Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010
By Tracey Myers
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- One of my favorite movies of all time is Vertigo, which was shot about 50 miles west of here in San Francisco. Vertigo, in true Alfred Hitchcock style, had that wonderful air of mystery throughout the picture.
Here in the Silicon Valley, the only mystery we're trying to solve here is whether or not San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi is going to be the starter when the Sharks host the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night. For those who think it's just a big ol' slam dunk that Niemi will face his former teammates, the ones he celebrated that Stanley Cup victory with back in June, I'm not so sure. The Sharks don't seem to keen on talking history when it comes to the team that swept them from the postseason last year, and going down memory lane doesn't sound too high on coach Todd McLellan's list of interests either. His team is inconsistent, and getting steadiness and victories are his focus right now. So if it just comes down to that, do you go with Niemi, who has had struggles of his own, or Nittymaki who's been steadier?
Quick side note: Answering "who's starting" questions has to be quite a change for McLellan. In past seasons, it was basically all Evgeni Nabokov all the time.
Whatever decision McLellan makes, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Niemi played great out here last postseason. He said he's felt good in recent practices and that he's getting his confidence back. This would certainly be a great bench test. Nittymaki's got the better record and overall stats.
Inside the Sharks' locker room, decisions have already been made. The rest of us will just have to wait until Wednesday morning to end the mystery.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.