John Gibson (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
One night of hockey, two incredible stick saves. First, Braden Holtby kept the Capitals up by one with a full body extension stick stop. Later, John Gibson’s spinning stick save was shades of Hasek. But which stop was better? You be the judge.
It’s not often two goaltenders are forced to make incredible paddle saves, but Anaheim’s John Gibson and Washington’s Braden Holtby both made stick saves Sunday that will find their way onto end of year countdowns.
Holtby’s save, which came earlier in the day during a matinee between the Capitals and New York Rangers, was made off the stick of Rangers rookie Jimmy Hayes.
With Washington up by one on their division rivals midway through the first period, and with New York on the power play, Hayes received a beautiful cross-ice feed and had just about the entire net to shoot at. After quickly settling the puck, Hayes fired and Holtby, extending as much as humanly possible, robbed a sure goal with the shaft of his stick:
On most nights, Holtby’s save would have easily been the stop of the night. Later in the day, however, Gibson may have taken the crown from Holtby.
During a 3-on-1 break for the New Jersey Devils early in the second period, Gibson made the initial toe stop and directed the puck behind the net. Devils winger Steve Bernier shoveled the puck back out front where it ended up on the tape of Adam Henrique. With Gibson out of position, it looked like a certain goal, but the Ducks netminder spun backwards, reached his paddle out and directed the puck into the corner.
Both incredible saves, both in big wins, but only one can be the best of the night. Do you prefer Holtby’s heroics or Gibson’s great stop?