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04-25-2011, 06:49 PM
  #167
Pinkfloyd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polmaniac932 View Post
No one should base their decision to bring Niitty in on his performance as a mid-game fill-in.
I don't see why not. He has been good in his fill-in role. And it's not as if game 5 should even really be considered as a fill-in game. He played 50 minutes. For all intents and purposes, he played the whole game. At least enough of the game to say that he's capable of starting and performing well if given the opportunity.

Personally, game six was the best thing to give Niittymaki that opportunity anyway. If Niemi has another bad performance, you're then stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either stick with Niemi after consecutive bad performances and even before then the series was not going good for him or you give Niittymaki's first playoff start in his career in a game 7. Not good choices either way.

However, if you stick Niittymaki in game six and he falters, you give Niemi the game 7 on more of a rest which would be akin to his rest prior to game 1. And if Niittymaki performs well in game six but it's a loss, you can go back to him knowing he won't have the same butterflies as if it were his first ever playoff start and you can trust him to perform well as he has done in what would theoretically be the third game of this series.

Vancouver went that route and it actually brought the team back to a point where they could compete with the Hawks and they had their chances to win game six with Schneider in net. Certainly a tough choice for McLellan and I hope Niemi works out for him tonight. I just don't like the thought of continuously going to Niemi when he's struggling when you paid Niittymaki 2 million bucks to play when your other 2 million dollar goalie is not going well. That was the whole point of having two goalies of the level these guys are at. You go with who is performing better.

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