Actually, looking at the Sharks last series, I wouldn't call Niemi and Howard a wash. The edge in Niemi v Howard in these first series definitley goes to Howard. San Jose needs him to be much better to have a shot. Wings need Howard to be as good or better to have a shot.
The other aspect of keeping goals out of our net is defense. Edge goes to the Wings. Not even close.
Power Kill- for the Wings needs to be much better, especially considering our many, many two player vacations to the box in last years series. (btw...how much did that end up costing the Sharks$ and was it line itemed as "Bettman Ref Assurance Payment" in their FY2010 financials??...just curious...anyway)...
Forwards- I kind of have a slight change of angle from your opionion; yes, the Sharks may have more quality forwards, but collectively I believe some of our forwards are on a different planet when it comes to playing the playoff game and production (Dats, Z) and are as potent as the Sharks. The way our 4th line played the last series, I may even question your orginal statement of "more". I like the Wings chances and believe whatever the outcome, this will be a lot of fun.
hope you dont think i wrote that lol