Pavel Poluektov is a goalie for Barys Astana in the Kontinental Hockey League, a.k.a. the team that pays Nigel Dawes to play hockey. He’s 21 years old and catches left-handed. He also has remarkable lateral movement for a player with a horseshoe firmly implanted in his backside.
Check out one of the most remarkable saves of 2013, from a game against Ak Bars Kazan, that's equal parts good luck and great instincts:
Alexei Tereschenko of Ak Bars Kazan – a 2000 draft pick of the Dallas Stars – flipped a shot that went off the glove of Poluektov and then off the goaltender's left elbow, as he batted it into the air like a hacky sack at a Dave Matthews show. The puck then appeared to go off the goaltenders’ back, off the cage, and then dropped to the goal line as Poluektov lunged to cover it with his glove before it bounced into the net.
Replay officials confirmed Poluektov trapped the bounding puck, completing one of the most acrobatic and chaotic saves we’ve seen recently – including Kari Lehtonen’s classic against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
(Hey, it’s just refreshing to see a KHL goalie keeping a puck out of his net rather than, you know, putting it in himself.)