THE RUSSIAN FIVE


I’m not sure what Harry Dunne has to do with anything. But there have been a lot of good hockey documentaries lately, and “The Russian Five” looks like another.

It’s the story of the five-man Russian unit that helped Detroit win the Stanley Cup in 1997, their first since 1955.

Scotty Bowman is the NHL’s all-time winningest coach, but showed total lack of ego when he let Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Slava Kozlov and Igor Larionov play as they had learned in Russia. Bowman declined to exercise the control that most coaches would, and reaped great reward.

The Russian Five lost an important member after that 1997 championship when Konstantinov's career ended as the result of injuries suffered in a limousine accident.

But Detroit won the Cup again in ’98, and the legend of the Russian Five lives on through this film (to be released March 22) and Keith Gave’s excellent book of the same name.

“American, Canadian, Swedish, Russian…they’re all Red Wings!” It’s part of what makes hockey so great.

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