Florida Panthers: Harri Sateri could possibly become a positive contributing factor

ST. PAUL, MN - JANUARY 2: Harri Sateri
ST. PAUL, MN - JANUARY 2: Harri Sateri /

With aging fan-favorite Roberto Luongo sidelined months with a groin-related injury, high-quality backup James Reimer has unquestionably filled in brilliantly, providing the Florida Panthers with exceptional goaltending. However, Harri Sateri himself didn’t look too bad in the loss against Minnesota either.

James Reimer recently sustained multiple injuries opposing the Minnesota Wild on Monday, thus ultimately forcing ‘Optimus Reim’ to exit the contest. Essentially, the Cats are left with their final hope in net: Finnish net minder Harri Sateri.

Reimer maintained a winning streak lasting a surprising five games, and started an astounding eleven consecutive games following Lu’s gruesome injury. However, James has clearly worn down physically, and evidently requires a prolonged break to fully recover from the recent head/neck injuries.

Harri Sateri was called upon in Monday’s beat down vs Minnesota, playing 23:07 minutes while stopping 13/14 shots (.929 SV% and 2.61 GAA).

The 28-year-old net minder contains goaltending experience, and possesses the size (6’1 ft.) and strength (205 lbs.) to become a serviceable backup. Sateri performed exceptionally against the top-notch Wild, thus conveying more opportunities should be in abundance fairly soon. Harri previously excelled in international contests while battling pro-styled (NHL-esque) teams.

Sateri could potentially uplift Florida to temporary success, and provide Reimer with extended breaks to prevent injury. Harri proved he’s entirely capable of defending the net throughout his pro-hockey career, whether representing Finland internationally or playing yesterday against a dynamic offensive attack.

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He registered a 2.26 GAA and a .916 SV% in six WC games for Finland in 2016-17, thus validating the claim that Sateri could surely handle average NHL squads at worst. In 42 KHL games in 2016-17, he posted an impressive line of 2.50 GAA and a .929 SV%.

Entering the prime of Sateri’s career, a starting opportunity within the NHL is undoubtedly warranted. Discovering the untapped potential of Harri Sateri is intriguing, especially since he’s internationally recognized as a marvelous, all-world goaltender. Perhaps Sateri could string together numerous wins, similar to James Reimer’s unanticipated five consecutive victories.

Florida is desperately searching for stability between the pipes; as moves such as claiming Antti Niemi and viewing alternative external options convey justifiable evidence of this debatable claim.

If Sateri fails to perform and conceives a plethora of goals leading to losses, Florida could look elsewhere once more; however, Sateri must receive several starts before management takes action regarding switching net minders.

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Ultimately, I strongly believe Harri Sateri could exceed expectations in the NHL level. As a highly inexpensive option, hopefully Sateri proves worthwhile; therefore, Florida could retain Harri for the long term as a viable number #2 option behind James Reimer in the foreseeable future.