Ranking the Best Saves in the NHL During October
How many times have you seen it?
The home team comes storming out of the gate and starts cannonading shot after shot at the visiting goalie. Somehow, the goalie manages to keep any puck from entering his net.
Then, after making the 20th save of the period, the visitors rebound with a counterattack and manage to score on just their third shot of the game. Despite all the early momentum of the home team, the visitors steal it because their goalie's performance was magical.
Teams came out of the gate firing in October. Here are the some of the NHL's best saves in the month of October.
6. Gustavsson robs Iginla
The Detroit Red Wings were determined to make a strong impression when they traveled to Boston for the second time Oct. 14. The Red Wings had lost the first meeting, but Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson was sharp when he took the ice for the Red Wings.
He was put to the test early and often by the Bruins, but this stop on Jarome Iginla was stellar. Iginla had a clean look at the net with 4:04 remaining in the first period with the scored tied 1-1. Gustavsson flashed the leather to rob Iginla of his first goal in a Bruins uniform.
Detroit would eventually win the game 3-1
5. Rask squares up and robs Hertl
The Bruins knew they would be put to the test when the San Jose Sharks came to Boston on Oct. 24. The Sharks had not lost a regulation game, and their offense was in high gear.
Nobody had been more dynamic than rookie Tomas Hertl. He had demonstrated his talent with a four-goal game Oct. 8 vs. the Rangers and continued to pile up the points.
Hertl put Tuukka Rask to the test when he swooped in on goal early in the third period with the score tied 1-1. Hertl picked up a loose puck and tried to fire it into the top corner. Rask got his body on it and the score remain tied. The Bruins would eventually close out the Sharks 2-1 and hand them their first regulation defeat of the season.
4. Halak comes through for Blues
The St. Louis Blues know that if they are going to challenge the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division of the Western Conference, they are going to have to get excellent goaltending from Jaroslav Halak.
When the Blues went to Nashville on Oct. 26, they recorded a seemingly one-sided 6-1 victory over the Predators. It was an easy victory, but only because Halak was on top of his game.
No save was better than the one he made Craig Smith at the 4:46 mark of the third period. Smith took a pass close to the front of the net, made one quick move and had a clear shot at the right side of the net. Smith went top corner, and Halak flashed his glove and robbed him on the point-blank opportunity.
3. Niemi does it again
The San Jose Sharks have arguably been the best team in the NHL in the first month of the season. While they have gotten explosive scoring, Anitti Niemi's play in net may be the biggest reason they have been so strong.
In the Sharks' 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 15, Niemi put all of his skills on display. His best save came late in the first period.
High-scoring Alexander Steen had time and space as he walked in from the left point. He let go a hard slap shot, and Niemi got his pad on it. The rebound went right to Derek Roy, who appeared to have a can't-miss opportunity. However, Niemi was having none of it, and he stoned Roy's best effort.
2. Bernier repels Weber
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been on fire this year, and they are top-ranked team in the Eastern Conference.
The Leafs have a full-fledged goalie battle going on between Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer. Bernier had one of his best games when the Maple Leafs blanked Nashville 4-0 on Oct. 10.
Benrier made his best save when he blunted the hard-shooting Shea Weber who walked in and fired a slap shot. Weber had the time to pick out his spot and he may have the best shot in the league. Bernier did not flinch, and he rebuffed Weber.
1. The Price is Right
Going into the season, the goaltending of Carey Price was one of the Montreal Canadiens' biggest issues. He ended the 2013 regular season in a slump, and he was poor in the playoffs.
But after a couple of ordinary games to start the year, Price has been on top of his game. He was at his best in an Oct. 12 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canadiens were leading 1-0 late in the first period, when Daniel Sedin led a rush up-ice for the homestanding Canucks. Sedin found Chris Tanev after he crossed into the Montreal zone, and Tanev fired a slap shot that Price saved with his pad.
Sedin was right on the spot and jumped on the rebound. He fired a backhanded that looked destined to make the net bulge, but Price saved that one and the Canadiens rolled from that point on.
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