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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Bure vs. Ovechkin

View Poll Results: Who was better?
8 65 72.22%
96 / 10 25 27.78%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-17-2013, 12:36 PM
  #76
tfong
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Eyeball test says Bure is better. Stats and career I'll give to Ovie. But there would never be a case where I take a prime Ovie over a prime Bure since I have watched both. That's not to say Ovie isn't a generational talent, it's just what Bure did was just too amazing sometimes yo describe.

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06-17-2013, 08:01 PM
  #77
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I'm taking Bure.

Injuries really set him back, plus he finished with the 3rd highest Goals-per-Game average EVER.

Not to mention, OV hasn't hit the back-to-back 60 goals a season mark yet either.

Just because Ovechkin had a couple strong months this season doesn't automatically make him a "generational talent" all over again. I wanna see a full 82-game season like that and I actually want to see his team get out of the 2nd round of the playoffs. Then I'll admit that Ovechkin is a better player than Bure.

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06-17-2013, 08:53 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
There is also the argument that Bure's selfishness is one reason his teammates had such poor numbers in 2000-01.

When Bure is getting 28 minutes per game, and his teammates are spending that time trying to win the puck back without his help, so they can "feed the cat" (Bure circling the Panthers logo at center ice while the puck is in his defensive zone), it isn't exactly a recipe for his teammates to put up good numbers themselves
i guess there are two sides to it, but still, it is entirely remarkable.

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06-17-2013, 09:04 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Royal Canuck View Post
I'm taking Bure.

Injuries really set him back, plus he finished with the 3rd highest Goals-per-Game average EVER.

Not to mention, OV hasn't hit the back-to-back 60 goals a season mark yet either.

Just because Ovechkin had a couple strong months this season doesn't automatically make him a "generational talent" all over again. I wanna see a full 82-game season like that and I actually want to see his team get out of the 2nd round of the playoffs. Then I'll admit that Ovechkin is a better player than Bure.
Bure's back to back 60 goal seasons were in a much higher scoring league than Ovechkin ever had the luxury of playing in.

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06-17-2013, 09:28 PM
  #80
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Bure's back to back 60 goal seasons were in a much higher scoring league than Ovechkin ever had the luxury of playing in.
yeah, but Bure also had to play entirely thru the clutch-n-grab era though. Since the 05 lockout, Ovy has had clear open fast ice, with virtually no obstruction to deal with.

I think a lot of this vote is east coast fans who didn't see a lot of Bure. Of course being on the west coast I saw more of Bure than I see of Ovy.

If I had to take one of them to start a team, it would be Bure every time.

And Ovy's occasional "cruising" around the rink doesn't help his cause either.

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06-17-2013, 09:36 PM
  #81
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Bure's back to back 60 goal seasons were in a much higher scoring league than Ovechkin ever had the luxury of playing in.
yes to those two seasons, but let's play both sides and note that 59, followed by 58 came in an era more difficult than Ovechkin ever had the.... you know the rest.

The more i think about it, the more i think they were custom built to play in the other's era.

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06-17-2013, 10:56 PM
  #82
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For a while Ovechkin was too straightforward, and, when the league's adapted to his moves, he became less effective (he reinvented himself lately)..
That is 100% media narrative drivel. Ovechkin scored this year the way he always scored, by being really fast and strong and having an incredible shot which he uses liberally (the kinds of things that define many of best goal scorers of all time). There was not a change in approach, he didn't start using vastly different moves, and the way people talked about how he scored earlier was completely ridiculous (as if it would take 5 years for the best coaches in the world to adapt to his moves).

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06-17-2013, 10:56 PM
  #83
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Eyeball test says Bure is better. Stats and career I'll give to Ovie. But there would never be a case where I take a prime Ovie over a prime Bure since I have watched both. That's not to say Ovie isn't a generational talent, it's just what Bure did was just too amazing sometimes yo describe.
That's the way I feel as well. Bure was the better prime player, but Ovechkin had a better career.

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06-17-2013, 11:38 PM
  #84
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yes to those two seasons, but let's play both sides and note that 59, followed by 58 came in an era more difficult than Ovechkin ever had the.... you know the rest.

The more i think about it, the more i think they were custom built to play in the other's era.
This is not true. Scoring during Ovechkin's three Hart/Richard seasons is basically the same as Bure's Florida years; in fact, for 2 of Ovechkin's Hart/Richard seasons, scoring was marginally lower than it was during Bure's Florida seasons.

Average goals per game:

1999-00: 5.492
2000-01: 5.513

2007-08: 5.440
2008-09: 5.695
2012-13: 5.390

For comparison, here are Bure's "60 goal seasons:"

1992-93: 6.958
1993-94: 6.484

Source: http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_GoalsPerGame.php

How can anyone put any of Bure's seasons over Ovechkin's 2007-08?

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06-18-2013, 02:28 AM
  #85
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i kind of feel like ovechkin is getting the messier treatment here, in that people are remembering his more recent "bad" years (including the first half of this last season) but forgetting how dominant he was before that.

conversely, as much as it pains me to say it, bure is getting romanticized here. i mean, i love the guy. he's my favourite player of all time. i spent entire summers as a kid practicing his moves on rollerblades in my parents' driveway. i played off-wing because of him. you know, real "five maurice richards against five other maurice richards" stuff.

but if we really want to celebrate the greatness of bure, i think we need to acknowledge bure for what he was. because that was something worth celebrating.

he MAYBE could have won a hart trophy between the lockouts over, i don't know, corey perry or MAYBE this last season. things would have had to go very right for him, but yeah he could have done it. and on some days, i can convince myself that bure could have won the '00 hart trophy. but for two years, ovechkin killed everyone in goal scoring. he outpaced the next guy by 13 and 10 goals while winning and art ross and coming within three points of a second. florida bure had the 14 goal margin that one year, but all told i consider that only his fourth best year. bure could not have won the '08 and '09 harts. back-to-back years where he outscored everyone else by 10 goals? those two years by young, hungry, balls-out ovechkin blew my mind.

what bure was was an electrifying goal scorer. he had the wheels and the amazing puck control to say, "eff the DPE i'm going to score (almost) 60 goals anyway." he could create offense out of thin air, and he could carry a bad team to the playoffs ('00) and a good team to 100 point seasons ('93 and '94), and a very good, deep team to the finals ('94 after the nedved trade). but i honestly don't think there was ever a time when you could compare him to the best of ovechkin, crosby, or malkin, any more than you could compare him to '94 fedorov or DPE jagr unless jagr missed 20 games ('00). and for me, that's enough to celebrate, to make him my favourite player. i don't need to account for the star teammates that he didn't have and didn't need.


actually, i will add one thing: from mid-february '92 to mid-february '93, if you count that as a "season," that was a stretch you could put up there with the best of ovechkin. 70 goals and 46 assists in 81 games. included in that stretch were bure's 22 goals in the last 23 games to take the calder from lidstrom and the amazing first half of the '93 season when it looked like he might threaten 50 in 50 and was neck and neck with mario and mogilny up to december. we'd never seen anything remotely like that in vancouver before.

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06-18-2013, 02:54 AM
  #86
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I haven't checked it, but does Bure get significant boost on his scoring finishes if we remove Gretzky/Lemieux from the equation? Since that seems to be the popular thing to do lately.

If we think about the competition Ovechkin faced besides himself, it is basically Malkin/Crosby who have constantly been able to challenge Ovechkin. I think we can all agree that other forward competition is players a notch below Ovechkin.

Now, was Bure clearly better than Selanne or Kariya. Cause to me it is clear that those two are not comparable to Ovechkin/Malkin/Crosby. Better than Sedin/Kovalchuk/Perry etc. yes, probably. But they are a step below the "Big 3". Sakic/Forsberg/Jagr/ are closer to the level of Malkin/OV/Crosby. Do we consider Bure being in the Selanne/Kariya class or in the Forsberg/Sakic class?

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06-18-2013, 04:22 AM
  #87
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I haven't checked it, but does Bure get significant boost on his scoring finishes if we remove Gretzky/Lemieux from the equation? Since that seems to be the popular thing to do lately.

If we think about the competition Ovechkin faced besides himself, it is basically Malkin/Crosby who have constantly been able to challenge Ovechkin. I think we can all agree that other forward competition is players a notch below Ovechkin.

Now, was Bure clearly better than Selanne or Kariya. Cause to me it is clear that those two are not comparable to Ovechkin/Malkin/Crosby. Better than Sedin/Kovalchuk/Perry etc. yes, probably. But they are a step below the "Big 3". Sakic/Forsberg/Jagr/ are closer to the level of Malkin/OV/Crosby. Do we consider Bure being in the Selanne/Kariya class or in the Forsberg/Sakic class?
You should count Stamkos aswell. As the latter part of your question, Bure is definitely closer to Selanne/Karyia level of dominance than to Forsberg/Sakic class.

I'm going as far, that better comparision than Ovechkin to Bure is Kovalchuk. Their career path went by similar way from kind of complete offensive forward to cherrypicker (Bure) and vice versa (Kovalchuk).

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06-18-2013, 04:24 AM
  #88
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You should count Stamkos aswell. As the latter part of your question, Bure is definitely closer to Selanne/Karyia level of dominance than to Forsberg/Sakic class.
I think that the peak level of Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin is a notch above anything Stamkos has shown yet. He is remarkably consistent tough just not as good on his absolute best.

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06-18-2013, 04:31 AM
  #89
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Unfortunately, Bure played in an era with Lemieux, Gretzky, Lindros, etc, so his accomplishments don't look nearly as good.

In terms of skill and overall ability as a player, I think Bure was better.

Both have scored goals that nobody else would think of scoring or even trying

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06-18-2013, 04:52 AM
  #90
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You should count Stamkos aswell. As the latter part of your question, Bure is definitely closer to Selanne/Karyia level of dominance than to Forsberg/Sakic class.

I'm going as far, that better comparision than Ovechkin to Bure is Kovalchuk. Their career path went by similar way from kind of complete offensive forward to cherrypicker (Bure) and vice versa (Kovalchuk).
The difference between Kovalchuk and Bure is that the former seems to have sacrificed his offensive production to become a complete player. Bure entered the league fairly complete and fully capable of scoring 60 goals per healthy season. While his game changed in Florida, one must remember he rekindled his defensive game when he went to New York as many people circa 2003 have testified. I can't say for certain yet what caused his game to change though I'll be investigating that in the future.

I think the upcoming video will say a fair bit about the sort of level Bure could play at.

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06-18-2013, 04:54 AM
  #91
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I think that the peak level of Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin is a notch above anything Stamkos has shown yet. He is remarkably consistent tough just not as good on his absolute best.
Oh come'on! Whole Bure's case against Ovechkin is built on goalscoring and Stamkos is the one and only person who is able to compete with Ovechkin in this department nowadays.
Stamkos goals scoring finnishes: 1, 1, 2, 2 (60 goals once)
Ovechkin first 5 seasons: 1, 1, 3, 3, 4 (60 goals)
Malkin: 2, 4

Stamkos points: 2, 2, 5, 5
Ovechkin: 1, 2, 2, 3
Malkin: 1, 1, 2

Definitely comparable.

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06-18-2013, 04:58 AM
  #92
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Originally Posted by Bure All Day View Post
Unfortunately, Bure played in an era with Lemieux, Gretzky, Lindros, etc, so his accomplishments don't look nearly as good.

In terms of skill and overall ability as a player, I think Bure was better.

Both have scored goals that nobody else would think of scoring or even trying
Well, removing Gretzky and Lemieux from the race Bure has one of his 5th place scoring finish upped to 4th.

2nd, 3rd, 4th and 7th. Those are all his top-10 finishes. Without Gretzky and Lemieux. So I can't see your point here.


If you remove Jagr Bure has his 2nd place finish upped to 1st. But removing Jagr is going to require us to remove Malkin/Crosby from Ovechkin's competition. So I'd guess you rather leave him there.

Scoring finishes:

(Not removing any players)

Bure: 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th
Ovechkin: 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd and 7th

Goal finishes:

Bure: 1st, 1st, 1st, 3rd and 5th
Ovechkin: 1st, 1st, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 4th and 5th

Assist finishes:

Bure: N/A
Ovechkin: 6th, 6th and 10th

PPG finishes:

Bure: 3rd, 7th, 7th and 8th
Ovechkin: 1st, 1st, 1st, 5th, 5th and 9th

GPG finishes:

Bure: 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th
Ovechkin: 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 5th, 5th and 6th

No matter how deep the era for forwards was on Bure's day the difference is monumental. Can't really give edge to Bure based on numbers. But maybe he was better by eye test?

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06-18-2013, 05:01 AM
  #93
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Oh come'on! Whole Bure's case against Ovechkin is built on goalscoring and Stamkos is the one and only person who is able to compete with Ovechkin in this department nowadays.
Stamkos goals scoring finnishes: 1, 1, 2, 2 (60 goals once)
Ovechkin first 5 seasons: 1, 1, 3, 3, 4 (60 goals)
Malkin: 2, 4

Stamkos points: 2, 2, 5, 5
Ovechkin: 1, 2, 2, 3
Malkin: 1, 1, 2

Definitely comparable.
Ovechkin scored 65 tough.

Not on terms of dominance over peers. I remain my stand, Ovechkin/Malkin/Crosby at their best are better than Stamkos. The scoring finishes sure are close, but Stamkos has never really been the best player on the planet against Ovechkin/Malkin/Crosby.

When Malkin/Crosby/Ovechkin play to their best ability Stamkos has yet shown to be capable of same kind of domination. I am sure I am not alone on this one.

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06-18-2013, 05:06 AM
  #94
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Oh come'on! Whole Bure's case against Ovechkin is built on goalscoring and Stamkos is the one and only person who is able to compete with Ovechkin in this department nowadays.
Stamkos goals scoring finnishes: 1, 1, 2, 2 (60 goals once)
Ovechkin first 5 seasons: 1, 1, 3, 3, 4 (60 goals)
Malkin: 2, 4

Stamkos points: 2, 2, 5, 5
Ovechkin: 1, 2, 2, 3
Malkin: 1, 1, 2

Definitely comparable.
I think Stamkos' partial reliance on a playmaker such as Martin St. Louis hinders his reputation amongst most critics. Without St. Louis, one has to wonder how well he would fare. He doesn't seem as dynamic a player as the other three despite compiling similar goal totals. I think their one-on-one offensive strengths provide them with a clear advantage.

In terms of Bure's case being goal-scoring, I think he was a better two-way player in his early years than Ovechkin has ever been up to this point. Ovechkin's defensive game relies on his physicality. Bure's explosiveness and stick work allowed him to pressure the opposition and block lanes in his defensive zone.

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06-18-2013, 07:48 AM
  #95
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That is 100% media narrative drivel. Ovechkin scored this year the way he always scored, by being really fast and strong and having an incredible shot which he uses liberally (the kinds of things that define many of best goal scorers of all time). There was not a change in approach, he didn't start using vastly different moves, and the way people talked about how he scored earlier was completely ridiculous (as if it would take 5 years for the best coaches in the world to adapt to his moves).
Whatever. I watched him play, watched him try the same move over and over, until everyone and their grandma knew it, saw his scores dropped, and saw them rise again in the last few months. No need for the media to tell me that.

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06-18-2013, 08:41 AM
  #96
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This is not true. Scoring during Ovechkin's three Hart/Richard seasons is basically the same as Bure's Florida years; in fact, for 2 of Ovechkin's Hart/Richard seasons, scoring was marginally lower than it was during Bure's Florida seasons.

Average goals per game:

1999-00: 5.492
2000-01: 5.513

2007-08: 5.440
2008-09: 5.695
2012-13: 5.390

For comparison, here are Bure's "60 goal seasons:"

1992-93: 6.958
1993-94: 6.484

Source: http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_GoalsPerGame.php

How can anyone put any of Bure's seasons over Ovechkin's 2007-08?
eye-opening. i didn't know it had fallen that far back.

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06-18-2013, 09:00 AM
  #97
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Whatever. I watched him play, watched him try the same move over and over, until everyone and their grandma knew it, saw his scores dropped, and saw them rise again in the last few months. No need for the media to tell me that.
Ovechkin having more one-sided game than Malkin or Crosby or some other offensive super-star might have had something to do with his scoring getting lower for few years. But I can't believe it to be the biggest reason for it. He still plays the game similarly and suddenly he just scores again.

I also have hard time to believe that it actually took 5 years for the league to adapt Ovechkin's style and when it happened it happened in one night.
I believe it was more about Ovechkin than the style.

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06-18-2013, 09:27 AM
  #98
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Ovechkin hasn't been the same after Vancouver. I think his regress is a combination of the rest of the league catching up to him and his own problems.

The Stamkos talk is laughable. He is several notches below everyone in this conversation. Can you imagine Kariya or Bure or Ovechkin left off their national squads?

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06-18-2013, 09:37 AM
  #99
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eye-opening. i didn't know it had fallen that far back.
yeah, I know. It's easy to forget that 2005-06 was more of a blip than a trend and that scoring quickly fell back off afterwards.

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06-18-2013, 09:38 AM
  #100
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Ovechkin would have been "Ovechkin" in the early 90s and through the DPE, but he probably wouldn't have had as much hardware to show for it, and he probably would have been more exposed to injuries. I'm not totally sold on the sentiment that he would have fared better in Bure's era than in his own era. Look at guys from the 90s with similar "reckless styles", Bure's one of them and he burned out, then you have Neely and Lindros, both of whom burned out, or Roenick, he didn't quite burn out but slowed down instead.

It's crazy how few games Ovechkin have missed through the years if one consider his playing style. It's an artform in itself. Or a softer kind of league.

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