One of the main reasons I love sports is that they have the power to surprise. The absurd and unexpected are almost commonplace, particularly in a fast-paced and chaotic sport like hockey. Roberto Luongo provided one of those absurd and unexpected moments on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.
I expected much more fuss to be made of his incredible save on Colin Wilson, but it seems to have passed by largely unnoticed. In my mind, it’s the save of the season.
I honestly don’t have much to say about it. It was so flabbergasting a save that I can only point at it repeatedly while saying, “Look! See? Do you see it?”
With Luongo down and out after a mad scramble in front of his net, Roman Josi smartly passes the puck across to the wide open Wilson. The shot is about as good as it could possibly be: it’s headed directly to the top corner of the net, right under the bar. It looks like Luongo has no chance to make a save.
But somehow, incredibly, he gets his left toe on it. He makes a toe save on a shot labelled for the top of the net. That’s not supposed to happen. A kick save is meant to happen along the ice.
Luongo evidently plays by his own rules, according to which kick saves can happen anywhere now. At some point this season he’ll likely break up a rush in the neutral zone with a kick save. I expect he’ll quarterback the powerplay from the point, kick saving the puck to Henrik Sedin on the half boards. Did Keith Ballard just flip the puck directly out of play for a delay of game penalty? Nope, Luongo just scaled the boards and made a savvy kick save.
There are a three things about this save that elevate it from great to incredibawesome. First, it kept the game tied at 3, giving the Canucks a chance to win the game in the shootout. If this save happened in a 5-2 win or a loss of any kind, it would be a great save, but ultimately meaningless.
The second thing is that it’s clearly intentional. All sorts of stupefying saves happen in every NHL season where the goalie has clearly just gotten lucky. Sure, they may have made some incredibly athletic maneuver, but then the puck just happens to hit them, or the shooter sends the puck directly at their outstretched stick/glove. On this save, Luongo clearly sees where the shot is going and gets his foot up to stop it. You can tell because he gets his glove up at the same time.
The third thing is that it’s such a sexy save, it bears a striking resemblance to Burt Reynolds’ classic 1972 Cosmopolitan centerfold. Uncanny.
In conclusion, this save deserves more attention. Look! See? Do you see it?Tags: great saves, Look!, Luongo, Roberto Luongo