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McLellan won’t announce Sharks’ starting playoff goalie

Apr 14, 2014, 4:54 PM EDT

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Even though Antti Niemi‘s been San Jose’s starting netminder for the last 34 playoff games, Todd McLellan wouldn’t publicly commit to him for Thursday’s Game 1 versus Los Angeles.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

McLellan still held off on naming his goalie for Game 1. Yes, a decision has been made, he said. No, he won’t disclose it.

We asked if the goalie knows at this point.

McLellan, shaking head: “You guys are going to run in there and interrogate him.”

Well, he could swear the goalie to secrecy, right?

McLellan: “Maybe we’ll double cross you too. Who knows.”

Ah, playoffs.

Part of this could be gamesmanship. The Sharks are going up a very familiar rival in Los Angeles — the Pacific Division foes played each other five times this year — and McLellan did give backup Alex Stalock one of those games, a 1-0 loss in January in which Stalock stopped 20 of 21 shots and was named second star.

Overall, Stalock had a pretty solid year. He went 12-5-2 with a 1.87 GAA and .932 save percentage, with a pair of shutouts. But it’s really surprising to think McLellan would go with him over Niemi — even though the veteran Finn struggled at times this year. Niemi still managed to fare well against Los Angeles (2-1-1, 2.67 GAA, .910 save percentage) and has 56 games of playoff experience to Stalock’s zero.


  1. skr213 - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Stalock has been solid. Nemo has been letting in a lot of softies. I think ultimately they’ll go with a Stanley Cup winner, but it might not be a bad idea to make it clear that Stalock has a shot if Nemo doesn’t play to his potential.

    • mackattack29 - Apr 14, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      I think if they keep doubting niemi it’s going to kill his confidence. I think at this point they’ve screwed it up by not going all in with niemi. They’ve gotta start with stalock now he’s the one with all the confidence… just my two cents. I could be very wrong but niemi seems to be somewhat easily shaken in his confidence in his own abilities.

  2. hookersdontsnuggle - Apr 14, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    100% chance stalock is starting.

  3. skr213 - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    P.S. I’m pretty sure that picture of McL is from all the way back when he was an assistant with Detroit. He’s a lot older, grayer, and even a little chubbier now. Plus, isn’t that Babcock in the background???

    • sjsharks66 - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Yeah the boys in teal have put a lot of stress on him through the years.

  4. sanclementeacupuncture - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Of course he wont…one sucks and the other is tired. Go Kings!!!

  5. blomfeld - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:50 PM


    The Sharks can play both of these queens ‘simultaneously’ and it won’t make a difference in the slightest ! The bottom line is that we Kings put you Goldfish on ‘ice’ last year and now we’re going to do the same thing again ! Only this time, the proceedings are going to be ‘expedited’ so to speak. You see, we Kings are a team driven by ‘divine’ providence, a team destined to return to the ‘high’ ground and a team which the good Lord has placed a hefty wager upon ! So you put that all together and only an ‘idiot’ comes up with anything other than Kings in 5 ! :)

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “never let a Shark see your car break down or take food from your family’s table !” …

    • parasolmonster - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      Blom, how do you ‘decide’ which words to ‘quote’ ?????????????? :)

    • radar8 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      LOL. The Kings are toast.

      The games last year were very close. both teams won every home game. The Sharks have home ice advantage this time and a better overall season record. Head to head is close with the Kins having the edge 5-3.

      btw…. Can your coach talk? Every time he gives an interview, he sounds like Rocky Balboa on drugs.

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