Originally written on Fang Faction  |  Last updated 11/11/14

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 11: Goalie Antti Niemi #31 of the Chicago Blackhawks warms up before the game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on December 11, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Today's edition of How to Beat the Goalie will be featuring the goalies of the San Jose Sharks. Starting goalie, Antti Niemi, and back up goalie, Thomas Greiss, will be looked at in-depth through video and stats. 

Edition 2: San Jose Sharks goalies, Antti Niemi and Thomas Greiss

Going into this game, not to many people know who the starting goalie will be for Saturday night. Only because this game is the first of back-to-back nights. Sunday, the Sharks head to Minnesota to take on the Wild. I seem to think that Antti Niemi will start against the Predators because, with a biased opinion, it is the more important game and Thomas Greiss will start Sunday. 

Let's go ahead and start with Antti Niemi, the "projected" starting goalie. If he is to play tonight, this will be the fourth consecutive start. Niemi is from Vantaa, Finland, 6 and half hours from where Pekka Rinne lived. So, there is a different playing style from region to region because Niemi and Rinne obviously don't play the same way. 

6'2" Antti Niemi joined the San Jose Sharks in 2010 and before he went there, Niemi was in Chicago. Predators fans got to see him a lot, including the play offs. Here is how the Nashville Predators will beat Antti Niemi tonight.

  • Traffic!: Someone has to be in front of Niemi either screening him or deflecting the puck.
  • Blocker Side
  • Usually in position: It will be unlikely that Nashville is able to score low. Really covers the angle well. Although, if Nashville does shoot low, Niemi will be a rebound machine off the leg pad.
  • Throw Pucks on Net: Fluky goals are key to winning this game. Higher percent of scoring will happen because of higher amount of shooting.

Here is Antti Niemi's career stats:


Name W L OT SO SV % GAA #31 Antti Niemi 86 40 17 17 .915 2.39

Here is Antti Niemi's career stats vs Nashville Predators:

Name W L OT SO SV % GAA #31 Antti Niemi 4 2 1 0 .911 2.39


6'1" German, Thomas Greiss, could be the starting goalie tonight. Greiss is the back up goalie to Antti Niemi, obviously. Greiss has played in only 15 games this season, so he will be a little shaky going into the game. By the way, he has no chance of being a starting goalie in the NHL. Sorry Thomas!

Being a back up goalie is tougher than many people think it is. If Greiss was to get the start, he would have to shake all of the cobwebs out. And morning skate won't do that. It will take a Period to get them all out. Here is how the Predators will beat Thomas Greiss tonight.

  • Pressure Early: The Predators need to jump on him in the first period with a lot of shots and pressure. The Sharks will play extra hard to keep that from happening, but Nashville has to make it happen.
  • Deflection, deflections, deflections...
  • Takes Bad Angles: Unlike Niemi, Greiss doesn't take great angles. Any sniper could beat him in a heartbeat. 

Here is Thomas Greiss' career stats:


Name W L OT SO SV % GAA #1 Thomas Greiss 15 11 3 0 .913 2.50

Here is Thomas Greiss' career stats vs Nashville:

Name W L OT SO SV % GAA #1 Thomas Greiss 1 1 0 0 .877 3.54

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet


Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

WATCH: Kenny Smith pushes Shaq into a Christmas tree

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.