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11-14-2012, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Hallenback View Post
I think it is a pretty apt comparison. 2 smaller guys with bull doggish personalities who can skate and shoot the puck. Both guys have a knack for scoring. Both guys have a winning attitude.
The defining aspects of Pavel's game are his speed, explosiveness, desire to go coast-to-coast whenever he could (to rally the fans), to shift into the next gear whenever he wanted to, and to obliterate the other team at incredible velocities.

Craig Button compared Nail to Alexander Mogilny. Mogilny was not as fast as Pavel nor was he able to go end-to-end a la Bure on a consistent basis. Rather, his greatest assets were his shot and agility. Many of his goals resulted from very hard, accurate snap shots. Bob McKenzie, meanwhile, compared him to Valeri Kharlamov.

I think Craig's comparison makes more sense than Larionov's based on what I've seen. Pavel used to fly past everybody when he carried the puck. His incredible, almost superhuman skating ability generated so many scoring opportunities and invoked many standing ovations. Without that ability, Nail is not much like Pavel at all. If he can not merely skate around the opposing defense, Nail's game will naturally have to change in order for him to be effective. I don't see the comparison. I sure as heck would love to, but his game does not fit that description.

Every player has unique characteristics. The traits you mentioned could accurately describe many players, though they could all be very different. To be like Bure, a player needs to be able to skate and have the ability to go around defensemen. One player people thought would be like Pavel was Maxim Afinogenov, especially early in his career, particularly because he could skate, and shared a similar stride. Of course, Afinogenov hardly resembled Bure in any other way, but he was dubbed "Baby Bure" in his first few years because he could overwhelm players with speed, agility, and explosiveness (though certainly not to the degree that Pavel could. No way). That comparison says a lot about what Pavel's defining trait was, and what gave Afinogenov the title.

Once in a while, Afinogenov would justify those comparisons. Of course, to compare Pavel to Afinogenov would be an insult to Pavel's vastly superior talent, intensity, physicality, vision, and work ethic, though.

What I'm trying to state here, though I hate to compare Pavel to Afinogenov, is that incredible skating ability is what makes a player "like Pavel Bure." If Nail doesn't skate like Pavel, Larionov should not be making the comparison. It seems he's trying to hype and promote his client; unfortunately, this is unfair to Nail and to fans whose expectations have been raised. Larionov should pick a different player to compare Nail to. There are many other Hall of Famers and great players who may be even more similar to Nail; Bob McKenzie and Craig Button have already named two.

Last edited by JetsAlternate: 11-14-2012 at 01:12 PM.
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