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22 января 2003 года. 
10 weeks later, Bure still hopes for elusive goal - Miami Herald

BY MIKE PHILLIPS

WHAT, HIM WORRY? The Panthers' Valeri Bure, hit from behind by Boston's Michal Grosek last week, isn't concerned about his 20-game scoreless stretch. "I don't beat myself up. I don't get down," he said.

The way Valeri Bure saw it, there was really nothing left for him to do. He could curse or cry or slam his fist. He could shout to the heavens, or be bitter about the personal hell he has lived in the past 20 games.

But Bure just shook his head and laughed.

''What else could I do?'' Bure said.

The moment in question came just after Bure had sent the puck dancing off the post. It went up then down, squirted this way then that way, before finally landing harmlessly between the legs of Montreal goaltender Jos? Th?odore.

The moment came in the Panthers' 3-2 loss to Montreal on Monday, but it defined so many other moments for Bure, who has not scored a goal in his past 20 games.

That's not a drought. It's a desert, a very personal desert -- the kind that could lead to depression or simply pressing too hard.

Bure said he has no fear of either, and maybe that's why the Panthers right wing could laugh at his own misfortune and point to better days ahead.

''What else can you do?'' Bure said of his goofy nongoal against Montreal. ``It's ridiculous. I hit the post. . . . It went through and got to his back, and then it went between his legs. What else is out there? That's all I could do, just laugh it off.''

At least, Bure isn't crying.

''It's hard right now,'' he said. ``But I don't beat myself up. I don't get down. As long as you work hard. I think the most important thing is I feel good with myself. After the games, sometimes if I don't get a goal -- especially if the team wins -- I feel great. I don't feel like I'm playing bad or anything like that, so that's a positive sign.''

Still, Bure is looking to end the slump tonight against Ottawa, which leads the NHL with 66 points.

Bure has scored five times this season -- his last goal coming against Calgary on Nov. 9 -- but his work on the ice is appreciated.

''He's been helping the team. He's one of the hardest working guys on the team -- and one of the best players, anyway -- even though he hasn't scored,'' said Panthers center Olli Jokinen, who is living on an opposite planet from Bure. Jokinen has scored four goals in the past three games and leads Florida in goals (24) and points.

''He's a goal-scorer. Every player goes through that,'' he said. ``But he's still been working hard, and that's the main thing. When you work hard, the goals will come. He creates so many chances . . .

``It's just a matter of time for him. I think when he gets one, he will score a bunch of goals.''

Panthers coach Mike Keenan said he is doing all he can for Bure.

''He's playing in about 20 minutes a game now,'' Keenan said. ``That's about all a coach can do for you . . . put you out in critical situations -- power plays and maybe a double shift form time to time.

``I think Kristian [Huselius] is probably in the same funk Val is in, and when those two people don't score, it makes it a little more difficult.''

The Panthers need scoring from both Bure and Huselius. Bure believes the goals will be there.

''It's frustrating, but at the same time I feel good about myself after the game,'' Bure said. ``If I couldn't score, and I would not work and wouldn't bring something to this game, then I would feel bad inside. But I don't feel bad. I feel great, and I know things will happen. Once I get out of this, they are going to come one after another. There's no worries about that.

``Usually, you go into a slump, and when you come out of it the puck starts going in. They will start bouncing your way, and there will be an empty net and it will be fun. It's no fun now, but hey, we got to go through it.

``You have to be fair with yourself and to work hard and bring something to the game. As long as you do that, I can sleep real good at night.''

Страничка Валерия Буре на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"

ПРЕДЫДУЩИЕ МАТЕРИАЛЫ

1 января. Bure's full house - South Florida Sun-Sentinel

13 декабря. Из-за небольшого перелома руки, Буре-младший может пропустить несколько игр.

11 декабря. V. Bure feels brother's pain - South Florida Sun-Sentinel 

18 ноября. В.Буре: Кинан – водитель нашего автобуса - Советский Спорт

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