San Jose Sharks: Why Antti Niemi’s Next Start Could Be Make or Break

November 25th, 2010 by Patrick Goulding II Leave a reply »
The San Jose Sharks faced a critical test in the young 2010-2011 season Wednesday night, and to the joy—and perhaps shock—of many fans, they passed with great aplomb.

The opening game of the 2010-2011 season series with the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks was already huge for the Sharks for a number of reasons, but the progression of the game would eventually present the Sharks with a major test of character.

After taking a 3-1 lead into the second intermission, the Sharks failed to capitalize on a key opportunity to extend their lead to three goals on a late power play that spanned the intermission. Shortly after that, Chicago scored to draw within a goal with still more than 15 minutes remaining.

Having seen a pair of two-goal third period leads evaporate on their most recent road trip, the Sharks could well have been overcome with a sense of fate and déjà vu. Instead, they responded emphatically, as if to prove the road losses had been a learning experience.

The Sharks thwarted the comeback attempt by scoring their fourth goal, this one from Patrick Marleau on the power play at 13:47. They would also add an empt ...

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