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Antti Niemi

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Antti Niemi's performance has followed an odd pattern - huge successes followed huge collapses.  Here, we can see his road 5v5 save percentage after winning the Stanley Cup and signing his four-year contract with the San Jose Sharks, just in time for the playoffs:

Niemi_medium

Those numbers are still pretty good - Niemi has been one of the best goaltenders on the road over the last four seasons:

Goaltender Goals Shots SV%
Tim Thomas 183 2719 933
Tuukka Rask 72 1069 933
Craig Anderson 163 2350 931
Henrik Lundqvist 225 3144 928
Ilya Bryzgalov 216 3006 928
Pekka Rinne 125 1717 927
Antti Niemi 102 1388 927
Kari Lehtonen 145 1956 926
James Howard 123 1655 926
Antero Niittymaki 103 1385 926
Tomas Vokoun 209 2799 925
Cam Ward 228 3047 925
Martin Brodeur 202 2659 924
Niklas Backstrom 183 2406 924
Joey MacDonald 78 1018 923
Jonathan Quick 161 2093 923
Brian Boucher 103 1338 923
Chris Osgood 122 1578 923
J-S Giguere 134 1729 922

 

We're ignoring half of his record in an attempt to remove home-ice scorer bias from our analysis, but the long-term view suggests Niemi is probably a pretty good goaltender.  Interestingly, Chicago has almost exactly replaced Niemi's performance with Corey Crawford, and San Jose got a cheap goaltending tandem to replace Evgeni Nabokov.  The only question mark is why the Sharks lacked confidence in their ability to find a cheap goaltender yet again next season.