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Hawks commit to Niemi for the postseason

Apr 5, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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Good thing the Blackhawks have Antti Niemi. Perish the thought of
actually using the goaltender the Hawks are paying nearly $6 million a
season for the next three years, in the playoffs of a season which may
be their best shot at a Stanley Cup.

It’s a very slippery slope.
With Cristobal Huet floundering, and not anywhere close to instilling any
confidence in his team that he can succeed in net for them. And with
Niemi starting the last five games — and playing well — it seems the
Hawks have found their goaltender of the future. From Tim Sassone
of the Daily Herald:

“I think he has a lot of confidence in the net,”
Quenneville said. “Guys get a little confidence when they get the net in
consecutive games.

“The thing that you like about Antti is he doesn’t get
disturbed or disrupted. His approach is the same, very quiet, low key. I
think this experience along the way is making him comfortable in the
net.”

Niemi will certainly be on a leash in the playoffs, but it was
important for the Hawks to make some sort of commitment heading into the
postseason. I have to admit that I really wanted to see Hawks fans and
their response after Huet allowed another goal right off a bounce off
the boards, in game five of a playoff series. Would have been epic.

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