Breakdowning Pavel Bure’s classic double overtime winner versus the Flames

A legendary former Canuck will be in the building Saturday night when the Vancouver Canucks play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs. I refer, of course, to the Cochrane Rocket himself, Mason Raymond.

Okay, no I don’t. And come to think of it, Cochrane Rocket sounds weirdly inappropriate, so let us never use this nickname again.

I’m actually talking about Pavel Vladimirovich Bure, arguably the most talented player ever to play for the Canucks . On Saturday night, the Hockey Hall of Famer will finally get to see his number raised to the rafters, joining the likes of Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, and Markus Naslund.

Bure will be remembered for a lot of things. This photo. This photo. This photo for sure. His legendary, super nineties hockey card. The stick-to-skate goal. But more than any of those things, he’ll always be remembered for his double overtime goal versus the Flames, which propelled the Canucks into the second round of the 1994 playoffs:

In honour of the Russian Rocket’s big day, let’s break this one down.

We’ll start the play here, as the Canucks attempt to gain the Calgary zone. Trevor Linden has just moved the puck to Greg Adams, and now he and Bure are skating towards the Calgary blueline.

I think it’s safe to say they’re not going to have much room to operate here, and Adams agrees, so he dumps the puck ahead and goes after it.

Unfortunately, Adams steps on Musil’s stick as he’s coming across the blueline and falls down. By the time he’s at the dots, Mike Vernon has had time to leisurely venture out behind the goal and retrieve the puck.

Vernon moves the puck up the boards to Kruse, who’s waiting at the near wall for it.

Meanwhile, our old pal Bure takes the long way out of the zone, hoping people will forget that he’s still in there.

Kruse turns to the wall to collect the puck and start a breakout. But when he looks up ice, he spots Trevor Linden, who isn’t even in this frame, about a foot away from flattening him. Knowing he’s about to experience a crushing, he flips the puck out to centre ice rather than carrying it or making a pass to a teammate, thus giving it right back to the Canucks.

And then he gets demolished.

I wonder if that would be considered boarding or checking from behind by today’s standards. But whatever.

Dave Babych, he of the legendary duster, picks up the puck in the neutral zone, then turns back and backhands it over to Jeff Brown, who has a little time and space. He takes a look. And Brown spots Bure, still drifting just behind the play.

Brown makes an incredible pass, hitting Bure in stride through a very narrow passing lane.

It helps that Kruse, who might have been able to stop this pass, isn’t really back in the play yet after getting crushed. And it also helps that Linden is keeping the only other Calgary defender with a chance to catch Bure out of the play by means of some casual interference.

And, of course, it helps that Bure was among the fastest, strongest players in the game. Zalapski tries to catch him, even to hook him, but there’s just nothing doing. They’re all beat.

Then this happens.

The rest, as they say, is history.

And that’s how one of the greatest goals in Canucks history was scored.

16 comments

  1. JTrain
    November 1, 2013

    You cheated on the last picture. They’re wearing their home white jerseys.

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  2. steveB
    November 1, 2013

    Though I never saw any of the ’94 Cup run games (I was a shift worker and had decided to live television-free since the late ’80s), I listened to every second on my Sports Walkman.

    I’ll never forget the excitement and jubilation (and later crushing disappointment when Nathan LaFayette hit the goalpost)

    I am happy that the #10 jersey shall finally ascend to the rafters, where it belongs.

    There has never been a Canuck as exciting as Pavel Bure.

    bolshoe spasibo

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  3. Mitch
    November 1, 2013

    Oh, f-ing A. Well played, gentlemen.

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  4. Nee
    November 1, 2013

    Best. Breakdowning. Ever.

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  5. Pukeko
    November 1, 2013

    I was in the building in game 6 for Trevor’s goal, and thought that I might never again feel elation like I felt that night.
    Then the goal you “breakdown’ed” here happened.
    Great memories, goosebumps just thinking about it!

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  6. shoes
    November 2, 2013

    Those was exciting times.. Brings back great memories of the team and the same terrible memories of the management in those days.

    Nice pass by Brown, too bad he went on to a relationship with a teammates wife and busted the whole thing up the following year.

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  7. jackpotpunk
    November 2, 2013

    And then I did three laps around my basement screaming with uncontrollable glee. Which is very unusual for a 15 year old male in the mid 90′s.

    Thank you sirs – my favorite feature of your blog applied to my most memorable Canucks moment.

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  8. Amor de Cosmos
    November 2, 2013

    Watching that clip again, Kirk McLean’s pass to Brown (I think) that begins the final sequence would be almost unheard of today. First because it was accurate, and second because goalies just don’t seem to routinely handle the puck that way these days.

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  9. J21
    November 2, 2013

    Watching this as a 16-year-old, I was panicked that they were going to call the goal off, ruling that Bure was offside (and that the whistle simply wasn’t audible on the TV broadcast). I still wasn’t entirely sure how Robert Reichel hadn’t scored not long before — crazy rollercoaster, that evening.

    I also remember being as confused as everyone else when Don Wittman referred to it as a “triple overtime hat trick” (it was double OT and Bure’s second of the game) before realizing he was being meta and referring, redundantly, to the fact that the Canucks had won three straight overtime games to take the series.

    Linden’s hit on Kruse was probably a charge by today’s standard, even apart from the interference you’ve highlighted, but given that the Flames only won their Cup because Joel Otto freaking KICKED THE PUCK IN, they get no sympathy.

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  10. Bolderevolution
    November 2, 2013

    Awesome. Awesome awesome awesome. Yes to PITB, and yes to whoever’s idea this was. Awesome.

    For Canucks fans of a certain vintage, this is a “where were you when…” event, just like Joel Otto’s heartbreaking pylon imitation (saying he kicked it in is giving him undue credit – it bounced off his skate).

    I don’t know if any moment in 2011 was as iconic as this goal…Burrow’s in OT was big, and Bieksa’s stancheon-whisperer moment was big…but I can’t think of a moment from that spring to touch this goal.

    In keeping with the “where was I when….” theme, I was living in Calgary going to U of C, and I was listening in my S-10 to Ed Whalen’s call – he was not very stoked. I was at Anderson and McLeod, but luckily it was empty because I was definitely not concentrating on the road..

    Again – awesome. Thanks for this. It’s a part of what we all share as Canucks fans.

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  11. shoes
    November 3, 2013

    Not sure if this is acceptable but I hope so.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sOcLdhnGRbY

    Very funny and needs a PTIB breakdown.

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  12. Donna
    November 3, 2013

    Is there some tension between Linden and Bure?? Everyone keeps hinting at his no-show, but wasn’t sure if there may be something deeper than that below the surface.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      November 3, 2013

      Apparently yes. But I don’t know what it is in specific, and we won’t speculate.

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    • J21
      November 4, 2013

      In the mid-90s, there was definitely some tension between their fans, in the same way that it somehow became impossible to admire both Linden and Näslund at the same time on the Internet in the 2000s. Because people are stupid.

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  13. Iain
    November 4, 2013

    awesome. can you guys breakdown a Bure goal every week? Pleeeease?

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