The Canada vs USSR eight game hockey tournament of 1972 galvanized the nation 50 years ago this month. One of the standouts for Team Canada was Montreal Canadiens defenseman Serge Savard.
Sixteen million Canadians, out of a nation of 22 million, watched the final game. Here is something I never realized back when I watched the series on TV with my high school pals: Canada never lost a game where Savard was in the lineup. He went 4 wins, one tie. A hairline fracture mid-way in the series kept him out of two losses, and a bad decision by coach Harry Sinden sidelined him for the opening blowout loss.
Savard, proud owner of ten Stanley Cup rings, looks back on the series with passion and insight. He hated the politics, but loved the bigger rink in Moscow and wonders how much of an impact a mobile Bobby Orr would have had on that larger ice surface.
Also joining me on this episode is author, rocker and documentarian Dave Bidini, the co-writer and co-director of "Summit 72," a four-part documentary premiering Wed., Sept. 14 on CBC and CBC Gem. Come for the drama, stay for cool music Bidini archived and the fully restored and seldom seen 16mm footage of the original series.