A long long time ago, the Sharks used to have a goalie aside from Antti Niemi on the team. I don't have the strongest memory in the world, but I think his last name started with an "N" or something, and I'm pretty sure he had a lot of vowels in his name. And his nick-name was something like..."Nabby"? Was that it?
I may be getting him confused with someone else. It's been a really long time, and I take a lot of Xanax*.
I seem to remember that he was a good goalie, in that long-ago era now shrouded by the mists of time. He started the season strong before he began to struggle, and his stats ended up just north of "acceptable" (.901 SV% and 2.54 GAA). Then, right in the middle of the season, tragedy struck. The mysterious goalie suffered a devastating and debilitating affliction - a dreaded curse whose name alone is enough to bring grown men to tears: a lower body injury.
Antero Niittymaki! That was his name! It's all coming back to me now.
As Samson's famous hair was to that biblical hero, so Nitty's groin (or whatever) was to him. Without his mighty groin Nitty found himself unable to play at all for weeks on end. He would come close to returning to the ice only to plummet back into the clutches of injury, just like whatever the exact opposite of a phoenix is.
I don't remember anything at all about last night's game against the Blackhawks. I took a bunch of the previously-mentioned Xanax and I washed them down with a big glass of water from the river Lethe, so I'm a total blank. I have a note written here in my handwriting, though, and it says "NITTY SHOULD START VS STARS." Could that possibly be true? Could the enigmatic Niittymaki emerge from the shadows of history to play for the Sharks once again?
And could he possibly be any good?
Prediction: Sharks win 3-0, with goals by Couture, Clowe, and Thornton. Niittymaki recaptures the level of play that he never really captured in the first place all year, and we have ourselves a wonderful goaltending controversy once again.
* = the prescription drug Xanax causes memory loss...I think. I can't really recall.