What was the turning point of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final? If you ask us, it’s when Braden Holtby reached out his stick and made a miraculous save on Alex Tuch with two minutes remaining in Game Two.
“People ask me a lot about The Save in Game Two,” Holtby wrote in the Players’ Tribune. “And for a while, I didn’t really know how to answer. Because you’re not supposed to be in that position in the first place. You never want to be in that position, where you’re making a save in desperation. When I reached out with my stick, he had to shoot it exactly where I thought he’d shoot it. There’s luck involved, for sure.”
After losing Game One, the Capitals would hold on to win Game Two and win the next three games, defeating the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.
The Stanley Cup was finally All Ours.
The play started on a dump-in by the Vegas Golden Knights and a really, really weird bounce off the boards. The bounce went through Holtby’s crease, catching him off guard. To make matters worse, the puck directly went directly onto Cody Eakin’s stick. Uh oh. Eakin made a cross-ice pass, Alex Tuch shot towards the empty net, and…
HOLTBY MADE THE SAVE! The Holtbeast, who was out of position on the other side of the net, threw his stick across the crease and his prayer was answered.
Everyone at home gasped and covered their eyes. Alex Ovechkin did the same as you on the bench. Look at the pain on Ovi’s face!
After the game, Ovechkin did an interview with Sportsnet’s Scott Oake and praised Holts for his huge stop.
“I think we play smart, we play hard,” Ovechkin said. “Obviously Holts make unbelievable save at the end of whole game and we use our chances.”
He touched on his emotions during the breathtaking moment.
“Thanks God we have this guy in net. In the big moment, he always over there. It was huge.”
Beyond Alex Ovechkin lifting the Stanley Cup over his head for the first time, The Save was arguably the biggest highlight of the Stanley Cup Final. Twitter user The Flippist immortalized Holtby’s stop in flipbook form.
It was also the inspiration behind this very awesome t-shirt.
The funny part is that Holtby did not think The Save was that great.
“[I]t was not my best save ever. No way,” Holtby said. “But I’m sure when I look back on it, when all of this is over someday, it’ll be extremely special. Because when you’re all alone in the basement in Saskatchewan, one-handing balls off the wall, that’s the moment you’re dreaming about right? And so dreams … well, what can I say? Dreams really can come true.”
So while June 7, 2018 will be remembered forever, May 30th ruled a bunch too.
Thank you, Hockey Gods.
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