Who would have thought that the two best plays from the NHL’s All-Star Game would have come from the goaltenders?
In a game with that much talent, it’s usually the snipers who are putting on a clinic. Alas, it was stops by Chicago Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford and St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott – a late, injury replacement entry into the game – that truly stand as the two best highlights from the exhibition.
Crawford’s stop came in the second period after hometown favorite and eventual All-Star Game MVP Ryan Johansen busted in past some sleepy defending. With Crawford coming across his crease to cut down the angle, Johansen quickly slid the puck to his forehand and put a quick shot towards the goal.
It would have been one of the nicer tallies of the night if it weren’t for Crawford reaching back and snagging it with his glove.
Elliott’s stop came in the next frame, with his squad, Team Foligno, down by five goals. He kept the deficit at five with a game-quality paddle save that, were it not in the All-Star Game, could have very well been the save of the year.
The puck was worked back to Team Toews’ Mark Giordano, who slid it into the slot to Tyler Seguin. As Seguin pulled it from forehand to backhand, he put Elliott out of position and it forced the netminder to reach back with his stick to attempt to stop the puck. Elliott managed to stop it, at least according to referee Chris Rooney, just in time.
When all was said and done, neither save was a game changer. Team Toews defeated Team Foligno by a final score of 17-12.