Thread: Speculation: Stalock's future with the Sharks
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04-17-2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by hohosaregood View Post
You know, Tim Thomas was amazing but he was only amazing because his defense really helped him out. The way he plays puts him far out of his net to challenge the shooter. However, it also made it so that after the save. There was a lot of empty space and empty net for rebound chances that could have easily been a goal if his defense wasn't there to clear the puck.

A goalie doesn't succeed just because of a system or because of his team. A team succeeds because of the goalie and the team being able to work together because of a system. We can especially see it with Niemi because over the last 3 years, the defense has changed significantly with the addition of Burns and Stuart and the subtraction of White and Murray, the team system has changed especially with the PK, and there's also the way the team plays in front of different goalies. I remember there were quotes from Murray about how they would let players take clear shots because Nabby would rather be able to see the shot all the way but now the team blocks a ton of shots for Niemi but it wasn't like that when he first got here.

The point is that Niemi fits the team we have now and if we trade him now, we're going to have a pretty tough period ahead of us. In my opinion, they have Stalock as the future of the Sharks goaltending and they're still trying to compete for the cup. When Stalock was up here, he didn't start because of the tenuous position we were in. Whether that was the right decision or not remains to be seen but I'm sure he will get his chance soon.
All very true, this team had a very painful adaptation period after acquiring niemi, but IMO it's significantly easier to revert back to a system that allows the goalie to play the puck more with less need for the defensemen to compensate for his shortcomings. Like SJeasy said - I don't necessarily see Niemi having become a better goalie skill wise, I see him not getting flustered as easily, and there's far fewer cross ice plays that would take advantage of his poor lateral mobility...that is due to the team in front of him changing their play. This whole team has been excellent defensively this season, but the question remains, with how they've struggled on offense through long periods of the year, how much more of an offensive threat would they be if there could be more quick transition up the ice rather than always having to collapse to the net as a team and then slowly breakout allowing the other team to be ready and waiting in the neutral zone.

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