Evgeny Medvedev (via NHL/YouTube)
Evgeny Medvedev is still adjusting to the NHL, but he made a brilliant play Tuesday to rob P-A Parenteau of a power play goal. With Steve Mason down, Medvedev stuck out his stick and skate at the last second to turn aside Parenteau’s shot at an open net.
P-A Parenteau has struggled to find the back of the net with any consistency prior to this season, but he’s on his way to becoming a 20-goal scorer for the second time in his career. Through 44 games with the Maple Leafs, Parenteau has 11 goals, but he would have had 12 were it not for a last-ditch effort by Flyers defenseman Evgeny Medvedev.
At the tail end of a Toronto power play in the second period, the Maple Leafs executed a slick passing play that saw the puck go from Tyler Bozak behind the net to Brad Boyes at the side of the goal to Parenteau sitting across the crease. The quick passing sequence saw Philadelphia netminder Steve Mason down and out of position with Parenteau having a wide-open net to shoot at.
Parenteau pulled the trigger and released a low, hard shot, but Medvedev came out from behind the net, stuck out his stick and kicked out his foot to send the puck sailing out the other side:
On first watch, you’ll be checking out the save, but look again and watch Shawn Matthias on the opposite side of the net. His arms go into the air he’s so certain of Parenteau scoring, but as soon as Matthias raises his arms, he’s scrambling to put his stick back on the ice to grab the loose puck following Medvedev’s stop.
Medvedev is new to the NHL, but the 33-year-old has been playing in the KHL, and the former Russian Super League, for the past 13 seasons. He came into Philadelphia in the off-season as a relatively unknown free agent blueliner and inked a one-year, $3-million deal.
Medvedev’s offensive production has been decent — he has three goals and nine points in 32 games — but he’s been in and out of the lineup while adjusting to the NHL. Some games, he’s played the minutes of a top-line blueliner, others he’s been a third-pairing defenseman. If the whole defense thing doesn’t work out, though, maybe Flyers coach Dave Hakstol can use Medvedev as a backup netminder.