“We never play such animal hockey,” CSKA Moscow coach Konstantin Loktev seethed after it was all over. Philadelphia captain Bobby Clarke shrugged when he heard that. “We’ve been called a lot of worse things,” he said. “This wasn’t one of our rough games.” On this afternoon in 1976, his Flyers pummeled CSKA Moscow in a mid-winter exhibition game (they also happened to win it, by a score of 4-1.) A fuller accounting of what went on that day might read something like this; for a more graphic telling, there’s “The Check Heard ‘’Round The World” at Victory Journal, a print and digital magazine that, by its own lights, seeks to illuminate the intersection of sport and culture. It’s vital and vivid and worth your time, starting with the story (here) by writer David Hollander and artist Stephen Halker of the night Ed Van Impe got acquainted with Valeri Kharlamov.
(GIF courtesy Victory Journal)
(Correction, 01/15/21: As Jean-Patrice Martel points out, the CSKA-Philadelphia was an afternoon game, a 1 p.m. start, on January 11, 1976, whereas I originally referred to it as a “night” game. The post has been corrected.)