Atlanta’s Russian Express

November 20th, 2009 by Warren Shaw Leave a reply »
The National Hockey League has built a solid foundation on great teams and greater players. In past years the game has seen legendary performers and marvelous forward combinations. In the old six team NHL forwards lines that could work in concert and produce goals on the ice were watched and admired. In Atlanta the Thrashers may have hit on a just such a forward combination that could catapult them to the Stanley Cup playoffs after finishing out of playoff contention the last several years. Russian born Ilya Kovalchuk, Nik Antropov, and Maxim Afinogenov have stirred up considerable excitement with their speed and exceptional skating, shooting and passing skills drawing comparisons with other great forward combinations. In the 1940’s there was the Punch line in Montreal featuring Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Elmer Lach, and Toe Blake. The Boston Bruins had the Kraut line showcasing German descendants Woody Dumart, Milt Schmidt, and Bobby Bauer. In the 1950’s Detroit had the formidable Production line starring Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, and Sid Abel. In later years The NHL got a chance to enjoy the Goal- A- Game line (GAG) with Rod Gilbert, Jean Ratelle, and Vic Hadf ...

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