In the world of hockey, trick shots are an exciting occurrence. Designed to outpace the defense and score seemingly impossible goals, trick shots achieve things lots of people might normally see as impossible.
While the NHL has seen its fair share of trick shots over the years, one stands out. It was made by Pavel Bure, the so-called “Russian Rocket,” and it was beautiful in its simplicity and effectiveness.
Pavel Bure earned 437 goals throughout his NHL career and is known as one of the 100 greatest NHL players. He made his debut with the Vancouver Canucks in November of 1991 and played a right wing position that would make him famous. Known for his speed, agility and lethal ability to score, Bure was occasionally called “the fastest Soviet creation since Sputnik.”
Imagine being a goalie facing Bure on the ice: He comes blazing at you with the mind-boggling, straight-ahead speed and acceleration that made him so famous. Your eyes pop out of your head. You think he’s going to run you over.
At the last possible minute, though, Bure veers right, right in front of you, and away from the goal. You reflexively raise your arms to block a goal. Before you know it, though, the crowd is cheering. Bure scored — but when?
Bure’s lightning-fast trick shot involved moving the puck from his stick to his skate, up to the forehand, and back to his stick again, where he shot it behind the goaltender. It’s a surprisingly elegant move that happened so fast the goalie couldn’t keep track of it.
One of the most streamlined moves in ice hockey history, this trick shot changed the way people played the game. Because Bure faked a pass to his backhand before tucking the puck up to the forehand, the goalkeeper and other players alike didn’t know where to look, or what had hit them when Bure scored. It’s a play that’s been imitated many times in ice hockey history, but never quite duplicated.
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