"He wasn't any good," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said about Niemi. "I protect him a lot and talk about the team. He has to be better, flat out has to be better. They scored four goals on net play, rebounds, picking up the garbage, wraparounds, jams. That's our D men. That's our low forwards. So everybody has some responsibility, but (Niemi) knows he has to be better." (SJSharks.com)
The Bolts had 25 shots on goal and scored 6 goals to win the game with 30 seconds left in the OT period. Clearly, blaming all 6 goals solely on Nemo would be a bit overkill, but truth is TMac is right, he wasn't very good. Yes, defensive lapses played a part, but they weren't the whole story. At the end of the game, it's still 6 goals against and all eyes will be on the net minder who let those pucks get behind him.
Even on the radio end, the always calm Jamie Baker was calling out Nemo's performance in his past few games. It hasn't been pretty.
.862 SV% over his last 5 games. Less than lovely. Sure, it could be worse but, stopping only 86% of shots isn't likely to win you many games.
.760 SV% in his outing against the Bolts. Ouch. .760%. That's downright atrocious. Nemo is .914 on the season, having played or started in 43 games which is respectable, but, his GAA is 2.42 which, while not horrible, is not good either. Things get a bit worse when we look at February by itself. Post All Star Break Nemo's GAA is 3.17. In his last 5 starts he's 3.80. Among goaltenders who have had four starts since the break, Nemo is 28th isn GAA and 31st in SV%. Oof doesn't even being to cover it.
Greiss meanwhile has a SV% of .926 over 13 games played and a GAA of 2.06. In the two games he has played since the break he has a SV% of .921. Hardly fair to compare the two, and Greiss did give up 3 goals last time he played, but it might be time to see if Greiss can pull the goal tending back out of its slump and into the realm of sanity. That's part of the backup's job, as I see it.
Anyone who has read this blog regularly knows that I'm all for defending goaltenders, I think they get blamed for losses was more often than they should, however, when they hit a cold patch, they too need to be held responsible. This is clearly one of those times when calling out all your guys, including your goaltender, is warranted. The question now is, how do the Sharks fix this?
*My thanks to Churro for helping to compile this information. Ya'll rock.