I've watched a lot of hockey this year, and there have been a number of excellent highlight reel plays. I've picked a few "Goal of the Year" candidates thus far, but I haven't really been looking for any Saves of the Year candidates. Goaltenders rountinely make flashy glove saves when they are playing well, but while these look impressive, a regular glove save would normally suffice. However, one glove save that was not flashy was the save made by Ondrej Pavelec tonight against the Flyers, and this one literally stole a goal when it appeared that Pavelec was nowhere to be found.
There is little doubt that Pavelec has been the MVP for the Jets this season. During stretches of the season when the Jets were struggling to score, Pavelec stole wins from teams that should have walked away with two points. While the Jets only managed one point against the Flyers tonight due to an overtime loss, it seemed as though they would have no points to speak of after this game.
Except that Pavelec saw it differently. Check out this save.
While he won't garner many MVP votes throughout the NHL, there's no doubt that the Jets would much further back in the standings without the play of Pavelec this season. His numbers don't have him in the top-ten of wins, GAA, save percentage, or shutouts, but he does one thing very well: he gives the Jets a chance to win in every game. There haven't been many games this season where one can point to goaltending as an issue after a Jets' loss, and that's because Pavelec gives the effort seen above night in and night out.
What say you, readers: is this the best save of the season? Name your best save in the comments below!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!