San Jose Sharks 2010: Calgary Burns Antti Niemi and the Sharks

Chris BennettContributor IOctober 24, 2010

SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 16: Goalie Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks glove save a shot against the Atlanta Thrashers from going into the goal at the HP Pavilion October 16, 2010 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W, Henderson/Getty Images

Calgary 4, San Jose 0

1 star - M. Kippursoff, 27 saves

2 stars: R. Bourque, 2 goals

3 stars: A. Tanguay, 2 assists


This Sharks team can't get everything clicking for 60 minutes. After winning two in a row and scoring 10 goals in those wins, the Sharks laid an egg offensively and looked worse on defense in a 4-0 loss to Calgary.

Defensively the Sharks looked lost, but not as lost as goal minder Antti Niemi. There wasn't even nine minutes off the clock before Niemi had allowed three goals to the flames in the first period. Looking at Niemi's last three starts, he has allowed 12 goals and has a 3.71 GGA.

This is a true problem for the Sharks, and coach Todd McCLellan needs to make the change to Niittymaki, at least for now. Just take a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins who benched their No. 1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and have gone 4-0. Niemi might be able to bounce back sometime in the future, but the Sharks just cannot afford him in between the pipes, especially with their current problems on defense.

On the other side of the puck, Calgary's Mikka Kippursoff looked good, finishing with 27 saves and his second straight shutout.

Kippursoff always plays San Jose hard since he was traded from the Sharks seven years ago for a second-round pick. Although the Sharks did get defensive first liner Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the Sharks wish they had a No. 1 goaltender who they had some confidence in.

Offensively, San Jose did not show up. They had only six shots on goal after the first period, and the Sharks were out shot by the Flames 30-27. 

The Sharks come home to HP Pavilion, and they need to turns things around. They are still looking for their first win at home, and hopefully, they can stop with the mental mistakes and put together a good all-around performance to get some momentum. 

The Sharks welcome the scuffling New Jersey Devils to town on Wednesday. The Devils could be just what the Sharks are looking for as they have lost four of their last five.

They also made headlines by sitting Star llya Kovalchuk, who just signed his $100 million contract. Kovalchuk was back in the line up on Sunday's 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers.