Harri Sateri’s stint with the Florida Panthers has come to an abrupt stop. Although, how did he fare in his time with the Panthers?
When Roberto Luongo went down with an injury, the Panthers were scrambling to find a solid backup option for James Reimer as he took over the starting goalie job. While the Panthers were fine with Reimer becoming the new goalie until Luongo came back, they were clearly not very comfortable with the idea of Sateri being the backup goalie.
Rumors and speculation swirled around the Panthers possibly looking to add a goalie through a trade to either compete with Reimer for starting minutes, or to be the solid backup that they didn’t expect Sateri to be. Since they feared Luongo could be out for an extended period of time, or even for the season, the Panthers wanted to make sure that they had a trustworthy backup behind James Reimer.
From the moment Luongo was hurt, the Cats turned James Reimer into their workhorse. There were two reasons for this: 1. The Panthers knew they could trust Reimer as their starting goalie because he had done it before last season. 2. The Panthers simply didn’t want Harri Sateri to ever get playing time as a Florida Panther.
After holding it off as long as the Panthers could, they finally decided to give Harri Sateri a start. The result? An absolute dud. He allowed four goals and the Panthers lost the game. The Panthers immediately turned back to Reimer after that loss, but it wouldn’t be long before they would have to go back to Sateri.
Early into a game against Dallas, Reimer got hurt, and once again in jumped Harri Sateri. Panthers’ fans and the organization were all hoping that Sateri could somehow rebound and win this game for the Panthers. Unfortunately, Sateri did the exact opposite. He once again floundered and allowed 6 goals in yet another loss. In just two games, it was becoming obvious that Sateri was just not NHL ready, and that the Panthers needed to make a change at the goaltending position.
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After the game, the Panthers acknowledged that they would be without both Reimer and Luongo for an extended period of time. With that, the Cats basically announced that they would be headed to yet another losing season. Another game rolled around, and the Panthers lost once again.
Through Sateri’s three games as the starter, he had allowed a total of 14 goals and piled up three ugly losses. The Panthers’ season was headed downhill, and so was Sateri’s NHL career.
But, suddenly, it clicked. It actually clicked! On January 30th, Harri Sateri won his first game in the NHL, and on February 1st, Sateri won his second game. On February 3rd, he won his third game, and on February 6th, he won his fourth game. The key to all these wins? They all came as a four-game win streak. This not only showed that Sateri had the ability to play in the NHL, but it propelled the Panthers once again into contention for a possible playoff berth.
Through that four-game winning streak, Sateri only allowed 6 goals in total. A huge difference between his first three games where he allowed 14. Unfortunately for Sateri, he is back in the AHL, and his time with the Panthers (at least for now) is over.
The Florida Panthers currently control their own destiny to the playoffs (what a strange thing to say). If they manage to squeak into a spot, they must always remember the four-game win streak by Harri Sateri that propelled them to make a push.