By signing goaltender Antti Niemi to a four-year contract, the San Jose Sharks have said to the rest of the NHL, “We’re serious this year.”

Antti Niemi

When the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, there will be no substitute for Antti Niemi's Cup-winning experience

Ya, ya, I know. They’ve said it before. Often. Last year, they won the Presidents’ Trophy. They were poised to make a deep playoff run. Some of us thought they would win their first Cup. But, in the 2010 Western Conference Final, Niemi’s Chicago Blackhawks put the four-straight boots to the Sharks. Mostly because San Jose’s goaltending was lousy. Exit Evgeni Nabokov. Enter Antti Niemi. (more…)

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Goaltender Antti Niemi is now the Chicago Blackhawks’ leading candidate to win the 2010 Conn Smythe Trophy. Entering this Stanley Cup Final v. Philadephia, the Blackhawks had several players who would have been a good choice. Niemi has now broken from the pack and, unless something dramatic happens, he’ll be waving the trophy by the end of this weekend.   

Blackhawks' netminder Antti Niemi makes one of his 29 saves in G2 v. Flyers

Blackhawks' netminder Antti Niemi makes one of his 32 saves in G2 v. Flyers (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

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