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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Mikael Tellqvist (Photo: Getty Images)
Mikael Tellqvist participated in his first practice with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday afternoon; and it wasn’t an easy skate for the netminder.

“Tellqvist said today was the toughest practice he’s had… I looked at him and said that was an easy practice,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff laughed. “I think sometimes you see different drills for the first time, you see the number of pucks that come to the net and I think it surprised him.”

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The trade, however, did not. Tellqvist said he expected to be moved from the Phoenix Coyotes and brought his belongings with him as the team traveled to Boston to face the Bruins. He was dealt to the Sabres in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2010 prior to the end of the NHL trade deadline.

“It’s exciting for me, obviously coming here to get a chance to play, and for a really good team too that’s making a push to be in the playoffs,” Tellqvist said.

Ruff said that although Lalime will get the start against Phoenix on Friday night, Tellqvist may make his debut soon.

“We’re just going to take it game-by-game. We’ve got a pretty demanding schedule,” Ruff said. “We’ve talked about the back-to-back and the three [games] in four [nights]. It’s an opportunity with travel to maybe get him in and play him.

“But Patty is going well, Patty is going to play [Friday]. I even took time to call him yesterday just so there was no misunderstanding about the reason Tellqvist was coming in.

“We needed insurance. We needed a guy to come in that we thought could win us games. There is no timetable on Ryan [Miller’s ankle injury], nothing has changed on Ryan. If something happened to Patrick in the meantime, we would have been in a real bad spot. We really feel that we have a guy that can get in the net and win us games.”

“Being a back-up in this league is not that easy,” Tellqvist said. “People always say ‘you play 15 or 20 games a year it can’t be that hard.’ But you have to sit for two weeks and be ready all the time, and when you come in the team depends on you to play well and get a win. I take pride in my job and hope that I can do a good job here too.”

Tellqvist has appeared in 15 games for the Coyotes this season, compiling a 5-7-1 record and a .907 save percentage. Currently in his eighth NHL season, Tellqvist has a career record of 43-40-2-8 with Phoenix and Toronto, along with six shutouts, 3.04 GAA and .897 save percentage.

Tellqvist was originally selected by Toronto in the 3rd round (70th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. A native of Sundbyberg, Sweden, Tellqvist was traded to Phoenix by Toronto for Tyson Nash and Boston's 4th round choice in the 2007 Entry Draft on November 28, 2006.
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