Niemo's magic on full display

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:49 PM ET


 With apologies to Magic Johnson, Ville Nieminen is reinventing the no-look dish.

 The feisty Finn appeared to have eyes in the back -- or sides -- of his head on two separate scoring plays in Game 2.

 First, he dropped a blind pass on the stick of Shean Donovan, who raced in on a breakaway and put a fantastic deke on Evgeni Nabokov to give the Flames an early 2-0 lead.

 Then, he scored the insurance goal by looking into the slot on a 2-on-1 and simultaneously firing a shot blocker side.

 The unorthodox shot had Craig Conroy scratching his head.

 "I wasn't sure what he was doing," Conroy said. "I don't know where he was looking but it worked.

 "It had me confused from the bench."

 Nieminen wasn't taking credit for his flashy plays yesterday after the club's optional skate at the 'Dome.

 Lady Luck, he said, was on his side.

 "It's the same thing as closing your eyes," Nieminen said. "But I couldn't close my eyes because I got too close to the goalie so I had to look away.

 "There was no trick. Just shoot it and hope for the best."

 SAY WHAT? Even Nieminen's teammates don't know what's going on inside his head.

 Or what's coming out of his mouth.

 Defenceman Robyn Regehr said he got a good laugh out of his new teammate immediately after Nieminen was acquired at the trade deadline.

 "He skated by the bench and yells at the top of his lungs -- I think it's encouragement but it's very hard to understand him," Regehr laughed.

 "That's his ritual that he does every time he's in the starting lineup but it was kinda funny the first couple of times he did it.

 "We call him Esa Tikkanen because I think he speaks about three or four different languages and you can't understand any of them."


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