Niemi was victimized last night in HP Pavilion, giving up three goals in four shots. He has been pulled twice already this series, including a rough outing in game three that put the Sharks in a 4-0 hole before they came back miraculously. These outings lead to speculation that Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan would turn to backup Antero Niittymaki in a pivotal game six.
That speculation was put to rest this afternoon.
With San Jose facing down Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick, who was absolutely brilliant last night during the course of his 52 save performance, all eyes will be on Niemi as he attempts to rebound once again from a poor postseason outing. If the Sharks are to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Niemi is going to have to be the catalyst in net.
The organization has a lot of confidence in him due to the Stanley Cup ring he earned with Chicago last season, and showed that confidence by making a 4 year, $15.2 million commitment to him earlier this year.