Save of the Night

Tuukka Rask

Save of the night: Tuukka Mania runs wild on the Devils’ David Clarkson

Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

While Tuukka Rask isn’t going to be stealing the playoff headlines this year for Boston unless something absolutely crazy happens, he’s still one of the more electric goalies to watch play. New Jersey’s David Clarkson got a good look at how crazy Rask can make it look as he made a sliding and whirling pad save to stop Clarkson in front of the net. The Devils managed to get the win over Boston, but Rask comes away with the save of the night. They’ve also got that whole “playoffs” thing going for them too which is nice.

Save of the Night: Ilya Bryzgalov (April 9)

Ilya Bryzgalov, Dany Heatley

Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

Perhaps it’s simply fitting that Ilya Bryzgalov made what might have been the best save of the 2010-11 campaign on the second to last evening of the regular season. After all, a significant chunk of the league’s playoff seeds weren’t decided until Saturday night and the NBC Game of the Week could rearrange the West’s bunch quite a bit still.

But enough about that big picture malarkey. Let’s face it, Breezy’s agent should make frame-by-frame posters of this save and give it the Andy Warhol treatment. It’s a work of genius — in Bryzgalov’s case, zany genius — and should be a contender for the year’s best save.

Like any great clip, it will eventually lose its context, too. What makes the save even more momentous is that Bryzgalov allowed a goal soon after and then flung his stick in anger. That showing of passion backs up the all-out effort of this save, building toward a narrative that depicts his admirable skills and quirky attitude.

It all adds up to the Save of the Night and it would be tough to imagine any other stop beating it for Save of the Week, too.

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Save of the night: Ondrej Pavelec stacks the pads to frustrate the Rangers

Ondrej Pavelec, Brandon Dubinsky

Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

The Rangers struggles last night to help themselves out in trying to make the Eastern Conference playoffs were exemplified by the stellar play of Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec secured a shutout against New York and snatched the Rangers playoff fate right out of their hands by doing so.

Pavelec’s efforts in frustrating the Rangers were shown off in his pad-stacking save on Artem Anisimov early in the game. That save set the tone for what New York would be dealing with the rest of the night as the Rangers now have to hope for some help from Atlanta tonight to try and get into the playoffs.

Saves of the Night – Tim Thomas (April 6)

Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins
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Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

What more can we say about Tim Thomas?

While there is some variation in the way goalies play the game – and Martin Brodeur still does his own very different thing in New Jersey – Thomas is still a breath of fresh air amid many stale butterfly goalies.

His stronghold on the Vezina Trophy voting might have dried up to the point that it will be a photo finish, but he’s still capable of making the kind of dramatic saves that make him the heir apparent to Dominik Hasek.

NHL.com put up videos of two sequences of Thomas saves, so why not post them both?

First, the best of last night’s clips:

And a nice series of stops:

Save of the night: Miikka Kiprusoff sprawls wild on Ryan O’Byrne

Miikka Kiprusoff

Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

Calgary is still alive for the playoffs and one of the biggest reasons why is the play of Miikka Kiprusoff. Last night in the Flames’ 2-1 win over Colorado, Kipper showed Colorado’s Ryan O’Byrne why when he’s on he’s one of the best in the game.