Jonathan Quick has never been one to fall back on traditional goaltending techniques when pressured.
(Another) case and point, Sunday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes.
Peter Holland receives a perfect pass through Brayden McNabb legs in front of the Kings net. Quick doesn’t even move his body to get in front of the puck, so Holland’s got a wide open net to shoot at.
Whatever Sami Vatanen was (or wasn’t doing) during the play above led to an unbelievable save by Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
On the power play Brad Marchand was floating uncontested as Patrice Bergeron got into position on the far post. Marchand sends a perfect pass to Bergeron who has a wide open net. Bergeron’s split second decision to stop the puck with his skate and put it on this stick may have been a millisecond too long.
Bernier dives sideways and gets his paddle on the puck. He pulls it into his body so Bergeron can’t get the rebound. Afterwards, defenseman Sami Vatanen gives his goaltender a ‘my bad’ tap on the mask.
In overtime, Tobias Rieder had the game on his stick. No question about it.
He encountered one slight problem … Martin Jones.
Shane Doan and Reider were in on a two-on-one against Marc-Eduard Vlasic. Doan passed the puck perfectly to Rieder who sets it up in his wheelhouse and tickets it for the top corner.
The San Jose Sharks netminder went old school with a push off windmill stack of sorts only to snare the puck with his glove.
What you don’t see is the reason Vlasic was all alone.
In the neutral zone, Doan gives Joe Thornton a nice elbow to the face. Jumbo was not thrilled and gave the officials a piece of his beard at the next stoppage.
The Coyotes went on to win the game in the shootout.
(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)
When it comes to goaltending is it better to be lucky or good? We don’t care too much as long as it look cool.
We’ve cast our net wide to find the best of the best in goaltending from 2016. And we’re still asking ourselves: how the heck did they do that?!
10. Craig Smith versus Craig Smith
OK, this technically isn’t a goaltender making a save, but it’s a save nonetheless. Craig Smith had the game winning overtime goal on his stick. He made the shot and then batted it out of the net all in one motion. Mike Condon thanks Smith for his contribution.
It was the best case scenario for the New York Islanders.
The team was on a 5-on-3 and in control of the puck in the Pittsburgh Penguins zone. Ryan Strome sent a perfect pass across the front of the crease to the team’s most lethal goal scorer, John Tavares.
Like Julie ‘The Cat’ Gaffney, Matt Murray would not have it.
Ben Bishop stretched out his entire six-foot-seven frame to make what could be considered one of the early contenders for ‘save of the year.’
Only one issue Bishop might take with it – he caused the turnover that led to the scoring chance.
Playing the puck in the trapezoid, Bishop passed the puck directly to an on-rushing Kyle Okposo. The forward had a guaranteed goal on his stick until Bishop dove like Superman across his crease. Miraculously, the Tampa Bay Lightning netminder made the save.
Joe Yerdon of NHL.com asked Bishop what went through his mind when he turned the puck over to Okposo. His answer was simple, “Oh s—.”
Oh [expletive], indeed.