Raffi Torres missed the final 17 games of the regular season, but he could return at exactly the right time.
San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan had an optimistic outlook on Torres’ status, speaking to the media on Wednesday.
“Today, he looked even better. You can probably interpret that as him being ready to go,” McLellan said. “Now, with that being said, I haven’t sat with him, I haven’t met with him after the skate today yet.”
Torres is still dealing with the aftereffects of ACL surgery during the offseason. He returned for a brief period after the Olympic break, only to be shut down again due to “general body soreness.”
Niemi or Stalock?
According to reports, it’s a foregone conclusion that Antti Niemi will be between the pipes come Game 1 of the Sharks’ first round series against the Kings, but McLellan has remained silent on whether it will be Niemi or Stalock:
McLellan mum again on #SJSharks goalie in Game 1 vs. LAK, but pretty safe to say you should expect to see Niemi in net so I’ll say it.
— David Pollak (@PollakOnSharks) April 16, 2014
There’s no way that McLellan chooses a backup goaltender with little NHL experience and no playoff experience over Niemi, a bona fide starter who has won a Stanley Cup. More than likely, he is just looking to keep Niemi on edge and keep Stalock sharp as well.
Niemi has struggled this season relative to his career, but still is the better goaltender right now.