The Niemi-ssance continues!
Other than getting roasted by Mathew Barzal, which could and does happen to anyone, Niemi stopped 27 of 28 to defeat the Islanders. Niemi has made eight starts since joining the Canadiens, winning four of them and putting up a quality start in seven of the eight games. The one blip on Niemi’s record was 4-1 loss to Edmonton in which he stopped 31 of 34 for a .912 save percentage. Literally, his worst start has been a .912 save percentage! That’s his career average! What a run. I don’t trust it at all but am thoroughly entertained.
That Barzal goal, by the way:
Niemi will likely get another crack at shutting down the Islanders on Friday after this win.
The Islanders are in quite the post-All-Star funk. They’ve won just four of 14 games, claiming just 10 of a possible 28 points. That’s a good way to fall out of the race. Worse, they’ve actually gotten some goaltending with Jaroslav Halak boasting a .916 save percentage in that stretch. That isn’t great, and it still comes with a 3.22 goals-against average thanks to all the shots being conceded, but at least he’s battling to an average level.
Instead it’s the offense that is slowing down. They’ve scored 2.57 goals per game since the All-Star break, which is the rate that the anemic Blue Jackets (27th in league scoring) have carried all season. This is bad news for fantasy owners. Check out their top scorers since the All-Star break courtesy of Frozenpool: