Comparing Carey Price And Mackenzie Blackwood For Save Of The Year

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31): (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31): (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports) /

Carey Price put his hat in the ring for save of the year candidate on Monday night when he absolutely robbed Jason Spezza off a feed from William Nylander. Just take a look at this save.

Price puts out the paddle and lifts it just enough to absolutely rob Spezza. It was the spin of the goalie stick that really did it. When Price put his arm behind his back, the stick spun upside down. However, to make sure it was in prime position, Price had to make sure he remembered to spin it right side up in that split second before Spezza took the shot. It was absolutely a candidate for save of the year.

The New Jersey DevilsMackenzie Blackwood had his own candidate for save of the year back in March. While facing the Boston Bruins with mere seconds left, Nick Ritchie was swatting at the puck. The puck eventually went off Jesper Bratt and took a beeline for the back of the net. Blackwood stretched so far across the net he made your yoga teacher jealous and stopped it with the very tip of his toe.

When looking at the saves on its surface, Blackwood’s is definitely rarer. We’ve seen the crazy stick save before, but that ridiculous stretch by Blackwood is not something you see every season, let alone every day.

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Since it’s clear Blackwood’s save takes more effort, then you have to look at the situation when considering whose save was better. Price’s save came in the first period, but it came in a playoff series where his Montreal Canadiens were facing one of their top rivals in the Toronto Maple Leafs. The game was tied 0-0 and the series is tied 1-1 in Game 3, and this is the first game in Montreal. It’s not like there’s a crowd, but it’s still an advantage to play at home.

Blackwood’s save came with eight seconds left in a 1-0 game. It was his 40th save of the game, and he saved the best for last. This saved the Devils win at a time when wins were hard to come by. However, the win only pushed the Devils to 13-16-4. It wasn’t like this win would push the Devils back in the playoff race.

The nod still has to go to Blackwood. They are both great saves, but Blackwood made a move to where he knew he had to go. The puck was already going towards the net, so there was no guesswork involved. It was a purposeful move towards the back of the net to then kick it out an inch before it went past the goal line. Price, on the other hand, put a lot to chance (not that he had a choice). He put his stick in the best possible place to stop Spezza. If Spezza just rolled the puck instead of lifted it, then it’s a goal. He didn’t, so it’s a moot point, but it shows the randomness of Price’s goal against Blackwood’s. These are two of the best saves of the season, and nothing should be taken away from what we saw from both of these goalies.