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Who's booing Nabby now?

Man, all freakin' season at the Shark Tank, I had to listen to morons boo the crap out of Evgeni Nabokov. It doesn't take a genius to realize that his stats were great even when his goal support sucked balls, so really, why the hate? Yeah, he let up some bonehead plays, but then again, so did Matt Carle on quite a regular basis. Go visit the official Sharks chatroom and it was non-stop "Nabby is the great Satan" over and over and over.

And then Nabby gets like 923 shutouts in a row. Suddenly, everyone loves him.

In the immortal words of Ash -- "First you want to kill me. Now you want to kiss me. Blow."

So, now the shoe is on the other foot. During today's broadcast, an informal poll of TV viewers had about 70% of fans voting to run with Nabby in the playoffs. In the infamous Sharks chatroom, people are talking about sticking with Nabby instead of getting Vesa Toskala back in the rotation.

Part of the reason why Nabby himself thinks he's on a roll is that he's been able to get in a groove by playing so many games consistently. I don't really buy that because he was hotter than flaming crap earlier in the season and Ron Wilson was still doing his goalie rotation. No, I think this is more a case of good timing for Nabby, bad timing for Toskala. In other words, it's the exact reverse of what happened last season.

So, let's just assume that Nabby continues his level of play and Toskala comes in and plays pretty darn well himself down the stretch. What's a playoff coach to do? Personally, I think both goalies can do a good job and it's the young defense that had me most worried (as I'd bitched on here fairly regularly about). However, Craig Rivet seems to have given everyone a nice boost of confidence and the forwards decided to start scoring again (hello Mark Bell -- why the hell didn't you play this way earlier in the season?).

So if I had to pick, well, I'd take the easy way out and just pick whoever played better during the final two weeks of the season. However, I wouldn't do the one-and-one rotation in the playoffs; I'd play a goalie until he had a bad game, then switch and let the other goalie run with it until he had a bad game.

In most normal situations, a coach will play his backup maybe once, but not in consecutive games. I'd just defy that logic completely and tell the two guys that the last two weeks serves as an audition for whoever gets the first pass. However, one strike and the other guy goes in indefinitely.

Hopefully, these guys would be professional enough to be motivated by this. Maybe Vesa Toskala's still hurting by the trade of his best Finnish bud Ville Niemenen.