[VIDEO] 1994: How Pavel Bure Single-Handedly Destroyed the Dallas Stars in Round 2.
*This is a spinoff of the Lost Shifts series I have been conducting over the past year. Future installments will feature other former legends as many have been requested to me.*
Though Pavel Bure's career regular season performance is fairly well-documented, many people forget exactly how instrumental he was to the Vancouver Canucks' success in their 1994 Stanley Cup campaign. In fact, one of Pavel's best series is completely overlooked by most hockey fans. One of the attributes people seem to forget is that he was a playoff performer who would elevate his game in crucial situations. He scored the Game 7 double overtime winner against the Calgary Flames, then unleashed himself against the Dallas Stars in the 1994 Western Conference Semifinals, scoring nine points in just five games. In Game 5 alone, he had nine shots and scored twice, utilizing all of his abilities including his two-way play. This brief look at Games 3 and 5 of the series against Dallas is designed to provide a clearer image of Pavel's performance in this series.
The footage featured here is from two games: Games 3 and 5 of the 1994 Western Conference Semifinals vs Dallas. This is a series viewers often forget and one I feel highlights his ability to dominate.
Game 3: May 6, 1994 vs the Dallas Stars
Game 5: May 10, 1994 vs the Dallas Stars
In keeping this video brief, the Game 3 footage focuses on one particular stretch of play in which Bure and the Canucks successfully kill a penalty then defend in their own zone. Out of no where, they counter and Bure's speed draws a penalty on Dallas. He demonstrates his quick release moments later, scoring his fourth goal in three games.
The Game 5 footage showcases several of Bure's chances that game, highlighting how dominant he could be and how he could single-handedly control a game. He generated a chance every time he had the puck, often starting from his own zone. Even with their players in front of him, the Stars found it tremendously difficult to contain his vicious attack. The Canucks won the match 4-2 on the strength of Pavel's two goals.
There are many who forget about the series against Dallas as it is hardly ever featured in any discussions regarding Pavel or the 1994 Canucks. His heroics carried the team past the second round for the first time in twelve years, part of the journey that would ultimately end with Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Had they won the Cup, he would have been a prime candidate to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. Those who do not consider his ability to perform in the playoffs should reconsider. On the brink of elimination in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, for instance, he scored twice to extend the series. He brought his very best at the most crucial times.
Pavel proved to everyone in this series that he could put a team on his back in the postseason.