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Save of the Night – Stephane Robidas (December 28th)

Dec 29, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

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Even if the NHL (thankfully) keeps a dedicated stat category for a blocked shot – whether it be a forward or defenseman doing the shot blocking – it’s still an underrated act of bravery. (Some stats bloggers will point out that a defenseman with a high number of blocked shots might compile so many because they’re often out of position, but it’s still courageous.)

Normally, blocked shots are forgotten well after a player’s bruises heal up. Yet every now and then, a defenseman goes from making a blocked shot to practically becoming an impromptu netminder.

We’ve seen more than a few instances when a blocked shot or heads-up defensive play is so impressive (and entertaining) that we cannot help but make it the save of the night. Most recently, we awarded a crafty play by Minnesota Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky.

Well, we have another great bit of defensive desperation/cleverness to add to that group from Tuesday’s game. Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas is one of those guys who can do a little of everything from playing the point on the power play, logging numerous even strength minutes and providing rugged defense on the penalty kill. His hockey IQ and willingness to do whatever it takes to help his team win were on bold display last night, as he bailed out Andrew Raycroft and the rest of the squad with some heady saves.

You really have to hand it to Robidas on this one, as he saved Raycroft with some great work. To be fair, Raycroft bailed the Stars defense out plenty of times last night, earning 44 saves in the win against Nashville. Check out Robidas’ goalie auditions in the clip below.

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