Antero & Antii

I figured the Niemi signing was a good start to kick back into gear with blogging and get into the groove before the season starts. Can you believe it's almost here again?

So, San Jose signed Antii Niemi. We know him as the Stanley Cup winning goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks. He was on fire during the 2010 postseason, and that earned him a nice little arbitration award of $2.75 million. But Chicago had about $5 left in cap space, so they let him walk.

Now he finds himself on the Sharks. I mean, for God's sake Doug Wilson had to do something this off-season, and he sure as hell wasn't going to try and sign a D-man to help out his Rob Blake-less defense. I shouldn't say that - he tried to nab Niklas Hjarmalsson, but Chitown was having none of that.

So after signing Antero Niittymaki earlier in the summer and feeling fine with him being their go-to goaltender, they decided to pick up Niemi. Both Antero & Antii are good goaltenders. Both are capable of getting hot at the right times. But I personally am not 100% comfortable with these two. First of all, both of them are decent regular season goaltenders -- averaging pretty close stats: 

Niittymaki: 49 GP, 2.87 GAA, .909 SV%

Niemi: 39 GP, 2.25, .912 SV%

But are they enough? I've seen people say, "The regular season doesn't matter." Except it kind of does because you need it to get you into the post-season safely. The Sharks are without a doubt going to make the play-offs. I'm not crazy. They're going to be a good team. But I have to believe that neither of these guys will be as strong of a force that Nabokov during the first 80.

The plus side: they are both cheaper than Nabby, and by no means are they going to be awful for the Sharks. And at least one guy won't be starting 70 games a season and getting nice and tired just in time for the play-offs.

As far as play-offs go, all I have to say is, just because a guy was hot during one post-season doesn't mean he will get hot again in another. It's a clean slate. And do you want either of these guys as your lead play-off goaltender if they're not hot during that stretch? I don't know. After sleeping on it, I feel a little better about it ... but not much.



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