(Jason O. Watson-US Presswire)
Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks, Antti Niemi's stock (and play) has risen high. Niemi, now the starting goalie with the San Jose Sharks, hasn't had the same success in the playoffs with San Jose, but isn't entirely his fault, but rather the players in front of him. The Finnish goaltender will go against potential 2014 Sochi Olympic team mate Pekka Rinne Saturday night.
So far this season, Niemi has played strong winning all six games he has been in net. The Sharks are undefeated and have been giving not only Niemi support, but back up goalie Thomas Greiss as well. San Jose has really stepped it up a notch offensively, as many know the old saying, "the best defense is a good offense".
Niemi is very good laterally and mobile. He knows how to cover the angles and is rarely out of position. Shooting point blank shots usually will not work, unless it is a really good shot. Also, Niemi has a tendency to hunch over, so the point black shots are going to have to come up high on him.
Niemi has had the Predators' number for most of his career, but Nashville will look to change that. Here is how to beat Antti Niemi.
Traffic In Front: The Nashville Predators need to have someone in front of the net at all times. Rebounds will pop out a lot and they need to be there to put it home before the Sharks defense clears it out.
Blocker Side: It will be a sure goal if Nashville can make Niemi move from left to right, then shoot high blocker side.
Antti Niemi's 2012-13 stats
#31 Antti Niemi
Antti Niemi's career vs Nashville
#31 Antti Niemi