How to Beat the Goalie: Niemi

(Jason O. Watson-US Presswire)

Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks, Antti Niemi's stock (and play) has risen. Niemi, now the starting goalie with the San Jose Sharks, hasn't had the same success in the playoffs with San Jose as he did with Chicago, but isn't entirely his fault, but rather the players in front of him.

So far this season, Niemi has played well winning his first six starts, but since then he has been unable to get back on a winning streak.

The Sharks defense has been able to clear out the rebound Niemi will give often, which has led to their early success. Opponents will have to be sure to get in front of the net awaiting a rebound to put back on goal. 

Niemi is very good laterally and mobile. He knows how to cover the angles and is rarely out of position. Many would characterize him as athelic. Shooting point blank shots usually will not work, unless it is a really good shot. Also, Niemi has a tendency to hunch over, so the point blank shots are going to have to come up high on him.

The Predators and Niemi have been very familiar with each other over the past several seasons, but who will be the better of the other? Here is how to beat Antti Niemi.

  • Traffic In Front: The Nashville Predators need to have someone in front of the net at all times. Rebounds will pop out a lot and they need to be there to put it home before the Sharks defense clears it out.



  • Blocker Side: It will be a sure goal if Nashville can make Niemi move from left to right, then shoot high blocker side.

Antti Niemi's 2012-13 stats

#31 Antti Niemi 8 4 4 1 1.88 .933

Antti Niemi's career vs Nashville

#31 Antti Niemi 5 3 3 0 2.18 .918