The Summit in 1974

The Summit in 1974 project presents a series of articles featuring different views and rankings of the finest hockey lines in the history of international hockey.

 •  Best Soviet Hockey Lines of the 1970s by A. Chidlovski
 •  Best North American Hockey
Lines of the 1970s
by P. Houda, HRA, SIHR, SIHSS
 •  All Time Finest Lines by M. Farber, Sports Illustrated
 •  Golden Lines of Soviet Hockey by L. Trakhtenberg and A. Bochinin, Sport Express Daily
 •  TEAM CCCP Best Lines (1954-91)
by Hockey CCCP International @

Special thanks to Craig Wallace, Bill Underwood, Dave from Whitby and Pat Houda for various contribution in preparation of these materials.



The Best Soviet Lines of the 1970s
Listed as left wing-center-right wing

By Arthur Chidlovski
The Summit in 1974

  1.   Valery Kharlamov-Vladimir Petrov-Boris Mikhailov
Team USSR and CSKA
Late 1960s to late 1970s

One of the best lines to play hockey ever. Unmatched master of hockey improv and great team player at the same time, Kharlamov was obviously a centerpiece amd major crowd attraction of the "first troika". Petrov was a very solid playmaker and a two-way forward. Mikhailov borrowed a few tricks from Espo at the 1972 Summit and became the all-time Soviet scoring leader. Most of his goals came from rebounds. The line had an incredible chemistry and dominated international hockey for over a decade.

  2.   Alexander Yakushev-Vladimir Shadrin-Victor Shalimov
Team USSR and Spartak Moscow
Mid 1970s

The final version of the Spartak's trio played on the 2nd line with the Team USSR in the 1970s. Prior to Shalimov, Yakushev and Shadrin played with various right wingers (Yaroslavstev, Zimin). Being often compared to Frank Mahovlich, Yakushev was nicknamed as the "Big Yak" and was the top offensive talent of the line. Shadrin was a brilliant two-way forward. After the 1974 Summit, Shalimov completed the line with a free-wheeling high-scoring right wing.

  3.   Sergey Kapustin-Victor Zhluktov-Helmut Balderis
Team USSR and CSKA
Mid to late 1970s

Often overlooked by hockey historians, they were one of the most productive lines in the USSR in the late 1970s. Brilliant offensive wingers and a rock solid center - what else would one need for a line? Unlike many lines in the Soviet hockey, this one was built when all three players were in their prime. The line was throughly orchestrated by Victor Tikhonov. Fast and graceful Balderis joined this Red Army line after several sensational seasons in Riga. Powerful skater Kapustin was brought from the Soviet Wings. Zhluktov was neither a graceful skater nor an impressive stickhandler. He cemented the line with consistent and reliable performance in the center.

  4.   Alexander Bodunov-Viacheslav Anisin-Yury Lebedev
Team USSR and Krylya Sovetov Moscow
Early to mid 1970s

They began to play together when they were 14. North American media nicknamed them as the "Kid's Line" after the 1972 Summit. They were truly one of the most promising hockey lines of their era. Lebedev developed into an aggressive and passionate grinder. Anisin was a fast thinking scorer and a playmaker. Bodunov was a pure scorer with a wickedly strong slap shot. Together they were fast, ambitious and goal hungry.

  5.   Valery Kharlamov-Anatoly Firsov-Vladimir Vikulov
Team USSR and CSKA
Early 1970s

They didn't play very long together. One of the top offensive lines of the late 1960s, Firsov-Polupanov-Vikulov lost its center. Legendary Tarasov tried various players to replace Polupanov. Finally, he added Kharlamov to the famous linemates. "We didn't have to explain much to Valery," remembered Firsov. "It just clicked." Born out of Tarasov's experiments and attempts to extend hockey career of aging Red Army stars, the line is mostly remembered for its performance at the '72 Olympics. With Tarasov's retirement, Firsov left Team USSR and the Kharlamov-Maltsev-Vikulov line at the '72 Summit Series was a quick fixer-upper for a promising line.

  6.   Boris Alexandrov-Victor Zhluktov-Vladimir Vikulov
Team USSR and CSKA
Mid 1970s

They were the second line with the Red Army club and, briefly, with Team USSR in the 1970s. Small and speedy, Alexandrov had a promising scoring touch. Never mind his small size - no giant defenseman was an authority to Alexandrov when he was free-wheeling to the net. Vikulov had great soft hands and incredible playmaking talent. Zhluktov was not a magnificent player but served as a very solid and reliable backbone of the line.

  7.   Alexander Golikov-Alexander Maltsev-Vladimir Golikov
Team USSR and Dynamo Moscow
Late 1970s

One of all time best Soviet forwards, Maltsev was a terrific universal player. For years, he played different positions with different linemates on the Team USSR roster. No one had doubts about his fascinating one-on-one skills, playmaking and scoring talent. In the late 1970s, he finally got a short-lived but solid line with the Golikovs brothers from his Dynamo Moscow club. Vladimir was an excellent two-way player with impressive defensive performance. Alexander was more of an offensive forward and a distinct scoring talent.






The Summit in 1974