Everyone knows hockey goalies are crazy. How could they not be? Their job is to stand in front of frozen chunks of vulcanized rubber being fired at them at 95 mph. That being said, these crazy people are also amazing athletes who do things most of us couldn’t do in our wildest dreams.
Score a goal? Yeah, okay, I can imagine myself doing that. Throwing a wicked body check? I can totally imagine myself doing that. But slide six feet from left to right, drop into the splits, and grab a puck out of the air with my glove? No, cannot imagine doing that, and frankly I don’t even want to try.
With today’s list, therefore, we salute hockey goalies, who perhaps the most under-appreciated athletes in North America. I dare you to take a look and act like you’re not impressed.
This is why Carey Price was the go-to goaltender for Team Canada in Sochi. Nice try, Dave Bolland. What else you got?
31. Just Enough
And this is why Henrik Lunqvist was the go-to goaltender for Team Sweden in Sochi. That's one hell of a shot from Kimmo Timonen, even in slow motion.
30. Lunqvist Snags a Howitzer
What, can't everybody do the splits while wearing forty pounds of pads on their legs...on ice skates?
29. Braden Holtby Does the Splits
I'm sorry Mr. Marchand, your application has been denied.
28. Jonas Hiller's Glove Save
Never heard of Jhonas Enroth? Well, he's the reason why the Sabres might be willing to part with pending free agent Ryan Miller.
27. Jhonas Enroth, Backup Goalie
So much for the wide open goal, right Kadri?
26. Jimmy Howard's Winter Classic Classic
So the USA didn't win a medal—that doesn't mean Jonathan Quick wasn't awesome. This guy was definitely in his old Con Smythe form in Sochi.
25. Quick Saves the USA
Gotta do better than that to get it past this guy, whoever he is. (Seriously, Michael who?)
24. Michael Neuvirth Robs Nyquist
They don't call him King Henrik for nothing. This one might just have been the save of the year last season.
23. Lunqvist the Denier
He didn't catch it, but it stayed out of the net didn't it?
22. Cam Ward's Glove Save
Goalies are great, but they don't make all the big saves. Here's big Zdeno Chara here using his glove and those eyes in the back of his head to save a goal.
21. Chara's Glove Save
Here's former Bruin and current Oilers captain one-upping Chara with a pretty sweet skate save.
20. Ference's Skate Save
And here is Ryan Kessler taking one for the team against Finland. The bronze medal game may have been a blowout, but not everybody phoned it in.
19. Kessler's Chest Save
As they would have said on SportsCenter ten years ago, "NO SOUP FOR YOU!"
18. Carey Price's Glove Magic
Corey Crawford won a Stanley Cup with that glove.
17. Corey Crawford's Glove Magic
If Jose Reyes goes on the DL again this year, the Blue Jays should see if Jonathan Bernier wants to play shortstop.
16. Bernier's Diving Grab
Just Tuukka Rask making one save after another in ridiculous traffic. No big deal.
15. Tuukka's Save in Traffic
Not bad for a career backup, don't you think?
14. Joey MacDonald's Stick Save
Ilya Bryzgalov may have been run out of Philly by an angry battery-throwing mob, but he had some pretty good moments with the Flyers.
13. Bryzgalov Robs Letang
The Blackhawks got past the Kings last year en route to the Stanley Cup, but it wasn't easy.
12. Quick Denies Bickell
Regardless of whether or not the puck actually went over the line, how is it even possible that Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen got his pad on that puck in that position?
11. Lehtonen's Ridiculous Kick Save
Oh, don't mind me, I'm just inventing the bicycle kick save over here.
10. Reto Berra's Bicycle Save
Meanwhile, here's Martin Brodeur inventing the scorpion kick save, like a boss.
9. Brodeur's Scropion Save
So fine, this one from the Swedish Elitserien is mostly luck. It's still insanely awesome.
8. Christian Engstrand's Miracle Save
Hey, where'd it go? Oh, there it is. Come here, puck.
7. Gustavsson's Backhander
Seriously, how insane is it that we have not one but two behind-the-back backhanded glove saves on this list?
6. Lehtonen's Backhander
If you know anyone who claims to have seen a better save than this in the NHL this season, punch that person in the face because he or she is a goddamn liar.
5. Ryan Miller's Save of the Year
Of course, Millers paddle save wasn't quite as smooth as this one by the Blues' Jake Allen last season.
4. Jake Allen's Paddle Larceny
Okay, so I hope you didn't actually punch that hypothetical person who said there was a better save than Ryan Miller's this season. For one thing, I was being facetious, and you shouldn't go around punching people in the face. For another, you could make a pretty strong argument for this save by Carter Hutton. It's kind of ridiculous.
In fact, this one's so good, let's take a look at it from another angle...
3. Carter Hutton's Diving Save, Part 1
The really good saves just get more and more ridiculous the more you watch them, and that's certainly the case with this one. Well done, Carter Hutton.
2. Carter Hutton's Diving Save, Part 2
Billy Guerin scored 429 goals in his NHL career, and 28 of them came with the Blues in 2006-07 before getting traded tot he Sharks.
Thanks to former Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft, this, amazingly, was NOT one of them.
1. Raycroft Robs Guerin
Gifs, great save, hockey, NHL, Save Of The Year, stick save,