Is it time to get Niemi some rest then?
Not that he needs it. Niemi has been the main reason for the Sharks' surge to the top of the Pacific division and 3rd place in the Western Conference. But isn't it time? It's almost unheard of for a goalie to go 20+ straight starts in the NHL these days.
But why stop someone while he's hot, right? Niemi is 17-4 in his last 21 games, hasn't complained a bit, and still looks agile and alert as if he just had a night off.
The possibility of wearing him out before the playoffs still lingers, and that would be the only reason to give him a night off.
The Sharks have been starting Niemi in so many consecutive starts not because they want to, although if you ask them now they'd agree, but because they have to.