The success of the Golden Knights goaltenders in the 2023 playoffs will be talked about for years to come. Heck, it’s already being studied by other organizations. We’ve gone over the top offensive plays, so let’s turn our attention to the few that kept the puck out of the net.
6. Brossoit Dazzles in Game 2 vs. Winnipeg
Defense to offense for the @GoldenKnights.
A spectacular save by Laurent Brossoit on one end allows Chandler Stephenson to extend the lead to 4-0 just 21 seconds later on the power play. pic.twitter.com/putHIZIWHA
— Golden Knights Radio (@VGKRadioNetwork) April 28, 2023
Golden Knights fans will never forget which goaltender began the 2023 Cup run. Adin Hill earned Conn Smyth votes and a massive post-playoff payday but Laurent Brossoit will always have a special place in team history. Brossoit started eight games, eliminated Winnipeg, and picked up another win in the second round. In his group of playoff games, Vegas’ opening goalie made a few outstanding saves that some might have forgotten. His stop in a deciding Game 5 is worth watching on a loop. After making the initial save, Brossoit was forced to desperately slide across the crease and stop a wide-open shot. The Jets offense was stunned. If it hadn’t been a blowout, LB’s save would have been ranked higher.
5. Theodore Backs Up Hill in SCF Game 2
Who would’ve guessed three different players would end up making the top saves of the postseason list? Well, Shea Theodore made it happen in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The quick-thinking defenseman reached his stick behind Hill to safely scoop a loose puck on the goal line. I’m sure Brayden McNabb has a dozen or so goalie helpers but it was Theodore’s turn in the Stanley Cup Finals.
4. Hill’s Dandy Frustrates Florida in SCF Game 4
Hill made his first appearance in Game 2 against Edmonton in the second round of the playoffs. The stopper came in relief for Brossoit but officially took over the position in Game 4. From that moment forward, Hill outperformed every other goaltender in the playoffs. He became a household name in the SCF. His gorgeous Game 4 glove save was one of the reasons why.
3. Hill Heats Up in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals
Hill was on another level in Game 4. Dallas’ forwards were crashing hard and found ways to generate shots in front of the net. Vegas’ goalie stretched across the crease with his glove, stealing an open net attempt for Dallas. It was another highlight worthy of being played on a loop. By the way, he had several stops in Game 5 that could’ve made the list
2. Hill Stun Stars With Save on Kiviranta in Game 5 of WCF
Hill continued his WCF Game 5 brilliance into the 3rd period of a tied game. Dallas’ offense won a puck battle deep in Vegas’ zone and created a high-quality scoring chance for the Stars. Vegas’ goalie robbed Dallas forward Joel Kiviranta in a tight 2-2 conference final match. I should mention that Hill ended up losing the game 4-2 but without his dynamic performance it could’ve been a wider defeat.
1. Hill Paddle Saves His Way to History in Game 1
The Golden Knights fell to a historic paddle save in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals, so it only made sense they returned the favor. Hill’s impression of Capitals goalie Brayden Holtby’s series-changing stop was as jaw-dropping and indescribable. At that moment, many believed the series was over. Surely, it was gossamer but eventually cocky Hill fans called it right. The magic paddle save will be shown in every playoff commercial, introduction, or montage from here on out. At some point, Hill’s stop should be massively displayed in paint or poster by the organization. It’s a timeless image.
Those are the six best saves from the 2023 Golden Knights championship run. Of course, there were some describing that didn’t make the cut but overall these were the most memorable.
Next up: VGK’s Top 6 Quotes