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GIF Tournament Division Semifinal: Backstrom's SO Recovery vs. Gumby Grubi

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In the absence of actual, live hockey, we offer up a month of moving hockey snippets that will battle it out for the greatest prize in all of Caps GIFdom.

Collage by Brendan Sheridan

NORRIS DIVISION - FIRST ROUND

BACKSTROM'S SHOOTOUT RECOVERY (2)
vs.
GRUBI GOES GUMBY (3)

Click here to view and vote on the rest of the bracket.

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BACKSTROM'S SHOOTOUT RECOVERY (2)

Backstrom_so_goal_fl

This is one of those plays that you watch in real-time and almost have to cover your eyes because it seems like so many things are about to go wrong... but if you did that, you'd miss them going oh-so-very right.

Notice how Backstrom almost gets in too close to make a move. And then almost loses the puck to a pokecheck. And then almost trips over the goalie's stick. Now notice how he does none of those things, makes a silky sweet move to score the shootout goal and then deftly avoids the stick with a little hop as if he planned the whole thing? Brilliance. Sheer brilliance.

GRUBI GOES GUMBY (3)

Grubauer_with_an_insane_save_-_imgur
Things got a little dicey in the Caps' crease during the 2013-14 season, with too many bodies and not enough nets to go around. But while the situation wasn't ideal, it's hard to say that the Caps didn't get some pretty decent performances in goal along the way.

Judging by the number of great save GIFs we had to sift through, more than a few could have made the cut... but this split save by Philipp Grubauer was among the best. Even if it is a bit painful to watch.

Now... GO VOTE!