OK, so fowl and Thrashers isn't Jimmy Kimmel; this is a hockey blog.
Quite simply, I'm disappointed in Nieme...but not because of his play...everyone will have off nights.
What's wrong here is that he's too quickly adopted our "oh shucks" goodhearted approach to a loss. I love Joe more than a married heterosexual man should on many a night...but his postgame comment after a playof loss a year or two ago will never escape me and I think it's reflective of the Sharks' problem. To paraphrase, we had just been heartbroken by losing at home to a lesser team, who put forth a lesser effort yet still found a way to beat us....Joe's response was roughly "No, we're not upset by it; we will stay focused and stick to the game plan. You can't get too up or down in this game and be successful...you need to remain true to your effort and gameplan".
Now...sorry, but even if you don't THINK SO, what we fans want to hear is "Am I upset? Bleep yea I'm upset, we lost. Period. We will have to come out next game and try even harder, battle more and just find the way to win it's that simple".
But...in San Jose, sorry, but...it seems to just be acceptable to hear that mantra time and again. Offend nobody, remain even keeled.
Simply put, you don't win big games too often in the spring by keeping a steady eddie approach...you win by grinding your aspirins off, and fight, bite and steal your way to the W. As long as comparisons to Turtleing cowards or dangerous and dirty players don't arise...YOU DO WHATEVER IT TAKES.
Put it this way...anyone think Messier felt the same pain and fatigue after a November tilt at the Gardens that he did on a night in June following a road game? No. The winners just dig down, and FIND ANOTHER GEAR. Always have, always will. I understand you can't go off half cocked every night and wave your stick like that embarassment from Dallas/NY/Vogue/Cosmopolitan used to...but there SHOULD be an intensity uptick for big games.
And so tonight was no such big game...but the scary thing is that our Cup dreams rest on Nieme...and he sounds awfully...nice.
To butcher his response to ex teammate Dustin's shot / goal: "He's got a great shot and its tough to stop".
Really brother? Really? That's one of your opening salvos on a night you got outplayed by the guy at the other end of the ice so badly we lost a game we SHOULD have won, and the other guy with the pads won first star? Here's another angle:"I'm sorry, I know...we all know he's got a cannon but I simply have to find ways to keep those out and my teammates in the game. The goal here is to win, and we lost, plain and simple".
Anyone agree? I mean...wouldn't it be a refreshing change to hear somebody a little overly UPSET than overly COOL with having lost?