Anders Nilsson has become a one man highlight reel for the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan. His save Thursday night on Avangard Omsk’s Roman Berdnikov is, without a doubt, one of the best saves you’ll see all season. Watch as Nilsson dives across the entire net to turn away Berdnikov’s attempt with a blocker stop.
During the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, there was this feeling that no matter what you shot at then-Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, he was going to stop it. You can’t help but have that feeling about Anders Nilsson in the KHL.
For the second straight game, Nilsson made a stop that he had absolutely no business making, and this time it came little more than five minutes into the second period of a scoreless tie game. Oh, and if Nilsson’s Ak Bars Kazan won, they were heading to the Eastern Conference semi-final.
No amount of describing the save could do it as much justice as the look on Avangard Omsk winger Roman Berdnikov’s face after Nilsson robs what should have been a goal:
Feel free to watch that back as many times as you must to try to understand how in the world Nilsson got a piece of that. By the time Berdnikov’s stick is connecting with the puck, Nilsson has actually pushed so far to his left that he’s all the way out of his net. When he dives back the other way, he’s covering the entire width of the six-foot net.
There’s a bit of a Dominik Hasek quality to the save, as well. On the slowed down replays, you can clearly see Nilsson drop his stick to lunge at the puck, something Hasek was wont to do. Nilsson’s NHL rights are currently owned by the Blackhawks, but come the end of the season, Kazan might beg him to stay thanks to the playoff run he’s having.