The highlight-reel save is what brings fans out of their seats; makes the play-by-play announcer’s voice go up a few octaves in disbelief; and have the opposing shooters shake their heads.
There were a handful of gorgeous saves all over the world in 2013, but alas, this is a list, so we needed to cut it down to the 10 best. Here’s what we think are the 10 best saves in hockey in 2013.
"Look at all that open net," thought North Dakota's Corban Knight. He then flubbed his shot on a bouncing puck, but still got enough on it to threaten for a goal, but Denver's Olkinoura reached just far enough to deny Knight:
"Preposterous," "swervy," "ridiculous." Whatever you want to call Lehtonen's save on Jack Johnson, be sure to also include the Daryl Reaugh favorite, "grand larceny."
Same could be said for what "The Monster" did to the New Jersey Devils:
8. Jake Allen stick save and nonchalant glove
This was a well-deserved "Holy jumpin'!" from Darren Pang.
7. Ondrej Pavelec's stick save on Justin Faulk
Some saves require athleticism. Others just plain old luck. This is how Pavelec summed up his save on the Carolina Hurricanes' defenseman: “I just put my stick there, I was lucky. There’s nothing you can do there. He just hit my stick.”
6. Henrik Lundqvist's door-step robbery of David Krejci
Any time you can get Jack Edwards excited and you don't play for the Bruins, well, you know you did something pretty, pretty good:
Who would have thought we would see Gustavsson on this list twice, let alone once? But in his time spelling for Jimmy Howard, he's been impressive, as Dion Phaneuf found out moments after he and everyone in Air Canada Centre thought he had scored:
How big did Joel Ward's eyes get when he saw the puck coming his way with Cam Ward still protecting the far side post?
The second the puck left Radulov's stick, the CSKA forward was pretty confident he had just scored another goal. But then Ahonen's glove appeared out of nowhere:
2. Justin Peters' unreal glove save on Jaromir Jagr
Jagr has almost 700 NHL goals in his account. He would have reached the feat sooner if not for a scoring drought once he was dealt to the Boston Bruins. This save by Peters did not help things:
There's the ridiculousness that Kari Lehtonen and Jonas Gustavsson did and then there's the incredible behind-the-back save Toronto Marlies netminder Drew MacIntyre pulled in April:
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- Jonas Gustavsson