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Imagine Niemi In San Jose

from Gary Peterson at the Mercury News,

But, and here we arrive at Niemi’s unique appeal where the Sharks are concerned, how delicious would it be to wind up with the goalie from the team that swept you in last season’s conference finals? Before you dismiss it as no factor, remember that Wilson, like most GMs in the NHL, isn’t known for pursuing restricted free agents, but he still signed Chicago’s Hjalmarsson to an offer sheet.

The Sharks and Chicago were the class of the West last season. The Blackhawks were the hottest when the two teams met in the playoffs. Now the salary cap has turned them into what could be a one-hit wonder. This could signal some high times for the Sharks, if they can get their goalie situation in order. If they can do that and strike a psychological blow against the reigning Stanley Cup champions? Reasonably priceless.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi


IwoCPO's avatar

The Sharks and Chicago were the class of the West last season.

Interesting turn of a phrase.  When hasn’t San Jose been the regular season class of the West?  They caught a Wing team exhausted by a season-long injury onslaught and took advantage of a 5-3 per game. 

Chicago was the class of the West.  San Jose was just…San Jose.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 08/04/10 at 11:21 AM ET

Primis's avatar

San Jose was never “hot” as a team.  There was a stretch before the Olympic break that the Sharks rode where the only reason they won any game at all was because Nabby got hot and carried them because their defense was miserable.

When Nabby came back down to earth after the Olympics, so did San Jose.  I remember laughing at the San Jose “flat-lining” on the Playoff graph on A2Y.  It was so predicatble it was sad.

Until San Jose ever improves their defense they’ll never get to the Finals, let alone win a Cup.

I’m pretty sure still that Wilson had every intention of actually signing Hjalmarsson and keeping him.  He had to see how his blue line folded when the games started to matter.  And hey, even if they couldn’t land him they could drive up his price and stick it to the Hawks (whom everybody knew were in big cap trouble at the time already).  Win/Win proposition for Wilson.

Posted by Primis on 08/04/10 at 11:53 AM ET

Animal Drew's avatar

The Sharks and Chicago were the class of the West last season.

San Jose had 19 power plays in the first two games against Detroit.

San Jose had 9 power plays in the entire series against Chicago.

Clearly, Chicago was a cleaner-playing team.  Clearly, San Jose was the class of the West last (regular) season.

Posted by Animal Drew from A Nightmare on Helm Street on 08/04/10 at 01:01 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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