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Why Pavel Bure Was Better Defensively Than Most Realize, and Why He Was Unique.

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01-10-2013, 01:53 PM
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JetsAlternate
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Why Pavel Bure Was Better Defensively Than Most Realize, and Why He Was Unique.

The following is a continuation of the "Lost Shifts" series I've been working on, featuring Pavel Bure. This is a brand new video (as of January 10, 2013), and the third in the series thus far. Enjoy.

As Pavel Bure’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction approached in November, hockey fans and members of the media alike were beginning to once again share their thoughts on the Russian Rocket’s style of play and his contributions to the game of hockey. Throughout these discussions, however, it became apparent that some still believe Pavel’s game was not as complete or well-rounded as I had hoped to prove.

While both of my previous videos (see “Pavel Bure: The Lost Shifts” and its sequel) may perhaps have assisted in changing some of the opinion of Pavel both online and within various hockey communities, there still exists a belief in some that he was a “cherry picker” or “one dimensional.” In discussions I’ve had recently, some have called my assertions of Pavel being reliable defensively “revisionist history,” though I will argue Pavel’s less-than-stellar reputation must only apply to his final years in Florida on a team that desperately required offense.

My prior videos focused primarily on the magic that happened whenever Pavel would touch the puck and how he could transition from a defensive play in the defensive zone to an attacking play in the offensive zone. In this video, I made sure to encompass as many aspects of Pavel’s game as I could by showcasing every defensive play and transition, as well as to demonstrate how vital he was to the team’s offense by incorporating much lengthier shifts such as on the power play. As a result, this video reflects Pavel’s ability to dominate games, his importance to the team, and the role he played throughout the games featured, as well as throughout his entire time as a Canuck.

The footage in this video is taken from three games between his rookie season (1991-92) and perhaps the greatest season of his career, 1993-94. At the end of the video, there is a goal reel centered on the skills seen throughout the video and how they were applied when Pavel scored:



April 30, 1992 vs the Winnipeg Jets
March 27, 1994 vs the Los Angeles Kings
May 24, 1994 vs the Toronto Maple Leafs

Pavel, throughout his years in Vancouver, and especially in his earliest years, was more than just a reliable player in the defensive zone -- he was a primary contributor to the team’s defense, playing in every shorthanded situation and compensating for his teammates’ mistakes. He anticipated where the puck would be in all zones of the ice, and using his speed and natural skating ability frequently positioned himself to intercept passes, cut off the opposition’s lanes, or reach the puck before the opponent could. In mere moments, he could position himself effectively to make a difference for the Canucks. In many of the clips, he is matched against other top players such as Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, Phil Housley, Jarri Kurri, and even Wayne Gretzky, and it is he who draws potential penalties from them as in Housley’s case, frustrates them as in Gilmour’s case, or tracks them down defensively and generates a subsequent scoring chance of his own.

Due to his tendency to begin plays in his own zone, he was quite focused on retrieving pucks via strong defensive play, then winding up for an attack at breakneck speeds. As much as some would like to call him a “cherry picker,” his signature play was the end-to-end rush. The excitement from fans was almost always generated whenever he touched the puck in the defensive zone, as once he began to skate, he became incredibly difficult to contain.

Pavel’s anticipation in all three zones of the ice made him a threat to the opposition at all times, and his agility, speed, and acceleration allowed him to attain ideal positioning very quickly. He always had his head on a swivel in order to read his situation, and would react accordingly. He could elude players with the puck, pick up loose pucks to keep his own team’s plays alive and to cut short the opponent’s, and was always a threat to overwhelm the opponent with his combined skating ability and apt stick work. As a player hailing from the Soviet Union’s hockey program and adopting their complete team philosophy, Pavel was equipped with a great understanding of his role on the team, especially defensively, and what was required for success.

Pavel desired nothing greater than for his team to succeed, and throughout his first few years with the Canucks was tremendously passionate about the game and about his teammates. He played for them, and was a kid whose presence his teammates appreciated. One may speculate that the dark and painful relationship he had with team management might have tempered his love of the game by the time he left Vancouver in 1999, but prior to that he would stop at nothing to help his team.

The reputation that has developed for Pavel over the past decade has been an unsatisfactory and unjust one, to say the least. In Scott Morrison’s 2010 book, “Best of the Best: Ranking the Greatest Players of All Time,” Pavel is described as one who would “drift around without interest or purpose, then suddenly turn on the jets…” while E.J. Hradek in 2012 called Bure “more of an offensive guy [who] didn’t maybe come back into his zone.” Pavel’s reputation, especially regarding his time in Vancouver (a majority of his career), has been decimated by misnomers, “revisionist history,” and perhaps a lack of media coverage, televised games, or general access to them in his days with Vancouver. Whatever the case may be, it is crucial to discern the truth about Pavel’s game and, for many, to appreciate how tremendous a player he was.

If you have not seen the first "Pavel Bure: The Lost Shifts" video yet, or its sequel, "Pavel Bure: Fearless, The Lost Shifts 2," you can find them here:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt5YW_GqO1c
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=YOCMPsv_5sQ


Last edited by JetsAlternate: 01-10-2013 at 10:46 PM.
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01-10-2013, 02:17 PM
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Great job on the videos. Have seen the other two, currently loading up this one. As a fan of highly-skilled offensive players, I've always been fascinated by Bure's game but am too young to have seen much of him prior to his Florida days. These videos have really allowed me to see some prime footage of Bure at his peak and its allowed me to discover how truly unique of a player he was. Also gives me a lot of inspiration to incorporate some of the little things I pick up from watching him play into my own game.

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01-10-2013, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the support! I'm definitely striving to change the way people understand Bure. He is perhaps one of the most misunderstood players of all time, whether it be his situation with Canucks management or the way he played on the ice. So many improper assumptions have been made over the years that Pavel's history has become an inaccurate representation of who he was. His history has been rewritten in a very disturbing fashion.

Hopefully, this can provide a bit of insight for fans about what made Pavel such a great player. It's a shame he isn't recognized as such now.

If you guys could leave a comment or two, it would be really appreciated. I would certainly love to hear some thoughts and maybe get a discussion going.


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01-10-2013, 04:35 PM
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Just a beautifully skilled hockey player. There's nothing like him in the world right now.

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01-10-2013, 05:15 PM
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JetsAlternate
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Just a beautifully skilled hockey player. There's nothing like him in the world right now.
I've been hoping since he retired that there would be a player like him. There have been fast skaters, shifty scorers, and smart players, but he truly offered much more all in one complete package. When Wayne Gretzky mentioned he would have played another year if it were with Pavel Bure, one can see why. It looks like he knew what could have been possible if the two were together on the same line.

Anticipation is the theme I was using. Pavel's hockey IQ is as apparent as ever in the footage. Pavel thrived on making defensive plays, then quickly counter-attacking. He did not simply wait for the puck as some would like to think. His reputation has been completely skewed and the intricacies in his game seem to have been overlooked by many.


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01-10-2013, 05:21 PM
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Thanks for the support! I'm definitely striving to change the way people understand Bure. He is perhaps one of the most misunderstood players of all time, whether it be his situation with Canucks management or the way he played on the ice. So many improper assumptions have been made over the years that Pavel's history has become an inaccurate representation of who he was. His history has been rewritten in a very disturbing fashion.

Hopefully, this can provide a bit of insight for fans about what made Pavel such a great player. It's a shame he isn't recognized as such now.

If you guys could leave a comment or two, it would be really appreciated. I would certainly love to hear some thoughts and maybe get a discussion going.
Not as long as Lindros is in on the conversation. He is the most misunderstood player of all time, in my opinion. If people evaluated him simply for what he did on the ice, they would name the Hall after him. HIs off-ice stuff was never bad enough for people to hate him like they do, but for some reason he was and is a pariah.

But I agree with you regarding Bure. I was in my prime the same time he was in his , so I watched a lot of his games, and he was a magical player. History will show that he was the true "Russian Rocket", and was very deserving of his place in the HHOF.

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01-10-2013, 05:33 PM
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I watched him. I don't need videos. He was an offensive player, and didn't care much for defense.

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01-10-2013, 05:41 PM
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oh its this video again...
The games featured in the footage above are different. You may have seen one of the previous two videos released with the "Lost Shifts" title, one in June and one in September. This is the third in the sequence, published today.

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I watched him. I don't need videos. He was an offensive player, and didn't care much for defense.
I was fortunate enough to watch him live as well. I can't agree with your assessment, however. His shorthanded play, his takeaways and interceptions, and the analysis provided in the commentary affirm Pavel's effectiveness defensively. I will admit my own memory of Pavel began to fade with time until I began revisiting the old footage in June, as present-day analysis of Bure has had an enormous influence on people over the past few years. The commentators featured in the footage were making these observations live at the time, though, free from any distortion created by the passing of time. The footage does not support what you're saying, and while I am aware there are those who won't believe it, my hope is that the footage will change some people's minds. The more videos I publish, the more evidence surfaces to change how people should remember Pavel Bure.

Pavel's reputation has diminished over the past decade primarily because of the twisting of history by time and misinformed discussion. Pavel as a "defensive liability" has unfortunately become accepted as "reality;" in the midst of the highlight-reel offense, people seem to have missed how and why those plays began. Crowds roared in excitement whenever Pavel retrieved a puck in the Canucks' zone and brought the puck out. His skating ability allowed him to move from one zone to the other so quickly that it would have been advantageous for him to have control of the puck deep in his zone. If one word or phrase could be used to summarize his game, it would be: "counter-attack."

As someone who was able to watch him all the time in Vancouver, there was nothing more exciting than when Pavel Bure carried the puck up the ice; the reason he had the puck was primarily because he had broken up a play or was supporting the breakout. We see this in the footage, and Canucks fans saw it live. There are those who have pointed that he was not as committed defensively in Florida, which is something I may look at next. For the majority of his career, especially in its first half, Pavel was more than sound defensively.

It is frustrating and disappointing to see how inaccurate his legacy as a player has become.


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01-10-2013, 07:21 PM
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I watched him. I don't need videos. He was an offensive player, and didn't care much for defense.
In terms of banging and "dirty work" (which includes sacrificial shot blocking for me), yeah... he wasn't that guy. But in terms of the speed, skill, anticipation and retrieval aspects (think of the videos of Gretzky picking pockets for an idea), as well as getting the puck out of the defensive end (loose/contested puck->get possession->kick the tires, light the fires), he was very good. And those skills contribute to team defense more than Bure's bigger detractors will care to admit.

As much as he gets chastised for "cherry picking", it's of note that most of the video clips that supposedly show this "short-coming" typically show the beginnings of a dangerous rush. Which is to say, his anticipation served him well. If there were more videos of Bure making a b-line for the neutral zone but the puck failing to get out because of Bure's man, or if Bure hardly ever retrieved open pucks in his own zone, then I'd argue less vehemently against the "floater" label.

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01-10-2013, 07:36 PM
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As a hockey fan I enjoy and appreciate these videos. Obviously a lot of work and I applaud that.

But are we trying to convince people that Pavel Bure was Pavel Datsyuk on the defensive side of the puck?

There's enough footage that I could make a video highlighting Johan Franzen driving the net hard, crashing and banging, and laying on the body suggesting he was a force and played like a power forward consistently. But reality is another thing.

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01-10-2013, 07:40 PM
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It is frustrating and disappointing to see how inaccurate his legacy as a player has become.

If that is what you want to believe. You're sellin', but I don't think there are gonna be too many people buyin'.

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01-10-2013, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
In terms of banging and "dirty work" (which includes sacrificial shot blocking for me), yeah... he wasn't that guy. But in terms of the speed, skill, anticipation and retrieval aspects (think of the videos of Gretzky picking pockets for an idea), as well as getting the puck out of the defensive end (loose/contested puck->get possession->kick the tires, light the fires), he was very good. And those skills contribute to team defense more than Bure's bigger detractors will care to admit.

As much as he gets chastised for "cherry picking", it's of note that most of the video clips that supposedly show this "short-coming" typically show the beginnings of a dangerous rush. Which is to say, his anticipation served him well. If there were more videos of Bure making a b-line for the neutral zone but the puck failing to get out because of Bure's man, or if Bure hardly ever retrieved open pucks in his own zone, then I'd argue less vehemently against the "floater" label.
I agree. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to discover Pavel blocking and deflecting a few shots in the games against L.A. and Toronto, which you can find at around 10:33 in the video, as well as at 27:47, 29:18. At about 6:10, 9:00, 8:15, and 19:24, among other places in the video, he demonstrates no fear of being physical along the boards to retrieve the puck. At 25:19, he bodychecks Sylvain Lefebvre into the boards, at 25:21, he makes an open ice hit, and at 26:05 he makes another hit along the boards.

He was not afraid to hit, block shots, or be physical, and he was often impeded and targeted physically as a result of opposing players trying to contain him. He tended to rely more on stickwork in order to break up plays, though, as we see throughout the video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silkyjohnson50 View Post
As a hockey fan I enjoy and appreciate these videos. Obviously a lot of work and I applaud that.

But are we trying to convince people that Pavel Bure was Pavel Datsyuk on the defensive side of the puck?

There's enough footage that I could make a video highlighting Johan Franzen driving the net hard, crashing and banging, and laying on the body suggesting he was a force and played like a power forward consistently. But reality is another thing.
The key here is that everything shown was done in a span of three games randomly selected. There are too many games available to be sifting through them all, so what I do when I begin editing is I select a random game from a certain time period. What are the chances I would have discovered so much material in just three matches if it wasn't a consistent part of his game. Some here would make it seem the odds of him playing defense are one-in-a-thousand, but I've never won a lottery in my life.

My objective here is to uncover information about the player. It does not have to be all positive, and I have not yet looked at Pavel's tendencies as a Panther, so I will keep an open mind when I do investigate. In fact, much of my analysis comes directly from what I have observed during the editing process and skimming the games for the first time while editing. If he was demonstrating laziness or lack of effort in the footage, I would have shown it and commented on it.

The more videos I put together, the stronger my personal opinion becomes, as my discovery of Pavel's defensive game becomes more and more common. I have not failed yet in the nine games I have looked at. My goal is to portray Pavel's game in the most accurate fashion possible, whether it be positive or negative. This is a scouting report. The footage seen in the videos is significant because it contradicts the opinion that Bure did not care about defensive play or contributing defensively. It contradicts the opinion that he was a cherry picker, and instead establishes that he was an end-to-end rusher whose contributions in the defensive zone aided his team in ultimately establishing its attack.

I began this series with a much more reserved outlook:
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...429&highlight=

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Originally Posted by JetsAlternate View Post
There has always seemed to be some confusion regarding what Pavel Bure contributed to the play of his team when he wasn't scoring.

While Pavel Bure's amazing goal scoring ability is well documented, some people still do not realize why he is considered to be one of the most electrifying players to watch in the history of the NHL. I decided to investigate for myself whether Pavel really was as exciting as we remember -- and he certainly was.

I combed through three randomly selected games from arguably his least successful seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98) and discovered that nearly every time Pavel touched the puck, something exciting happened. His explosiveness made him so elusive, and defenders had no idea how to contain him. The footage below is from arguably his worst seasons as a Canuck. Imagine him when he was at his best.
The more I continue to pull from games featuring Pavel, the more I see him playing a smarter, more complete game than I had remembered even one year ago. If you were to ask me one year ago, I would not have been able to speak so assertively about Pavel's defensive game. I knew in my mind and could remember him being solid defensively, but had no conclusive evidence to confirm my thoughts. Last June, I wanted to determine for myself if such terrible reports about his defensive play were accurate, and I discovered they were not. I also wanted to gauge how electrifying he really was without the bias of time making an impact (whether positively or negatively). While he may not be on Datsyuk's level defensively, Bure was still above average in his own zone, and his ability to quickly convert it into an offensive chance made him very deadly if the opposition wasn't careful.

This series has refreshed my memory about what he was like when I watched him in Vancouver nearly twenty years ago, and it has provided intricate details about things that had been long since forgotten. Specific tendencies, tangible demonstrations of hockey sense and skill are things that were fading and becoming only mythical and uncertain. This is not something I am trying to "sell" so much as it is a learning experience I am trying to share.

I understand this is a lengthier video than my previous two, but I would appreciate the view. I'd like to thank everyone for the support and I hope you enjoy the video.


Last edited by JetsAlternate: 01-10-2013 at 09:15 PM.
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01-11-2013, 04:31 PM
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The following is a continuation of the "Lost Shifts" series I've been working on, featuring Pavel Bure. This is a brand new video (as of January 10, 2013), and the third in the series thus far. Enjoy.

As Pavel Bure’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction approached in November, hockey fans and members of the media alike were beginning to once again share their thoughts on the Russian Rocket’s style of play and his contributions to the game of hockey. Throughout these discussions, however, it became apparent that some still believe Pavel’s game was not as complete or well-rounded as I had hoped to prove.

While both of my previous videos (see “Pavel Bure: The Lost Shifts” and its sequel) may perhaps have assisted in changing some of the opinion of Pavel both online and within various hockey communities, there still exists a belief in some that he was a “cherry picker” or “one dimensional.” In discussions I’ve had recently, some have called my assertions of Pavel being reliable defensively “revisionist history,” though I will argue Pavel’s less-than-stellar reputation must only apply to his final years in Florida on a team that desperately required offense.

My prior videos focused primarily on the magic that happened whenever Pavel would touch the puck and how he could transition from a defensive play in the defensive zone to an attacking play in the offensive zone. In this video, I made sure to encompass as many aspects of Pavel’s game as I could by showcasing every defensive play and transition, as well as to demonstrate how vital he was to the team’s offense by incorporating much lengthier shifts such as on the power play. As a result, this video reflects Pavel’s ability to dominate games, his importance to the team, and the role he played throughout the games featured, as well as throughout his entire time as a Canuck.

The footage in this video is taken from three games between his rookie season (1991-92) and perhaps the greatest season of his career, 1993-94. At the end of the video, there is a goal reel centered on the skills seen throughout the video and how they were applied when Pavel scored:



April 30, 1992 vs the Winnipeg Jets
March 27, 1994 vs the Los Angeles Kings
May 24, 1994 vs the Toronto Maple Leafs

Pavel, throughout his years in Vancouver, and especially in his earliest years, was more than just a reliable player in the defensive zone -- he was a primary contributor to the team’s defense, playing in every shorthanded situation and compensating for his teammates’ mistakes. He anticipated where the puck would be in all zones of the ice, and using his speed and natural skating ability frequently positioned himself to intercept passes, cut off the opposition’s lanes, or reach the puck before the opponent could. In mere moments, he could position himself effectively to make a difference for the Canucks. In many of the clips, he is matched against other top players such as Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, Phil Housley, Jarri Kurri, and even Wayne Gretzky, and it is he who draws potential penalties from them as in Housley’s case, frustrates them as in Gilmour’s case, or tracks them down defensively and generates a subsequent scoring chance of his own.

Due to his tendency to begin plays in his own zone, he was quite focused on retrieving pucks via strong defensive play, then winding up for an attack at breakneck speeds. As much as some would like to call him a “cherry picker,” his signature play was the end-to-end rush. The excitement from fans was almost always generated whenever he touched the puck in the defensive zone, as once he began to skate, he became incredibly difficult to contain.

Pavel’s anticipation in all three zones of the ice made him a threat to the opposition at all times, and his agility, speed, and acceleration allowed him to attain ideal positioning very quickly. He always had his head on a swivel in order to read his situation, and would react accordingly. He could elude players with the puck, pick up loose pucks to keep his own team’s plays alive and to cut short the opponent’s, and was always a threat to overwhelm the opponent with his combined skating ability and apt stick work. As a player hailing from the Soviet Union’s hockey program and adopting their complete team philosophy, Pavel was equipped with a great understanding of his role on the team, especially defensively, and what was required for success.

Pavel desired nothing greater than for his team to succeed, and throughout his first few years with the Canucks was tremendously passionate about the game and about his teammates. He played for them, and was a kid whose presence his teammates appreciated. One may speculate that the dark and painful relationship he had with team management might have tempered his love of the game by the time he left Vancouver in 1999, but prior to that he would stop at nothing to help his team.

The reputation that has developed for Pavel over the past decade has been an unsatisfactory and unjust one, to say the least. In Scott Morrison’s 2010 book, “Best of the Best: Ranking the Greatest Players of All Time,” Pavel is described as one who would “drift around without interest or purpose, then suddenly turn on the jets…” while E.J. Hradek in 2012 called Bure “more of an offensive guy [who] didn’t maybe come back into his zone.” Pavel’s reputation, especially regarding his time in Vancouver (a majority of his career), has been decimated by misnomers, “revisionist history,” and perhaps a lack of media coverage, televised games, or general access to them in his days with Vancouver. Whatever the case may be, it is crucial to discern the truth about Pavel’s game and, for many, to appreciate how tremendous a player he was.

If you have not seen the first "Pavel Bure: The Lost Shifts" video yet, or its sequel, "Pavel Bure: Fearless, The Lost Shifts 2," you can find them here:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt5YW_GqO1c
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=YOCMPsv_5sQ
Wonderful video once again Jets. Your videos are unique and extremely well done. They show an angle of Bure that a majority of hockey fans just have not seen.

Bure was not only one of the most skilled players of all time but, also a very intelligent player. A player cannot be great based off skill alone. A combination of hockey smarts , skill, and determination are a recipe for success in my opinion.

Lucky for Bure he posed all three aspects. As skilled as he was, he had a high hockey IQ. All with this he was a work horse who would train like a mad man.

Since Bure was such an intelligent hockey player, he understood what was going on in every play. This aloud him to anticipate the play and make the correct defensive play. His great play in his defensive zone lead to many opportunities in the offensive zone where he could ultimately show why he was one of the greats and that is what he is known for.

I agree completely jets that Pavel was a good defensive hockey player is often poorly labeled. It really puzzles me and makes me wonder if they actually watched him play.

Wonderful job once again. Keep up the great work!

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01-11-2013, 04:32 PM
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How many times will this be posted?

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01-11-2013, 04:33 PM
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Bure fans have a weird obsession with proving he could play defense

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01-11-2013, 04:35 PM
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How many times will this be posted?
This is part 3 , show some respect for the effort put into the piece. It's a great read/watch.

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01-11-2013, 04:37 PM
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I've heard Pavel Bure called the greatest historical comparable for Bobby Orr, and I guess I believe it now.

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01-11-2013, 06:15 PM
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In 1993-'94 Bure was a beast and that was his best season. He seemed to wear his heart over his sweatr at that time. It really seemed to irk him that the Canucks lost in 1994. That's the Bure I wish we saw all the time. I don't know what it was, but it seemed like he lost a bit of passion after that. He still wanted to score but I just got the feeling he would have been as happy scoring 50 goals even if the team wasn't winning. This is around 1998 when we saw his lacklustre performance with the Canucks (at least when the puck wasn't on his stick). He still scored a ton after 1994, but I just felt the intensity wasn't there anymore. Maybe he couldn't reach that level again and it was the best we ever saw him. Who knows? But yeah, his defense, or should I say, lack of interest for defense, took a nosedive.

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01-11-2013, 06:24 PM
  #19
Haj
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Thanks for this.

I'm more familiar with Pavel Bure's time in FL.

I know the stats of what he did in Vancouver, but I wasn't aware of this information regarding his play defensively.

Vancouver Pavel Bure makes me think: "He needs to play in the league that's above the NHL."

If he played in the post clutch and grab era, he would have drawn many more penalties.

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01-11-2013, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetsAlternate View Post
The following is a continuation of the "Lost Shifts" series I've been working on, featuring Pavel Bure. This is a brand new video (as of January 10, 2013), and the third in the series thus far. Enjoy.
Hey Valeri, great job on the video, he was an offensive force, but don't try to tell me that Pavel was good defensively, he couldn't even spell the word.

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01-11-2013, 06:52 PM
  #21
TOML
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Originally Posted by flashy View Post
Bure fans have a weird obsession with proving he could play defense
Well, at least one.


I personally could care less if he block a shot or not. It's the dazzling speed, nifty moves and goalie-humiliating goals that got the guy into the hall of fame.

Gretzky... Lemieux... Bossy... Hull... Defense? No.

Who cares? Nobody.


Simply, dominating all over the ice transcends 'offense' or 'defense'.


TOML

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01-11-2013, 07:01 PM
  #22
Ozz
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Originally Posted by Bure View Post
This is part 3 , show some respect for the effort put into the piece. It's a great read/watch.



Quote:
Originally Posted by flashy View Post
Bure fans have a weird obsession with proving he could play defense
Fans of anybody tend to stick up for their beloved when there's a negative general concensus that isn't true. If you don't care, don't look. Some people seem to feel that if someone isn't a top-level player in any aspect of the game, then they flat out suck at those aspects.

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01-11-2013, 07:13 PM
  #23
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Pavel Bure was the Barry Sanders of hockey.

No one made the sport look cooler, sexier and more fun.

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01-11-2013, 07:15 PM
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Ohashi_Jouzu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashy View Post
Bure fans have a weird obsession with proving he could play defense
I think it's more about disproving that he couldn't (or, rather, didn't... in "his own way"). Given the number of posters around here who perhaps remember little from their childhood besides highlights of Bure on breakaways, I don't see the problem with properly reminding them that he wasn't just about cherry-picking. Rare, it would seem, is the video evidence of Bure leaving the zone too early resulting in his unmarked man contributing toward scoring chances.

JetsAlternate has taken the under-represented side of this opinion and been one of the first I've seen to take the time to present such a developed case. I say kudos for that alone, and perhaps extra "cred" for being one of those who could appreciate the subtleties of individual style (offensively AND defensively) that existed before players became such highly developed and programed parts of a profit machine.

Speaking from my own recollection, he properly anticipated when to spring from the zone far, far more often than the opposite, so I've never thought the cherry-picker label was quite fair. It so rarely seemed to negatively affect what the team was able to do defensively that each time the puck successfully got to him on one of those breaks seemed more than worth it - if that makes sense to you. I don't hold the very end of his tenure in Vancouver against him too, much, as Keenan came in and allowed the team to try to work towards getting his bonus since they'd basically already thrown in the white towel on the season that early, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag925 View Post
Pavel Bure was the Barry Sanders of hockey.

No one made the sport look cooler, sexier and more fun.
Heh, that's pretty good.


Last edited by Ohashi_Jouzu: 01-11-2013 at 07:20 PM.
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01-11-2013, 07:58 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashy View Post
Bure fans have a weird obsession with proving he could play defense
Yeah. I agree he really wasn't that good defensively although I really enjoy these videos. That said, I think being good defensively as a top 6 winger really isn't all that important.

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