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Just How Good Was Pavel Bure in 1993-94? A Goal-Per-Game Player -- 53 Goals in 55 Games When Healthy.


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I think we all recognize how special a player Pavel was and many of us marvel at his 60-goal season which led the league in scoring in 1993-94. Not many people know, however, that Pavel played injured between November and December 1993. Just how good was he? I think we can figure out more about how good Pavel actually was if we take this injury (in fact, a severe groin injury) into account:

Pavel scored 7 goals and 13 points in his first 8 games, recording a shooting percentage of 18.4% in those games. He then missed eight games due to a groin injury and upon returning, his production was severely hindered for two months, his shooting percentage dropping to 6% between November and December; while injured, he recorded only 7 goals in a possible 29 games between October 24, 1993 and the end of December (21 games played, 8 missed).

At the start of January, after he had recovered fully, however, his production increased dramatically again and he scored 46 goals, 72 points in his next 47 games; his shooting percentage between January and April averaged at 20.4%. Based on his shooting percentages, we can see there was something majorly wrong with him during those two months.

We can look at his 1993-94 monthly splits here (also remember he missed 8 games): http://www.hockey-re...01/splits/1994/

That injury is documented here: http://hfboards.hock...5&postcount=226

Pavel scored 46 goals in the final 47 games of the 1993-94 season with a shooting percentage of 20.4% playing with Murray Craven and Gino Odjick. He scored 53 goals in 55 games that year outside of the time he was injured.

After scoring 7 goals in 8 games to start the year, Pavel sustained a groin injury on October 23, 1993. Perhaps the most ridiculous thing Pat Quinn could have done was to play Bure the night after he pulled his groin against San Jose on the 23rd. They played the Sharks on back-to-back nights on the 23rd and 24th of October; Pavel started the game on the 24th and re-aggravated it on his first shift.

Between November and December 1993, Pavel struggled, presumably because of this injury. Starting in January, though, he returned to a near goal-per-game pace that season... again, with Murray Craven and Gino Odjick as linemates, sometimes Greg Adams.

If not for that groin injury, Pavel would have exceeded 60 goals easily. He was scoring at a goal-per-game pace in October, January, February, March, and April. That's 53 goals in 55 games playing with Gino, Craven, and Adams. That's prime Pavel prior to his ACL injury scoring at a goal-per-game pace without adequate linemates and playing a complete game.

Not many people had a chance to watch this Bure. In fact, BCTV only televised 15-22 games per season those days, and CBC only picked up a handful each year, sometimes only six. People outside of Vancouver would have seen him very rarely considering their own local broadcast schedules were not much better for their own teams.

There's more on that here: http://hfboards.hock...525&postcount=1

Now, if we consider he had 53 goals in 55 games when healthy that season (from start of the season to October 24, 1993 and January 1, 1994 to April 13, 1994), we can prorate that to 80.95 goals in 84 games. Considering the stretch in which Pavel scored 7 goals in 29 possible games, it's not out of the question to say his production could have been significantly greater, perhaps 27 goals in 29 games, if he were healthy. As mentioned before, the kid had a stretch in which he scored 31 goals in 29 games in his rookie season, and he had been scoring at a goal-per-game rate throughout the 1993-94 season for five months (all season excluding those two months he played injured). If he were healthy, 27 goals in 29 games would have been a fairly ordinary occurrence.

If we prorate his season based on the five healthy months he played and assume his production did not dip dramatically due to injury in November and December, that's 80 goals in 84 games.

If we calculate that by adjusted goals, that's 73 adjusted goals (73.33, but rounded down). That's the second-highest number of adjusted goals scored in a season, only behind Brett Hull's 78.

And Pavel played with Gino Odjick, Murray Craven, and Greg Adams all season.

Pavel's 1993-94 season is severely underrated. He had 53 games in 55 games when he was healthy, and only finished with 60 in 76 because he was injured -- just 7 goals in 29 potential games. At his best, Pavel was very capable of scoring at a goal-per-game rate in the early 1990s. He did this for 29 games in 31 games in his rookie season and by 1993-94 was scoring at a goal-per-game pace whenever he was healthy. In those 55 games, we saw the very best of Pavel Bure, one that would have perhaps scored 80 in 84 if healthy.

That season is completely skewed because of the injury; how dangerous he was as a scorer is severely underrated as 60 in 76 does not exactly stand out. 53 in 55 stands out a lot more and reflects what Pavel how dangerous he was when he was healthy that year.

Wayne Gretzky once said he would have prolonged his career if the Rangers could acquire Bure in 1999. Wayne saw what made Pavel great, particularly in those first few years. In the first three years of Pavel's career, before his major injury, he literally feasted on the Kings. Between 1991 and 1994, Pavel scored 18 goals, 10 assists, 28 points in 20 games against the LA Kings -- again, those are goal-per-game numbers.

He could score from anywhere. Pavel didn't just have speed. He had the best acceleration in hockey, incredible agility, and the ability to deke past people at full flight. He had a slap shot that rivals that of today's best players and a great wrist shot as well. His wrist shot required no windup. He had tremendous vision and prior to his injury played a strong two-way game utilizing his speed at all times; he hustled every shift and was known as a tremendously hard worker.

Some examples of his shot later in his career:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrTpUUY03C0

On the rush, he was really in a league of his own. In the offensive zone, he played like a much quicker Patrick Kane, elusive but present all over the ice, dangerous from anywhere, able to stickhandle around players with the puck. He pressured with his speed and forechecked hard. He was a goal-per-game scorer at his best.

He was also one of the team's strong players defensively, something that gets too frequently overlooked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi34bBEiAOY

The skill sets of some of today's players says a lot about how each individual skill still plays a major role in scoring today. Matt Duchene has speed, Patrick Kane has agility, Steven Stamkos has a great shot. Pavel was a quick thinker and had all of those skills. He was incredibly diverse in the ways he could score and create chances; that year, he was a goal-per-game player... and he did it by himself.

These are all pre-knee injury highlights as Pavel had not yet switched to #96, courtesy of Makaveli719696; in fact, he switched to #96 just before his knee injury. And they only show some of Pavel's chances. Only 20-30 games per season those days were ever televised, so a lot of potential footage has been lost. He had 263 shots in those 55 games; that's 4.78 shots per game, and a lot of those chances, as we've seen in my own videos, were all very dangerous. At his peak, he was a 20.15% shooter (53/263).

Pavel's peak is severely, severely underrated.

More in the next post.

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God.....Bure was so disgusting, I highly doubt we will ever get a player that dynamic ever again unless we basically shipped out our top 6 and then did a rebuild a la Oilers. Not worth the risk though, Hall and RNH are terrible investments...they definitely won't be anything special in their mid to late 20's...Bure was a phenom

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Could Bure reach 70 or more playing today's game without all the hooking and grabbing that occurred when he was in his prime? I believe he could have.

Todays game is the toughest and hardest era of hockey. Goaltenders are that much better, equipment is also that much better. Defensemen are better, and players overall are bigger, stronger, faster.

I doubt he would of put up even the same numbers he did in the past.

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Todays game is the toughest and hardest era of hockey. Goaltenders are that much better, equipment is also that much better. Defensemen are better, and players overall are bigger, stronger, faster.

I doubt he would of put up even the same numbers he did in the past.

lol Bure was One of a Kind. Do you know how much clutching & grabbing was in the game back then. There was no rule on that back then & he still blew by the best guys in the league & scored 50 + goals i believe 5 times. in 7-8 seasons if I'm right...

Now with the NO clutching or grabbing rule in effect he would easily get 60 + goals. Bure was so far ahead of time that he would still be the fastest guy in the NHL TODAY.

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Don't forget the 59 goals and 58 goals seasons with Florida Panthers. He did it during the dead puck Era, when trapping hockey was at the peak , every team pretty much played the trap.

Other notes.

Pavel Bure never had a true play making centerman to play with. in 93 it was Cliff Ronning, who is no doubt a very good centerman, far from anything of a top line centerman, he was more a 2nd line centerman.

in 94 He played some with Trevor LInden, who was actually a right Winger playing center.

During his days in Florida he played with a pretty good centerman in Victor Kozlov. But he too was far from an all star.

It's pretty sad that he wanted to leave. Honestly, we got Ed Jovanovski out of the Bure Trade. Have we hired MIke Gillis back in 98 instead of Brian BUrke maybe he would have been able to talk him into staying in Vancouver? Who knows. (Mike Gillis was a candidate for the job back then).

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wouldn't work out....maybe on the PP, but he created off the rush at top speed, rarely do I believe the Sedins would ever be capable of keeping up to him.

I think people just remember him for his brilliant breakaways but I could see them working together. The twins could easily send him a great feed and create more chances off the rush for him. It's not like the Sedins are all that slow. Sedins have always needed someone with a shot like his :P

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Todays game is the toughest and hardest era of hockey. Goaltenders are that much better, equipment is also that much better. Defensemen are better, and players overall are bigger, stronger, faster.

I doubt he would of put up even the same numbers he did in the past.

New to Hockey, I see.... welcome. I can always appreciate new hockey fans adding to the fan base and heping the growth of the sport. In time, you'll look back on this post and just laugh like, "what was I thinkin'?" :lol:

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New to Hockey, I see.... welcome. I can always appreciate new hockey fans adding to the fan base and heping the growth of the sport. In time, you'll look back on this post and just laugh like, "what was I thinkin'?" :lol:

He's not that far off. Goalies are better than ever (statistically speaking) and defensive defensemen have definitely been very prominent. Really there is no knowing how a player would score in different eras. Gretzky could be limited to only 90 points in todays league or he could amass 150+. There really is no knowing how a player would do. The same for Bure. He could score 80 or he could struggle to make 40 yearly.

I think it's best to judge players by their era, because there is little fair comparison to be made for or against whether a player would do better.

Still Bure is one of the greatest pure goal scorers in NHL history and there is little doubt to that. He probably would tear it up today like he did when he played for us.

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