Antti Niemi Returns to Chicago: Can the Blackhawks Solve Him Minus Toews?

December 30th, 2010 by Jon Fromi Leave a reply »
The Chicago Blackhawks have had two reunions with goalie Antti Niemi this season. Now the United Center fans get a chance to give their Stanley Cup-winning net-minder a big welcome back, as the San Jose Sharks visit the Blackhawks Thursday night—with Marty Turco in the opposite goal, no less.

At the time of this writing, I don't have confirmation of Niemi starting between the pipes. I feel strongly that he will. After all:

1.  I think Sharks coach Todd McClellan recognizes the significance of the evening.

2.  Niemi is 2-0 against the Hawks.

Although Niemi has a 3.07 GAA and a .900 save percentage, he has played very well in the two games in San Jose against the Blackhawks. It's fitting he will be going up against Turco, as the two have much in common this season.

Both came into the season as the No. 1 guy on their respective teams only to lose that status. Both Niemi and Turco have had weaker defensive efforts in front of them this season.

Turco gave up three goals after facing 43 shots in a loss to the St. Louis Blues Tuesday, while Niemi's last start saw him give up four goals in the third per ...

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