Sharks starting playoff goalie still uncertain

Sharks starting playoff goalie still uncertain
April 14, 2014, 2:00 pm
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Antti Niemi is 32-23-2 in his playoff career. Alex Stalock has never played in an NHL playoff game. (AP)

Programming note: Kings-Sharks coverage begins Thursday night at 7:00 on Comcast SportsNet California with Sharks Pregame Live

SAN JOSE – There is still no word on who will start in goal for the Sharks on Thursday when they host the Los Angeles Kings.

Here is Todd McLellan’s good-natured exchange with the media on Monday on whether it will be Antti Niemi or Alex Stalock between the pipes for Game 1.

Q: Are you ready to name your starting goalie?
TM: "Yep."
 
Q: Who is that?
TM: "I’m ready to name him, I’m just not going to name him right now.”
 
Q: Will you wait until Thursday?
TM: “He will know he is starting.”
 
Q: Does he know yet?
TM: "You guys are going to run in there and interrogate him. I’m a step ahead of you.”
 
Q: When you tell him, will you swear him to secrecy?
TM: “Maybe we’ll double cross you, too. Who knows?”
 
Q: There must be a lot of thinking going into that decision.
TM: “Same amount that has gone into every other game that we’ve played in the playoffs and the regular season for the last six full seasons. That’s the debate we have. We’re a close staff. We include everybody and we make decisions that we think are the best, and we go from there.”

Yep, it’s playoff time alright.

[KURZ: Pavelski remains on top line as Sharks resume practice]

Niemi started five of the last six Sharks regular season games, and finished with a 39-17-7 record, 2.39 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. His 39 wins, a career high, tied him for second in the league. Stalock was 12-5-2 with a 1.87 GAA and .932 SP.

In his playoff career, Niemi, who helped Chicago to the Stanley Cup in 2010, is 32-23-2 with a 2.65 GAA and .909 SP. Stalock, who played his first full NHL season in 2013-14, has never been in an NHL playoff game.