Two years ago, the turning point of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final happened late in Game Two. Braden Holtby reached out with 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 said 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 four straight games overall, winning the Stanley Cup in Game Five.
The play started with an innocent dump-in by the Vegas Golden Knights. The puck took a weird bounce off the boards and ricocheted right through Holtby’s crease, landing directly onto Cody Eakin’s stick. As Holtby tried to recover, the former Capitals draft pick made a cross-ice pass to Alex Tuch who shot the puck at the yawning net.
Holtby then stretched out his right arm and somehow stopped the shot with the paddle of his stick.
Here are the photos.
Alex Ovechkin was all of us on the bench, outwardly showing his anxiety.
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 the inspiration behind t-shirts, a now-sold-out bobblehead, and a lot of awesome merch such as signed photos and Game Two pucks (that are 30 percent off this weekend).
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HOLTBEAST 🤠!! #BradenHoltby signed with @Fanatics this afternoon! – – – – #ALLCAPS #HoltBeast #Holtby #HoltbyTheGoalie #CapsYear #WashingtonCapitals #WashingtonCaps #Caps #Capitals #CapsFan #CapitalsFans #CapsNation #CapitalsNation #CapsFam #CapsFamily #GoCaps #GoCapsGo #GoCapitals #ALLCAPS #DCSports #DCFamily #RockTheRed #RMNB #fanatics #Autograph #2018StanleyCupChamps #2018StanleyCupChampions #StanleyCupChamps #StanleyCupChampions
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— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) December 26, 2019
The stick that Holtby used to make the save and the game-used puck sits in a display at Capital One Arena.
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.”
June 7, 2018 will be remembered forever, but May 30 ruled a bunch too.
Thanks, Imagine Dragons.
— NHL (@NHL) May 30, 2020
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