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Frustration Continues for Bure, Canucks
Last season was full of frustration for Vancouver Canucks star RW Pavel Bure. An injury on opening night plagued him throughout the year, and ultimately cost him the final 18 games of the season.
Despite many differences, this season is turning out to be more of the same for Bure and his team: frustration after frustration after frustration.
The last three games have been the toughest to swallow, even though they make up less than half of Vancouver's current 8-game losing streak. In each of the three losses - a 7-6 OT setback at Pittsburgh on 25 Oct., a 5-3 loss at Carolina on Monday, and a 2-1 loss at Washington on Tuesday - Vancouver has held a lead.
They've come close, but have thus far failed to come up with even a single point since a 5-1 win at Dallas on 21 Oct.
If a losing streak has bright spots, then Vancouver's last three outings certainly qualify as just that. Even though the Canucks blew 3-goal leads on two separate occasions in Pittsburgh and lost leads in each of the next two contests, their efforts were monumental compared to losses two through five in the streak. In those games, they were outscored by a combined 16-2 in dropping games to Detroit, Chicago, and New Jersey.
After that trio of debacles, the last three games are surely a positive sign, right?
"No, not really," a visibly dejected Pavel Bure told the EuroReport after the Canucks' 2-1 loss in Washington Tuesday. "We are playing to win games. Once, maybe, it's fine to play well and not win. But when you can't get a win in three games like that, it's time to be concerned."
Concerned would be one way to describe a Vancouver club that finds itself with a 3-11-2 record and fewer points than anyone in the Western Conference. Frustrated works well, too, particularly for Bure.
In losses to Pittsburgh and Carolina, Bure's points seem to come easily, as he racked up 1 goal and 5 points. In the end, however, the final score of each game meant that Bure's efforts, no matter how solid, were meaningless.
"It's a team game. It doesn't matter how many points I have - five, ten, whatever. I've got to think about the team, and we're not getting it done," Bure (7+8=15 in 15 games) said.
Against Washington, Bure's frustrations took on another, more personal form as he found himself unable to covert opportunities when the team needed them most. He got some of his best scoring chances in weeks - all of them in the final 5 minutes with the Flames down, 2-1.
First, a point shot slipped through the pads of Washington G Olaf Kolzig. Standing behind Kolzig at the side of the net, Bure swiped at the puck, which was sitting no more than 6 inches from the goal line. Just before Bure got his stick on the rubber, Washington C Adam Oates, who had sneaked in from the other side of the net, swatted it away.
A minute later, Bure left Caps D Calle Johansson embarrassed by executing perfect inside-out move just inside the Washington blueline and setting himself up on a breakaway. This time, Kolzig made a sprawling pad save on a Bure backhander at the side of the net.
Then, Bure's final effort - an open one-timer from the slot - was again foiled by Kolzig, as the Team Germany netminder squeezed Vancouver's final hope of victory firmly between his Heatons.
"The first time [Oates] saved it with his stick, the second time [Kolzig] saved it with his foot," Bure said about the first two chances, shaking his head as he recounted what almost was.
Six nights; three games; lots of chances; no points. And that's just part of a bigger picture that shows an ugly, eight-game losing streak.
"It's hard to take anything positive out of this," Bure said. "I don't know what else we can do besides forget this game and move on."
©1997 Glenwood Associates, Inc. and The Pro Hockey EuroReport
NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Pavel Bure put on a shootout of his own and restored some nostalgia to the new-look Olympic hockey tournament by thrusting Russia into the gold-medal game.
Bure scored five goals today in a variety of ways -- breakaways, rebounds and into an empty net -- to carry Russia past Finland 7-4 and into the championship against the Czech Republic.
"Tonight was the night of Pavel Bure. ... It would take me a while
to figure out Pavel Bure, the phenomenon," Russian coach Vladimir Yurvinov
He scored three goals in the opening 21 minutes to stake the Russians to a 3-0 lead. After the Finns rallied to tie the game twice, Andrei Kovalenko put Russia ahead 5-4 before Bure scored with 4:02 remaining and capped his incredible performance with an empty-netter with 5 seconds to go.
"I'm very happy with the way the team played. It was 3-0 then 3-3, but instead of being discouraged we pulled ourselves together," Bure said. "This was our best game so far."
And it was Bure's finest effort in a tournament in which he has led Russia back to prominence. NHL players have joined the Olympics for the first time here in Nagano, although it seems just like old times with Russia playing for the championship.
Russia was the major republic in the former Soviet Union, which won 10 gold medals in 12 Olympics from 1956-1992, the last coming under the name of the Unified Team. In 1994 the Russians finished fourth, but now they're again in position to play for the gold.
Russia will next play a Czech team that upset Canada 2-1 today
in a shootout.
Finland's Jarmo Myllys and Russian goalie Mikhail Shtalenkov, who won't be mistaken for Dominik Hasek and Patrick Roy, couldn't contend with Bure and NHL-leading scorer Teemu Selanne.
Selanne had a goal and an assist for the Finns, who had no problem on the offensive end -- they outshot Russia 32-21 -- yet couldn't overcome a series of miscues that led to breakaways by Bure.
"We had all the chances, but made too many mistakes and had some bad luck," Finland coach Hannu Aravirta said.
"We knew Pavel Bure was very dangerous, and you may ask why we didn't have a man cover him all the time. Well, our mistakes were with the puck and you don't cover a player when you have the puck."
Bure gave Russia a 1-0 lead in the first period with an exceptional bit of persistence. After Myllys blocked Bure's initial shot from the right side of the net, the right wing weaved closer and bounced another shot off the goaltender before scoring on his third try.
Bure's next two goals came on breakaways against Myllys, a 32-year-old who went 4-27-1 before being bounced from the NHL in 1992. Bure scored after accepting a lead pass from Dmitri Mironov at 17:28 and completed his hat trick with 59 seconds gone in the second period.
"I still have to improve on breakaways, but tonight was my night,"
Russia went ahead for good with 13:28 left. Sergei Fedorov won a faceoff in the Finland zone and the puck hit the skate of Kovalenko, who tipped it with his stick past Myllys.
By JIM TAYLOR -- Calgary Sun
6 апреля 2002 года.
Russian Rocket blasts coach
By JIM TAYLOR -- Sun Media
Страничка Павла Буре на сайте "Звёзды
11 декабря. Павел Буре - "Даже Оджик не спас меня
от беды" - Спорт-Экспресс.
11 декабря. Павел Буре - "Даже Оджик не спас меня от беды" - Спорт-Экспресс.