Vladimir Myshkin

When you are the second best anything in your entire country, that is amazing. But for Vladimir Myshkin it was an unlucky situation. That's because he was the second best goalie in the Soviet Union in the late 1970s and early 1980s, behind the legendary Vladislav Tretiak. That meant Myshkin rarely got to play.

Internationally Myshkin was part of seven gold medals, two silvers, two bronze at the Olympics and World championships. He also was an important part of the Russians victorious team at the 1979 Challenge Cup tournament against the NHL All Stars (Myshkin posted a shutout in his only game in the best of three series). He also played well at the 1984 Canada Cup, his first major tournament as Russia's starting goaltender after Tretiak's retirement. Myshkin was named to the tournament all star team. He had a perfect 5-0 record before losing to Canada in an epic semi-final showdown.

Unfortunately, Myshkin is perhaps best remembered as the goalie who replaced Vladislav Tretiak after the first period in the famous "Miracle on Ice" game against the Americans at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Coach Vladislav Tretiak unconventionally yanked his ace starter Tretiak after a slow first period. He had high trust in Myshkin at the time, after his shutout performance against the NHL All Stars at the 1979 Challenge Cup. Myshkin came in and only had to face 2 shots in the 2nd period. But in the third period he surrendered famous goals to Mark Johnson and Mike Eruzione as the Americans pulled off perhaps the greatest upset in the history of hockey.

All said Myshkin played in 34 international contests, posting a 1.65 goals against average and a 20-5-2 record.

Myshkin began playing hockey in 1972 with a little known team called Olimiya Kirovo-Chepetsk, but soon joined Krylya Sovetov Moskva later that year. He played there until until 1979, winning a Soviet title in 1974. From 1979 through 1990 Myshkin played with Dynamo Moscow. As the Soviet players were freed from communist rule and allowed to play in the west, there was no real interest from the National Hockey League for the veteran goalie. He finished his career in 1990-91 in Finland.

Myshkin later became a coach with HC Davos in Switzerland from 1994-99. In the 2000s he returned to Russia to coach with Dynamo and later with Vityaz Chekhova.

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