Battle Of The Stick Saves: Brodeur vs. Raycroft (Video)
It isn’t everyday that we come across an amazing stick save, but last night’s NHL action provided us with two.
In the Blue Corner, we have four-time Vezina trophy winner, three-time Stanley Cup winner, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, from the New Jersey Devils, Martin Brodeur!
During a battle against their bitter rivals from Manhattan, Brodeur appeared to be down and out after Marian Gaborik delivered a perfect feed to Olli Jokinen early in the second period. Thankfully, his stick made it over to the far post in time to prevent the Rangers from tying it at 2-2. They eventually would, but the Devils would come out on top at the end by a score of 6-3.
And in the Red Corner, the former Calder winner with the Boston Bruins, now backup goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks, we have Andrew Raycroft!
With the scored tied 0-0 in the first few minutes of the game, before even getting warmed up, Raycroft had to make an unbelievable stick save to keep the game scoreless. After making a save on the initial point shot, he turned what appeared to be a hopeless situation into one of this season’s wildest saves, twisting his body as he fell backwards to stop the Coyotes’ Lee Stempniak on the rebound. Raycroft would eventually let in three goals over the course of the game (including one from Stempniak). It was good enough to earn one point, but the Canucks would end up losing this game in a shootout.
So which is the better save? Both displayed an incredible amount of athletic ability and awareness. This is not an easy decision, but I think I’d have to go with Raycroft here. That early in the game, on the road, and just when it appeared as though he couldn’t do anything else to stop Stempniak after stretching out his left pad, he gave himself one last chance and made it count (not that you can’t say the same for Brodeur).