a disastrous stretch in which he gave up 16 goals in three games.,Former Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi is now on his third team in as many seasons after the Florida Panthers announced they claimed him off of waivers on Tuesday. His career with the Pittsburgh Penguins ended after only three games
and just over two years after the Sharks traded his free agent rights to the Dallas Stars. Since leaving San Jose,Now, he has rapidly declined., Niemi has one last chance to revitalize his career. That chance comes only five seasons after he was a Vezina Trophy finalist
but was victimized for a career-high 11 shorthanded goals and was slightly worse on the penalty kill.,Niemi's first season in Dallas wasn't as bad as his then-career-low .905 save percentage might indicate. He was just as good stopping pucks at even strength as he was in his final season in San Jose
The same cannot be said about last season.
according to Corsica Hockey. Of the 51 goalies that played 100 minutes on the penalty kill,Of the 60 goaltenders that played at least 500 five-on-five minutes last season, Niemi ranked 55th in save percentage in those situations,adidas Carter Hutton jersey, and you get Niemi's career-worst .892 save percentage in all situations., Niemi's save percentage was 43rd. Add it all together
they decided he didn't,adidas Jonathan Drouin jersey,That was bad enough to get him bought out in Dallas, and waived him on Monday., and Pittsburgh signed him on a cheap flyer this offseason to see if the Finnish goaltender had anything left in the tank. After three games
His post-Sharks career is all the more surprising given how good he was in teal. Niemi's had the unenviable task of being an unconventional goalie filling the crease of the franchise's most-popular shot-stopper,adidas Victor Hedman jersey, and Niemi's still San Jose's all-time leader in save percentage., Evgeni Nabokov. Looks can be deceiving
That fact makes Niemi's post-Sharks struggles especially jarring,adidas Nikita Kucherov jersey, to be their franchise goaltender, even moreso considering San Jose's relative success at the position since parting ways. The Sharks believe his successor, and signed him to a six-year contract extension over the summer. No matter what you think of Jones' contract,adidas James Van Riemsdyk jersey, Martin Jones, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson looks especially shrewd for moving on from Niemi when he did.
and age has undoubtedly played a role in how quickly his skills in net have diminished. But that makes his fall no less staggering.,Niemi's now 34
No one could blame Joe Thornton if he was holding onto a grudge toward the city of Boston.
culminating in a newspaper column on the morning of a Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens in 2004 that asked him to surrender his captaincy before puck drop.,adidas Auston Matthews jersey,Thornton faced heavy-media scrutiny during his seven-plus years with the Boston Bruins
The criticism that started in Boston followed Thornton to San Jose as the Sharks failed to bring the Stanley Cup to Silicon Valley despite being perennial favorites.
Thornton insists that his love for the city has never waned.,Despite the toxicity surrounding his relationship to Boston
“The people here are great sports fans, so that’s all I care about.,” Thornton said as the Sharks prepared for Thursday’s clash with the Bruins at TD Garden. “All that stuff was just media. The people of Boston loved me and I loved them
“Once you live in this city it never leaves your heart.”
who he lived with during his first four seasons with the Bruins after he was selected with the first-overall pick in the 1997 NHL Draft.,Among the people in Boston that Thornton loves is the Hynes family
who had connections to the organization through his work in the TD Garden development project,That summer, had previously put up former-Bruins Stephane Quintal and Rob Cimetta in his home., Tom Hynes received a phone call from Bruins general manager Harry Sinden who wanted to enlist his help. Hynes
“He said,” Hynes recalled. “We can’t experiment with this Thornton kid. We need him to live with a family. Will you take him?”, you know why I’m calling. I’ve got an idea
The Hynes house wound up being the perfect-living situation for Thornton, and his daughter, who moved to Boston for his rookie season as an 18-year-old. Thornton bonded immediately with Hynes’ son, Vanessa, who was a senior in high school and an athlete himself, Todd, a student at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Nearly every weekend during his rookie season, too., Thornton’s parents came down from Southern Ontario to stay with the Hynes
” Tom Hynes recalled. “Everyone in the family loved him.”,Authentic Carter Hutton jersey,“He was an instant hit
The plan was to have Thornton live at the house near TD Garden for two years. The Sharks alternate captain stuck around for four.
” Thornton said with a big laugh.,“They couldn’t get me out
Thornton has remained close with the family ever since. Tom and his wife, traveled to Torino and Vancouver to watch Thornton compete in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics for Team Canada. They attended his wedding in Switzerland and they fly out to San Jose once a year to watch him play at the SAP Center.,Authentic Jonathan Drouin jersey, Nicole
On Wednesday, joining the Hynes for a dinner of grilled chicken and pasta.,Authentic Victor Hedman jersey, Thornton returned to the home that produced so many memories during his formative years in the NHL
“He’s the same guy,” Hynes said. “He’ll always be family to us.”,Authentic Nikita Kucherov jersey, just a little bigger. When he first came to us he was a string bean
After experimenting with Kevin Labanc on Thornton and Joe Pavelski’s left wing for eight games, replacing the 21-year-old forward with Joonas Donskoi for Thursday’s bout at TD Garden., head coach Pete DeBoer is back in the lab
Labanc will skate on the Sharks third line with Chris Tierney and Mikkel Boedker.
DeBoer said the league’s shift in focus can’t be blamed for Labanc’s careless stick play.,Authentic James Van Riemsdyk jersey,A key concern regarding Labanc is the four stick penalties he’s already taken this season. Although the NHL is under scrutiny for its crackdown on slashing this season
“Those are penalties in 1950 just like they were the other night, you’re going to take penalties. He knows that when he’s moving his feet he doesn’t put himself in those positions.”,” the Sharks coach said. “If you’re not moving your feet
Timo Meier will rejoin the Sharks lineup Thursday after serving as a healthy scratch against the New York Rangers Monday night.
Meier will skate on the Sharks fourth line with Ryan Carpenter and Joel Ward. Barclay Goodrow will return to the press box after making his season debut at Madison Square Garden Monday.
The New York Islanders thrive when hosting Western Conference opponents at Barclays Center. The San Jose Sharks feast upon Eastern Conference opponents regardless of locale.
Something will have to give Saturday night when the Sharks visit the Islanders in a matchup of two teams hoping to build winning streaks.
The Sharks began a five-game East Coast trip Friday when goalie Martin Jones posted his 16th career shutout by stopping all 28 shots he faced during a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils.
which is in the midst of nine consecutive games against Eastern Conference teams.,Authentic Auston Matthews jersey,It was the second straight victory for San Jose (3-3-0)
"It's a business trip," said Sharks right winger Joe Pavelski, for sure, who scored a goal in Friday's win. "This was a good start, but we'll have some fun too, for sure."
The Sharks usually have fun against Eastern Conference opponents. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, the most of any Western Conference team., San Jose has 44 wins against the East
when they blew a two-goal lead in the third period before posting a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers to improve to 3-3-1.,The Islanders last played Thursday
" Islanders coach Doug Weight told reporters after the second victory in the last three games. "It's a big win.","You can't always blame your hockey club for hanging on for a win
Though the Islanders dropped their lone home game this season against a Western Conference team -- the St. Louis Blues eked out a 3-2 shootout win on Oct. 9 -- New York is still a robust 20-4-5 against the West since moving to Barclays Center before the 2015-16 season. The Sharks accounted for one of those regulation losses with a 3-2 win last Oct. 18.
Two backup goalies are scheduled to face one another Saturday. The Sharks will start Aaron Dell against the Islanders' Thomas Greiss.
It will be the second start of the season for Dell, when he stopped 20 shots in New York's 3-1 victory at SAP Center at San Jose., who took the loss against the Islanders in San Jose on Oct. 14
Greiss will be making his fourth start of the season and his first since he had 40 saves in the win in San Jose.
whom he has opposed more than any other team. He picked up his first NHL victory in San Jose's win at Barclays Center last season.,Dell is 2-1-0 in three career starts against the Islanders
with whom he began his NHL career in 2007-08. He played in 44 games with San Jose during a four-season span.,Greiss is also 2-1-0 in three career starts against the Sharks
who went 9-6-1 in the second game of a back-to-back set last year.,This will be the first set of back-to-back games this season for the Sharks
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