The reunion with Stéphane Waite might help revive Antti Niemi

Photo: Joel Auerbach Associated Press
Goalkeeper Antti Niemi

The 2009-2010 season with the Chicago black hawks one of the best in the career of Antti Niemi in the national hockey League. Then he saw her most difficult moments, the goalkeeper of Finland will, in Stéphane Waite, an accomplice who helped him during his stay in the windy City.


Wearing a mask all white, Niemi took part in his first training session with the Canadian, Wednesday, in Brossard, less than 24 hours after it was claimed a tie to the Panthers of Florida. Subsequently, he was loaned to his first walkabout in the media and briefly dwelt on his relationship with the instructor of the guardians of the Habs.


“He brought a lot of structure to my game and in my way to protect the goals. And he has never tried to change me, ” said Niemi, who came to Montreal around midnight on Tuesday.


In five outings this season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Panthers, the Finnish 34-year-old, who will wear the number 37 with the Canadian, has a record of 0-4-0 with an average of 6,74 and an efficiency rate of, 822.


These statistisques contrasts with his only full season with the Blackhawks, during which he presented an average of 2.25, an outage rate of, 912 and signed seven shutouts en route to a season of 26 victories in 35 starts.


“I have no explanations, answered Niemi when questioned about his performance this year and last year. I am in excellent health. This is nothing technical. To bounce back, I’m going to have to be trustworthy, well follow the puck and to battle. “


Niemi arrived in Montreal in a situation specific, while Carey Price (lower body) and Al Montoya (concussion) are both out of the game for indefinite periods. He drags with him a wealth of experience, at a time when the Canadian continues to trust a young goalie Charlie Lindgren, who has only taken part in eight NHL games in his career career.


Thursday against the Coyotes of Arizona, Lindgren is poised to make a sixth straight game was confirmed to be Claude Julien, who doesn’t want to be compromised in the projects of the team with Niemi.


“We’re going to go one step at a time and then we’ll see. You can’t do calculations at this time. The guardian has just arrived, he has not played a match, he has not done anything yet. These are certainly not decisions that we want to take the moment for which it speaks. We’ll see in time and place.


“For the moment, it is to work with him. Stéphane knows well, he knows his weaknesses as he knows his strengths. What I saw [Wednesday], this is a guy who compétitionne’strong. Already there, it is an asset. If Stéphane can well direct him, as it did, several years ago, and control his weaknesses, surely it is going to make him a better goalie, ” said Julien.

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