It’s the most famous elbow in Canucks history. The Canucks were underdogs against the Dallas Stars in their second round playoff series in 1994. Coming off a 60 goal season and a double overtime series clinching goal, Pavel Bure was obviously a marked man.
The Stars were hacking and whacking Bure at every opportunity in game 1, and again in game 2. Seven minutes into game 2, Bure took a cheap shot from Stars enforcer Shane Churla (Churla had 333 PIMs in 69 games that season). Instead of backing down to the dirty play let go by the referees, Bure took justice in his own hands. Bure leveled Churla with an extremely vicious elbow, knocking him unconscious. Remarkably, the elbow went unpenalized. It was a premeditated head shot on the Stars enforcer, to which Bure was given just a $500 fine! Those were different times indeed.
It’s not my style, but I had no choice. They’re trying to kill me. I’m lucky I didn’t get hurt.
Churla almost assuredly had a concussion, but didn’t miss a game. The hit would be a multi-game suspension by today’s standards.
The Canucks went on to win game 2 by a score of 3-0. Bure scored twice.
The elbow signaled to the rest of the league that Pavel Bure was not going to be an intimidated young Russian player. Though he looked small, he was incredibly strong and not afraid of anyone. The Canucks went on to win the series against Dallas in 5 games and moved on to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Western Conference final with Pavel Bure leading the way.
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This article can also be seen on VanCity Buzz.
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