Top 5 NHL Goal Saves
Who made the most well known NHL goal saves?
- Branden Holtby
- Kari Lehtonen
- Andrei Vasilevskiy
- Henrick Lundqvist
- Jake Allen
1. Branden Holtby
This save made by goaltender Braden Holtby, of the Washington Capitals, has been named “The Save” in NHL history because of how iconic it is. Holtby made this save during Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals and was credited with turning the way the series was headed. The Capitals had lost Game One of the finals and were clinging on by a 3-2 lead in Game Two. Alex Tuch of the Vegas Golden Knights had received the puck and fired it immediately towards Holtby. Holtby quickly reacted, lunged his body towards the side of the goal, and stopped the puck with only the shaft of his stick. The crowd was amazed because in their minds, as soon as Tuch fired the puck the game would have tied up. This save ultimately helped the Capitals win game two and the next three games, which led to earning the Stanley Cup.
2. Kari Lehtonen
During the start of the 2013 NHL season, Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen pulled off one of the greatest saves before the season even really started. The Dallas team was competing against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Columbus defensemen, Jack Johnson, had maneuvered his way through and made a wrist shot towards goal. This shot seemed to be destined to make its way into the goal without any possible interference from Lehtonen. However, Lehtonen pulled something that had never been seen in ice hockey before. Lehtonen moved his arm backwards which forced him to contort his whole left side, and put his glove upside down in effort to grab the puck out of mid air. Although this save was legendary, it was not enough to bring the Dallas team to victory, Columbus’ Blue Jackets ended up winning the game 2-1. Lehtonen’s amazing save will always be remembered for bewildering everyone in the audience that night though.
3. Andrei Vasilevskiy
In February 2018, Andrei Vasilevskiy of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning defended the goal from the Los Angeles Kings. The Los Angeles Kings had been coming fast at Vasilevskiy during the first period of the game, but he was prepared to stop any puck coming his way. Vasilevskiy had pressure on him at the front of the crease during a penalty kill, but Vasilevskiy was able to predict Anze Kopitar’s, LA Kings attackmen, shot from the side. Vasilevskiy had placed his glove just in the right spot at the perfect moment in order to stop the shot, which he pulled off flawlessly. Vasilevskiy had seamlessly gotten his glove to go behind his back in order to stop the puck from entering the goal, making this one of his best saves during his career thus far. This shootout save will be remembered in NHL history for its robot-like perfection performance.
4. Henrick Lundqvist
Henrick Lundqvist of the NHL’s New York Rangers is known as one of the best goaltenders in the history of NHL. Lundqvist is known for his amazing and countless saves, but the one that stopped Max Talbot of the Boston Bruins is definitely one of the best. Lundqvist had to reposition himself into a butterfly position in order to stop the puck from going into the goal. Once Lundqvist had completely contorted his body just to get a couple of extra inches on the puck he knew he had stopped Talbot from scoring. This save helped bring the Rangers to victory against the Bruins with an overall game score of 2-1 due to a last minute goal from Jesper Fast. Fans believed Max Talbot was robbed of an easy shot, which is why it is so impressive that Lundqvist pulled off what should have been a difficult save and made it look simple. Lundqvist also finished the game with an impressive 32 saves total.
5. Jake Allen
This save had everyone in the crowd confused and some disappointed. A majority of the fans in the audience believed that the NHL’s St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen had missed the save and allowed Chicago Blackhawks right wing Mark Dano to score on a largely open net. However, this was not the case. Allen’s glove managed to stop the puck from going in right on top of the goal line, which is why he had so many people watching the game confused as to whether or not the goal had been made. The save even needed to be reviewed because of how insanely close the shot had been, but ultimately officials decided it did not cross the goal line. Although Chicago managed to pull themselves back together and score soon after, it is impossible to take away the incredible save Allen had pulled off for the Blues that night.
What is a good save percentage in hockey?
A good save percentage in hockey typically is around 0.915% or higher for a good goaltender. The NHL has an average save percentage at 0.910%, but most teams prefer to have a higher percentage than that in order to be the best. Percentage is determined by the amounts of shots on and saves a goaltender has under his belt. Ben Bishop, of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, has a high save percentage of .934%.
Who is the best goalie in NHL history?
The best goalie in National Hockey League history is a subjective question because fans have their own preference as to who they believe is the best. Based on save percentages, the best goalie for the 2020 season was American Connor Hellebuyck with a save percentage of 0.922%. Hellebuyck is the goaltender for the Winnipeg Jets and has a GAA score of 2.57 for 2020. Although some fans may disagree with this decision.
What is GAA in hockey?
In ice hockey GAA stands for Goals Against Average which is the amount of goals a goaltender may allow during a game. It is adjusted based off of how many minutes a goalie plays. A lower GAA may be a sign that a goaltender allows few goals during a regulation game, while a higher GAA means a goaltender allows too many goals during a game. To calculate GAA, you multiple goals against and game length, and divide that number by the overall amount of minutes the goaltender has played.