San Jose Sharks Fans Holding Their Breath Over Backup Goalie

November 4th, 2010 by Patrick Goulding II Leave a reply »
The San Jose Sharkshave rebounded from a weak start to the 2010-2011 season. With strong scoring, a punishing power play, improved defense and reliable goaltending, they have climbed back into the mix of the Pacific Division.

However, one critical issue still looms large as the Sharks approach the end of the first quarter of the season.

Antero Niittymaki has clearly assumed the role of No. 1 goaltender ahead of larger-name offseason acquisition Antti Niemi. Niittymaki's play has been reliable and impressive thus far in 2010, ranking him near the top of the NHL in most statistical categories.

But Niittymaki cannot do it alone.

Antti Niemi has not seen any ice time since an absolutely dismal performance against the Calgary Flames, lasting less than nine minutes and allowing three goals on the only five shots he faced.

Niittymaki has been a rock in net since relieving Niemi in that game.  

No coincidence that the Sharks' revival has accompanied this change in net.

The Sharks have been able to get by without Niemi to this point, thanks to a sparse playing schedule, allowing Niittymaki to play every game while remainin ...

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