Joseph or Holtby: Which save was better?

Braden Holtby made the best save I’ve seen since Edmonton Oilers goalie Curtis Joseph robbed Joe Nieuwendyk in game seven in their 1997 series.

The Capitals slayed their nemesis, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in round two. They came back from a 3-2 series deficit to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning and now Holtby’s save in game two has helped even the series in Vegas.

Vegas is the most unexpected story in NHL history, but the Capitals might just be the team destined to win.

Holtby’s stop was unreal.

He made this save with two minutes remaining in the third period, with the Capitals leading 3-2.

Incredible. I love Ovechkin’s reaction on the bench. The raw emotion of the Stanley Cup playoffs is outstanding.

Then there was Joseph’s save in OT versus future Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk.

Nieuwendyk, like Alex Tuch, got a lot on the shot, but Joseph made a stellar diving stop.

The reaction from Dallas GM, Bob Gainey, near the end of the clip, tells a great story. The difference between utter jubilation and gut wrenching agony is monumental.

I still remember Oilers head coach Ron Low coming off the bench after Todd Marchant scored a few moments later to win game seven. He carefully ran out to greet Joseph and you can read his lips. “Nice effing save!” he said before smiling and hugging his goalie.

Ovechkin’s reaction is just as great.

The first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals have been really entertaining. Lots of goals, big hits, some great saves and a lot of animosity.

I’m looking forward to game three.

Do you have a favourite save by a goalie in the NHL playoffs?


My eighth annual Ultimate Sports Fan package in support of charity is here again. On June 9th and 10th, I am riding in the 190km MS Bike Tour, and I’ve come up with a pretty good package for the diehard sports fan.

Here’s how it works: You make a $125 donation and you get one entry. If you make a $250 donation you get two entries, and so on.

We only take 100 entries and we will raise $12,500 for MS. The draw will be the week of June 5th.

This year’s winner will win the following prizes and more.: The final package is valued at over $6,000.00

  1. The “Oilers experience” at the Oilers home opener in October, which includes tickets, parking, dinner and a behind the scenes tour.
  2. A pair of Edmonton Eskimos season tickets in the lower bowl.
  3. A game used Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stick.
  4. A signed Mike Reilly Eskimos jersey (you pick the size) courtesy of The Sports Closet.
  5. Twenty tickets, and a hot dog and beverage (non-alcoholic), to an Oil Kings home game. Also, you will get an Oil King player of your choice to come to your backyard rink or minor hockey practice for an hour. (Between November 1st and December 15th.)
  6. Ten tickets to the Rugby match Canada v. Scotland on Saturday, June 9th at Commonwealth presented by MB Events.
  7. A signed Matt Barzal jersey
  8. $500 GC at Match Eatery and Public House (either location).

We only have 16 spots left, so if you want a chance to win and help end MS get in the draw today.

You can make your donation here. (click Donate Now to the right of my picture).

Thank you and good luck.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

  • Chris Prongers Rake

    I don’t know, both Holtby’s and Josephs were ridiculous, I guess the only thing I can use is the magnitude of the timing of the save. Game 7 OT of the first round or Game 2 of the SCF, Dallas scores, Oilers are done, Tuch scores, OT is possible and Washington still potentially pulls the game and the series out. That said, both were great saves and I’m not going to pick, just credit both goalies for stepping their game up in crunch time.

  • geoilersgist

    Both saves were huge. This final has been awesome so far with non stop action in each game. Should be one heck of a series. I am personally hoping for a game 7 in the Knights favor as I will be in Vegas to experience it.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Get used to a lot of fans that don’t know the rules (at least outside anyway).
      They are just cheering, cause everyone else is? It’s a weird hockey vibe.
      They don’t really know how good a team they have?

  • Glencontrolurstik

    I just have to say, that with all that “cheesy pomp and circumstance” (if you can call it that in these playoffs?) It’s so gosh darn refreshing to hear Bob Cole & Harry Neale… I certainly hope other NHL teams don’t try to outdo the Vegas Pre-game show. That’s my biggest fear with the future of hockey…. Anyway,… Joseph, for sure.

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    Obviously, both amazing saves.

    Cujo’s was a bit more significant given that it saved elimination (albeit it was in the 1st round).

    I also think Cujo’s was “better” because Holtby’s was a little more of a reactive (and therefore lucky) save whereas Cujo had a split second more to assess the situation and dive for the puck in desperation. But I’m splitting microseconds here. Again, both amazing.

  • OriginalPouzar

    I can’t make this type of decision, its too hard.

    What I can say is that I still remember exactly where I was when Cujo made that save and Marchant inexplicably scored on a breakaway.

    I was at the Elephant and Castle on Bourbon Street in WEM with a buddy. I can even picture the set up and the table we were sitting.

    When Todd scored it was pure ecstasy – hugging strangers included.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    CuJo 100%. Bigger situation (nothing is bigger than OT in the playoffs, regardless of round #), and he’s my #1 favourite goalie. Even met him in a toy store once!

  • grumpyKoala

    From a goalie perspective, Holtby save is a more difficult one to make. Both are desperation moves where you try to cover as much space you can. Notice how both goalie end up wondering where the puck came to a rest. Holtby had just less time to make it, end up covering less space that made it less probable to stop. I also concur that OT save made the Cujo one stand out way much more

  • btrain

    If I am being honest, I thought the Holtby save was incredible because of the timing, but that its much more the result of a less than ideal shot than it is a great save. It would be like giving Scotty Smalls high praise for catching the ball Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez skillfully hit into his glove (sandlot reference). Sure, he caught it, but the guy hit it directly into his glove!
    Before, the shot was taken on Holtby, he was already sliding his stick and arm over as he read the play. Regardless of where the shot ended up, Holtby would have ended up in the same position. So if the puck had not rolled and was not struck flat, its a goal; Tuch just needed to hit the 3ft of open cage and not the 4 inch paddle on the ice.

    The Joseph save on the other hand was a complete reaction and adjustment to the shot itself. Nieuwendyk placed it just where he wanted it with a good shot and CUJO tracked it down. I don’t think you can question the quality or placement of the shot as a big reason for the save in CUJO’s case. So he definitely gets the edge in my books.