Monday, October 28, 2013

Pavel Bure and the progression of the Canucks point-scoring record

Recall Henrik Sedin's Art Ross-winning season three years ago. It was in that legendary final game against the Flames that Henrik eclipsed Alexander Ovechkin for the NHL's point-scoring crown. And in the process of securing the first Art Ross Trophy in team history, Henrik set another franchise mark. With his 111th point, he surpassed Pavel Bure for the highest-scoring season by a Canuck in team history.

Established in 1992-93, Bure's 110-point record, at the time, had stood for 17 years. In just his second season in the NHL, the Russian Rocket went all Soviet on goaltenders throughout the league and nearly doubled his output from the previous season. On the strength of 60 goals and 50 assists, he made a mockery of the previous team record of 91 points, set by Patrik Sundstrom in 1983-84.

And while Henrik needed an 11th-hour effort for the record, Bure surpassed Sundstrom in just his 67th game of the season -- a two-assist output at home against New Jersey. Pity that Sundstrom didn't stick around in the league for a couple more seasons than he did. A Devil for the last five years of his career, he would have had a front-row seat for the record-breaking point against Vancouver.

Bure's two assists helped the Canucks to a 7-3 win that night on March 10, 1993. And from that point on, it was simply a matter of just how far he could put the record out of reach. Given the longevity of the record, Bure faired quite well.

Unlike his yet-untouched mark of 60 goals, however, Bure's points record sustained several close calls before finally falling in 2010. Alexander Mogilny recorded 107 just three years afterwards, while Markus Naslund came within six in the West Coast Express's heyday.

And while it will likely take several more years for a season like Henrik's to come along in Vancouver, Bure's 17-year run with the record remains the longest duration of its kind in Canucks history.

Prior to Bure, five different players held the record -- Andre Boudrias, Bobby Schmautz, Stan Smyl, Darcy Rota and Sundstrom. Unlike those five, Bure's standard of 110 points stood the test of time long after his career.

And in just five days, Vancouver won't have to turn to statistical proof to demonstrate why Bure was one of the greatest the team ever had. Come November 2, you'll simply have to look up.


See the other posts in the Bure series:
Oct 24 Pavel Bure's Top 10 Goals as a Vancouver Canuck
Oct 25 Top 10 honourable mentions
Oct 26 Bure, Ovechkin and other All-Star voting fallacies
Oct 27 The staying power of Bure's 60-goal record
Oct 29 The Bures, the Sedins and fraternal scoring supremacy
Oct 31 The long-term implications of Bure to Florida

No comments:

Post a Comment