SAN JOSE -- Harri Sateri will get his turn in net on Saturday night as the battle for the Sharks’ backup position continues.
Sateri, a 23-year-old Finland native, is looking forward to his preseason debut after Alex Stalock and Antti Niemi played the first two. Stalock, whom Sateri is competing with to make the opening night roster, made 14 saves in a 3-2 win over Vancouver last Monday.
“I’m feeling good. I’m pretty comfortable with my game right now, and I’m just excited to play again,” Sateri said.
Although camp has been open for a week and a half, this is Sateri’s first real challenge, according to Todd McLellan.
“You have to watch these goaltenders in games against the opposition to really get a feel for how comfortable they are, how they perform, how they are around their teammates, and that type of stuff,” McLellan said. “Harri has done everything asked of him in training camp, but he’ll now get a chance to play, and the battle goes on.”
Sateri has become good friends with fellow Finn Antti Niemi, who has helped him throughout camp.
“I always ask him everything because it’s easier to speak Finnish than English, but he’s a great guy and a huge help for me,” Sateri said.
The Sharks will likely make more cuts to their 42-man roster on Sunday or Monday morning, but McLellan said both Sateri and Stalock would get more game action, meaning the competition will last longer than the weekend. After Saturday, San Jose has three preseason games left.
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McLellan didn’t offer much in terms of an injury update on Raffi Torres on Saturday morning. Torres appeared to hurt his right knee after a mid-ice collision with Anaheim’s Emerson Etem on Friday night.
“Still waiting for results of some tests to come back,” McLellan said.
“I’m sure he’s probably a little bit down that he’s not feeling real good, but maybe we’ll get some positive results, and get him back on the ice right away.”
There’s always the fear that preseason games will result in injuries to key players, but that can’t be something the coaching staff or the players think about prior to taking the ice.
“You just can’t approach it that way,” McLellan said. “You have to put guys in position to go play, and they play. They’ve got to play hard and play the way they’re supposed to play, because 10 days from now the real bullets start flying and you have to be prepared. No one wants to lose a player to injury in preseason, but there’s nothing you can do about it.”
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Among the players not listed on the roster for tonight’s preseason game are the Joe Thornton line, with Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl, and defensemen Dan Boyle and Matt Irwin. Players set to make their preseason debuts, along with Sateri, include Curt Gogol and Sena Acolatse. Stalock will serve as Sateri’s backup.
For Phoenix, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Mike Ribeiro and Paul Bissonnette are among the notable players making the trip to the Bay Area. Former Shark Tim Kennedy is also listed on the Coyotes’ roster, but Thomas Greiss, who signed a one-year deal with Phoenix in the offseason, is not among the two goaltenders.