Photo Credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images
Now, Kevin Klein has been the whipping boy of Predators fans for quite a while. He obviously gets himself stuck in many a bad situation or at least that is how it looks on camera. However, coming down the backstretch of the 2011-2012 season, Klein actively began to grab positive attention to himself, starting when he had to do Rinne’s job for a couple seconds.
With a little under 8 minutes to go in the first period against Winnipeg on March 24th, 2012, the Jets were heavily pressuring the Predators in their own zone. Bringing three men down in front of the goal, Blake Wheeler found an open Andrew Ladd off to the left side of Pekka Rinne. Ladd, who had gone a bit too far to the side of the net, passed it through Rinne into the blue ice where Bryan Little was just feet away from it.
Enter to the stage: Kevin Klein
With Rinne off to the left side of the goal and WAY out of position, Kevin Klein jumped in his spot, swept the puck out of the blue ice directly to Little. Little fired the puck and expected the red light to go off, but Klein’s frame got in the way and deflected the puck to the sideboards, where Brandon Yip was able to knock it back to the blue line.
This had to have been one of the best goaltender performances from a defenseman I have ever seen, which lands it at Number 9 on our countdown. Check out the highlight below:
And check out Klein talking about the play below (34 seconds in):