After releasing the first footage reel featuring Pavel (see "Pavel Bure: The Lost Shifts"), viewers requested to see more of his exhilarating game. There were also naysayers who felt not enough defensive footage was shown. While there are many who fortunately understand what made Pavel Bure such a magnificent player to watch, there still exists the perception that he was a so-called "cherry picker" and "one-dimensional." This second reel will hopefully debunk those misconstrued and undeserved criticisms.
As with the predecessor to this video, the highlights shown do not include any goals scored by Pavel, primarily to emphasize that every time he touched the puck something exciting would happen. He was truly a human highlight reel, and he could dominate games with his abilities. My goal is to give viewers a closer look at Bure's regular shifts and what made him so special -- thus, "the lost shifts." Several viewers requested more of this lesser-seen footage, thus I've expanded with more all-around plays. Every game would be filled with enough exciting plays to create a highlight package, which is why he is considered by some to be the most exciting player ever; he was so shifty and unpredictable with the puck that you never knew if he would suddenly turn on the jets and amaze the audience.
The footage seen in this video is, again, taken from three games, one of which, the game against Chicago, he was injured in during the second period. Thus, we will consider the amount featured 2.5 games:
April 9, 1994 vs the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
May 27, 1995 vs the Chicago Blackhawks (2 periods shown)
October 11, 1997 vs the New York Rangers
Much of Pavel's game has been underrated and forgotten with time. His vision, his ability to anticipate plays, his mean streak, and his defensive posturing have become mysteries, as the only highlights we ever see of him now are his goals. He was indeed one of the greatest goal scorers of all time, and he should definitely be celebrated for it, but his game was so much more complex than goal highlights can reveal. Often, with the Canucks, he would be the catalyst of the team's offense, starting plays, rushing up the ice, and participating in an aggressive forecheck.
His skating and quick hands allowed him to maneuver around the ice unpredictably, forcing opposing players out of position and opening space. His defensive positioning, meanwhile, was also solid, and his work on the team's penalty kill was focused and demonstrated considerable effort. His effort while backchecking, as seen in the video, results in a devastating hit on the opposing Anaheim player.
The term "dynamic" as a descriptor would better suit his game; his skating abilities allowed him to dictate the pace of the game and evade defenders, his stickhandling skills made him lethal anywhere on the ice, and his hockey sense allowed him to exploit any open ice available to him, whether it be to establish open ice for teammates or to create chances for himself. He was gritty, fierce with the puck, and used his anticipation, acceleration, and agility to be effective and elusive -- if an opposing player did not keep track of where he was at all times, they would quickly be left behind.
Most importantly, Pavel Bure's favorite play was, undoubtedly, the end-to-end rush. Whenever he had the opportunity, he would carry the puck from coast to coast with absolute confidence. These types of electrifying plays defined his signature style, made possible only by contributing on the backcheck and being one of the last players to leave the defensive zone.
For such a small, skilled player, Pavel Bure was neither soft nor was he ever afraid to challenge any opposing player. He would drive to the net with incredible determination, could catapult himself into the opposition without hesitation, and would often take much physical abuse as a result. The number of times Pavel was obstructed and impeded is astonishing, many times because the opposing defenders could not contain him. His shiftiness and speed alone drew many penalties.
If there is any doubt Pavel is as tremendous or as exciting as fans like to recall, let these videos be a point of reference. Pavel definitely was a force, and one of the most electrifying players to ever play the sport.
See the first highlight reel: "Pavel Bure: The Lost Shifts"
Edited by WeatherWise, 12 September 2012 - 05:51 PM.