If among all the Russian stars in the National Hockey League anyone stands out in terms of skill and ability to burn with a verb, it is Pavel Buchnevich. He will give many a head start, no doubt about it. But it’s a paradox – the Russian super forward often works miracles on the court, he’s not shy during interviews, but he rarely appears on the pages of the media. Therefore, in order to make himself known to the whole world, Pavel sometimes has to, so to speak, go to extreme measures.
The day before, the Russian St. Louis Blues striker amazed the public with his unusual statement. Buchnevich spoke very harshly about his performance in the current championship and subjected himself to serious criticism. It's no secret that Pavel is very demanding of himself. But such words still surprise:
“”I've been just terrible since the very start of the season. The guys create chances for me, but I don't capitalize on them. I don't create anything, it doesn't help the team. I try to be positive, but it's hard when you play like that. They expect something else from me. I I'm working hard, trying to help the team, but it's not enough yet. I have to get better.”Pavel BuchnevichForward “St. Louis Blues”
How was Buchnevich’s dissatisfaction expressed? In the first ten matches of the championship, Pavel scored 4 points: one goal in a lost match against the Winnipeg Jets and three more assists. At the same time, in only two games the Russian’s utility indicator went into the minus, and twice more he left the court without shots on target. Fortunately, Butch avoided serious injury, although such a risk was present after a rough push in the back from Jamie Oleksiak from the Seattle Kraken.
As everyone remembers, at the end of the last regular season, the Blues, having lost their last prospects of proving themselves in the playoffs, started a club restructuring. The former leaders and stars left the team, and the role of one of the main faces of St. Louis, as expected, passed to Buchnevich. Pavel performed it even before serious personnel changes in the camp of “musicians,” but perhaps not so brightly. Naturally, great achievements are expected from the Russian in the new season. And Butch himself too. But the performance at the start of the championship let us down.
However, in today's game with the Colorado Avalanche, Buchnevich fully justified his words about his intention to become better. The Russian striker scored a hat-trick. And he did it very clearly: Butch scored two goals while playing in the minority, and another one in the majority. Over the past 20 years, Pavel became the first player of the “musicians” who managed to perform this. Reed Boucher of Avangard Omsk, who pulled off a similar trick in a recent shootout with CSKA Moscow, clearly approves of the Blues star's feat.
For Pavel, this hat-trick became the third in his career in the NHL championships. The Russian scored three goals in a game for the first time in April 2021, when he was still playing for the New York Rangers. He had to wait almost two years for the next hat-trick, until in March 2023 he scored three goals in a game with the Minnesota Wild.
But what is most interesting is that Buchnevich was not the only one who scored a hat-trick in the match with ” Colorado”. The 2022 Stanley Cup winners were crushed on their own court (2:8), and besides Butch, Brayden Schenn sent a three-pointer into the Avalanche goal, forcing Alexander Georgiev to give way to Ivan Prosvetov.
And that’s it. It’s a very rare story when players from one team score a hat-trick together in a single match. For example, in the entire existence of the Blues franchise in the NHL, this has only happened twice before. And quite a long time ago: Kevin Lavallee and Dave Barr scored in October 1984, and Doug Gilmour and Mark Hunter scored in February 1986. In the entire league, the last time Brandon Hagel and Patrick Kane scored three goals in a game was in February 2022, when both were still playing for the Chicago Blackhawks.
It’s nice that a Russian hockey player also touched on such a story. We believe that for Pavel himself this event will be a breakthrough in the new NHL season.