old England, a mate of mine recomended watching hockey on British TV. I ABOSULTLY love it!! it has taken over my life and now with my extensive knowledge i have bought this DVD. IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!! it has boosted my love for the game played @ a professional level. They best sort out the 2004/2005 season because i cannot wait!!
on November 7, 2002
Most people in Canada were glued to a television, any television for this series. The years gone by have not dimished its' significance. If possible the passing of time has enhanced it all the more. I was in university at the time and he still talks about the 1972 Canada/USSR Series, and Foster Hewitt (the best hockey broadcaster ever) with reverence. Having all eight games available in their entirety is great!
It's hard to review the product vs. the actual games. I cannot give the eight-game series other than about ten stars out of five because of the insane drama that it produced and the memories it evokes.
Putting all that aside and looking at this box set in the light of day, it falls a bit short. First of all, some of the interviews that follow the individual games often do not refer to the games in question. (Also, how is it possible they released this mispelling Dennis Hull's first name as Denis? Did they mistake him for a French-Canadian player or maybe they assumed he was Denis Potvin?) Why not just do a new documentary on its own with these new player interviews? Also, where are the actual documentaries I've seen on TV done afterwards? I'd love to have seen them on this especially showing how we Canadians all watched the games at school, living rooms, bars or even in shop windows.
The Montage DVD extras have great pic quality because they are shot on film stock but have no narration at all. The 2002 Return to Luzhniki is nothing other than a Jean Chretien and Vladimir Putin photo op. I was expecting some sort of oldtimers game to be honest.
Included is a team photo and a booklet that has the game summaries so obviously do not open this up, if you wanted to watch the games fresh again without knowing the scores, scorers, etc.
Also, if this is the "complete" story of the 1972 Team Canada journey, throw on the exhibition games in Sweden and Czechoslovakia (actually called "Game 9" on many DVDs out there to signify Stan Mikita's return to his homeland has some meaning). Just a thought as I've seen all these on DVD, and they are just as wild especially the games in Sweden. In fact, pre-tournament I remember the Red and White Team Canada intrasquad games being on TV (most likely on cable not CTV) because the level of interest going in was that high.
To be perfectly blunt, the games are fine, but I have seen better quality transfers to DVD elsewhere. Forget this 2004 one and go for the 2007 box set ('72 Complete - The Ultimate Collector's Edition of the 1972 Summit Series) that has all the games plus one of the exhibition games in Sweden as well as three excellent documentaries on the Summit Series.
Finally, as a kid I had no idea but now I can hear how terrible Foster Hewitt was at play-by-play. OK, he's a Hall of Famer and was the first true pbp guy but it's "Corn-why-eh" not "Cor-noyer" for Yvan Cournoyer and it's also Serge "Sa-vard" not "Sav-ard" and by Game 3 he does correct himself. Sure, I'll cut him lots of slack on the Russian names but from the first game he blows the call on Canada's second goal completely messing up the goalscorer. The guy was 69 years old in 1972. Voice was still good but now I think why wasn't the best play-by-play announcer Danny Gallivan used?
Brian Conacher, though, is excellent on color especially for the times. His international hockey background having played for Canada at the 1964 Olympic team gave us all some real insight and analysis into the Soviet/Russian style of play and really he was a "Meeker" ahead of his time.
on November 15, 2005
OK, I'll admit it. The fact that you can see Mulroney in the stands is interseting but not the main feature of this set (this isn't a joke, I'll tell you where to find him at the end of the review --- historically interesting, and I wonder if even the former PM knows he was on TV. If you love hockey, you need this set. For one thing, even disregarding the drama and history of the series, I can't think of one other set of videos or dvds showing an entire series or even an entire game from that era ---- if you want to relive an era, clips of hilites aren't enough , you need the whole game. Can anybody think of ONE game, just ONE, which exists complete from the 1972-73 season? There aren't any besides this set. SO if you are a purist and you want to relive the past, you NEED this set. OF course, the fact that it's the first exposure of two different systems of hockey is remarkable. The way the Soviets literally skated circles around Canada in the first game is remarkable. It's especially remarkable if you first watch the 1987 Canada Cup DVDs (also incredible) and realize that by 1987 both the SOviets and the Canadians were playing ... like the SOviets of 1972. ANyway, buy the set, it's unreal and a real treat.
By the way, about Mulroney ---- before the FIRST game, when Dryden was announced as the goalie, the camera then goes to the cheering crowd. There is NO DOUBT, you definitely see Brian Mulroney in the crowd dead center in your picture, as clear as day.
on November 23, 2014
Wonderful DVD series - oddly enough, even enhanced by the occasional flawed transmission of the games in Russia. Absolutely superb was the reading of "Cold War - The Amazing Canada-Soviet Hockey Series of 1972" by Roy Macskimming as a companion to the DVDs. The book provided commentary after I viewed each game, as well as a plethora of background information.