Welcome back 'Ask the Sharks' fans. For the opening installment of the 2010-11 season, we decided to focusour attention on the newest member of the Sharks organization: goaltender Antti Niemi.
Last season Sharks fans saw first hand the talent possessed by the 27-year-old Finnish netminder and this year we're putting our faith in him to help lead us to the promised land. Now you'll get to learn a lot more about the man behind the Sharks mask --- like what he thinks about his new team, how he feels about living in San Jose and what he wants the fans to do when he makes a big save.
Below are Antii's answers to your best questions. Enjoy. 1.Did you feel the need to adjust your playing style behind a new defense? – NM No, just stop the puck, I think that’s the main thing. No, not really. Just focus on my own game, that’s it.
2. Have your new teammates been taking fun cracks at you for eliminating them last spring? Do you jokingly hold that over their head? – Stephen No, I don’t think so. We haven’t been talking about those things here. 3.What are the biggest differences between living in Finland and life in the US? – Stan San Jose is obviously a different type of climate. I think that’s the biggest difference. Back home the people are more to themselves and they don’t talk as much to people they don’t know. It’s different, there are so many less people back home compared to here. There are smaller cities. Everything is a little bit smaller.”
4. What is the funniest thing a Sharks fan has said to you since you joined us, having swept us in the playoffs last season? – Mak I don’t know. Probably something while we were doing the autograph system here, but nothing bad, only positive and welcoming. It’s been great.
5.Growing up in Finland did you always play goalie? Or was it a position you discovered later in life? – Stew Pretty much right when I started I knew I wanted to be goalie. I think it was during my second practice. I played soccer before and I was always the goalkeeper so it was an obvious choice. I was seven or eight. 6. What should we chant when you make a spectacular save[s]? – Denise They (fans) never shouted anything like that during the game, so I don’t know. They (the fans) need to come up with something.”
7.How does this 2010-2011 Sharks team differ from the 2009-2010 Blackhawks team? Top players here are more experienced. I think that’s the main thing. They have a young team. 8.What does your first name translate to in English? Andy.
9.What do you enjoy doing in your down time? –Janelle Resting and watching TV. ‘Operation Repo’ and ‘Pawn Stars’ are my favorite shows.