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Monday, 31 December 2012

Top 10 NHL Saves of 2012

The only thing better than highlight reel goals, is highlight real saves. A NHL goalie has litterly just seconds to react to a shot from elite players and when they
do manage to get a piece of leather on the puck it makes for some draw dropping highlights. So here are the top 10 NHL saves of 2012:

10. Jimmy Howard

One of the worst things to happen to a goaltender is when they misplay a easy dump-in resulting in a easy and often embarrassing goal. Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard gets introduced to just how lively the end boards can be when a routine dump-in takes a lively bounce and lands right in front of the net. Howard relies on his insticts and reflexes to somehow recover and keep the puck out.

9. Marty Turco

Talk about a fantastic highlight reel save in your first game back in the NHL! After being recently signed by the Boston Bruins the veteran Turco proves his worth to his new team. But chances are this move isn't in any goaltenders playbook.

8. Ondrej Pavelec

Unless you're a goaltender or have played goal it's really hard to truly appreciate the difficulty of this save by Ondrej Pavelec. Not only is he out of position he also has to pick his entire body weight up in order to dive over to the other side of the net. On top of all that he gets up on the wrong leg making the sliding save even more difficult. After watching Pavelec play last season it's not unreasonable to say he's one of the most under-rated goalies in the league.

7. Devan Dubnyk

This is the perfect example on why a goalie should never give up. Here Chris Higgins has a wide open net but Dubnyk dives across to rob him with the paddle and on top of that he's able to cover up the puck.

6. Ryan Miller

Miller and the Buffalo Sabres had a rough season but it's saves like this that solidify Miller's place in the elite goaltenders of the league. This save shows how much hockey sense Miller possess and how quick his reflexas are as he is able to stop the puck right on the goal-line. After the puck hits a skate and heads directly for the back of the net, Miller not only needs to find the puck but he also has to react in time to keep it out. This is they type of save that just leaves you scratching your head.

5. Martin Brodeur

Brodeur may just be one of the greatest goalies to ever play in the NHL and perhaps the most remarkable thing about him is his unique style of play, it's completely out of the box and almost un-adaptable for goaltenders today. After just turning 40 during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brodeur shows that he is still just as good as when he was young. After missing on the poke-check Brodeur sticks with the play, showing he's still flexable by getting a toe on the puck.

4. Carey Price

Now when a goaltender makes 1 great save it's one thing, but when a goalie is called upon to make several in a row one has to question where the defence is. Here Carey Price is forced to make 2 great saves and then cover up the rebound. The unique thing about this save is the evolution of Price's maturity and career, earlier on he would have panicked and sulked about the lack of help. But here he stays with the play and battles hard to make not one but two huge saves.

3. Keri Lehtonen

Making a big time game saving stop is nothing easy for a goaltender and when that save comes in over time it's even more drastic. Here Keri Lehtonen is able to get across the cress and kick out his leg and deflect the puck into the air and out of harms way. This is the type of save that makes you wonder if goaltenders train by breakdancing in the off-season.

2. Henrik Lundqvist

How in the world did King Henrik manage to keep this one out of his net? Whether it was pure luck or more brialliance from the elite goaltender but somehow he managed to stone Drew Stafford on a 2 on 1. Make sure you watch this save 2 or 3 times to fully appreciate the value of this save.

1. Mike Smith

You can't not include a penalty shot/ breakaway save in a list of top 10 NHL saves. The hardest thing for a goaltender to do is make a save 1 on 1, player vs. goaltender. When it's a penalty shot during overtime against New York Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik the odds are even tougher. Smith is able to read Gaborik and sprawl out to make the save.

There you have it, my top 10 NHL saves of 2012 and there were some fantastic ones eh? Did I miss any phenominal game saving saves from the men between the pipes? If so let me know!



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