Jones still has to prove he's next Sharks franchise goalie


Jones still has to prove he's next Sharks franchise goalie

Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series in which Sharks insider Kevin Kurz will highlight a different Sharks player every weekday leading up to the start of training camp.

Name/Position: Martin Jones, G

Age: 26

Salary cap hit: $3 million, signed through 2017-18

2015-16 year in review: There were a number of questions about the Sharks heading into last season, none bigger than how the club’s young, inexperienced new goalie would hold up in his first season as a number one. Doug Wilson surrendered a first round pick and a prospect to Boston to nab the former Kings backup, and Jones was going to make the general manager look like a genius, or potentially get him fired.

The former happened, of course, and it seems as if the Sharks have a new franchise goalie. Jones promptly set a new Sharks shutout streak in the first week of the regular season, struggled in November and December, but rebounded over the second half of the season to finish third in the NHL in wins (37), tied for second in shutouts (6), ninth in goals-against average (2.27) and with a respectable .918 save percentage.

Jones was even better in the playoffs, posting a 14-10 record, 2.16 GAA and .923 SP, giving the Sharks the kind of postseason goaltending they had simply never had in the 25-year history of the franchise.

2016-17 outlook: Obviously, Jones is still the number one starter, especially after backup James Reimer moved on to Florida as a free agent. And, even though he’s coming off of an impressive season, there’s a long list of NHL goaltenders that look great one year but quickly fade. I don’t see that happening with Jones, who seems to have the size, work ethic and demeanor to succeed for a long time in the league, but he does still have to prove that he can give his team a consistent yearly performance.

If there were one specific area that Jones could improve upon during the regular season it would be his play at home. The goalie posted a save percentage of just .909 at SAP Center last season, while he had a dazzling .925 SP on the road. It was a big reason the Sharks were among the NHL’s worst teams in their own building, but one of the best away.

Jones’ workload will also be something to monitor. In the first half of the year, when an unreliable Alex Stalock backed him up, Jones had to play nearly every night and seemed to wear down by Christmas. He thrived in the second half when Reimer was acquired, and getting that time to rest likely aided him during the Sharks’ two-month playoff run. Currently, the unproven Aaron Dell is listed second on the depth chart.

If Jones is able to duplicate the kind of season he had last year, expect the Sharks to try and lock him up long term next summer before he enters the final year of his contract.

Sharks hang on to beat Blues and open road trip with win


Sharks hang on to beat Blues and open road trip with win


ST. LOUIS -- Logan Couture and Mikkel Boedker each had a goal and an assist, sending the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the slumping St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Joonas Donskoi also scored and Martin Jones made 30 saves for San Jose, which has won five of its last six games.

Ivan Barbashev and Vladimir Tarasenko had the goals for the Blues, who have lost a season-high four straight.

After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for five goals in the second.

San Jose took a 1-0 lead when Couture knocked in a loose puck at 6:35. Boedker fired in a shot from the point that goalie Carter Hutton blocked but couldn't corral. Couture was on the spot and scored his 24th of the season.

St. Louis answered at 8:23 when Barbashev scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that sailed over Jones' arm.

Donskoi beat Hutton on a wrist shot from the left circle at 12:05. Couture assisted on Donskoi's first goal in 17 games.

Boedker gave San Jose a 3-1 lead at 15:54 when he scored from the left side of the net. Boedker has five goals in his last four games.

Tarasenko cut the margin to 3-2 on a power play when he fired in the rebound of a shot by Vince Dunn at 19:36 for his 24th of the season. Tarasenko has 10 points in his last nine games (four goals, six assists) against the Sharks.

San Jose's Brent Burns prevented a goal with less than five minutes left. During a scramble in front of the net, the puck hit the post and was sliding along the goal line when Burns knocked it out.

This was the first meeting between St. Louis and San Jose this season. The Blues swept the three-game season series last year, outscoring the Sharks 11-3 overall, and had won four straight against the Sharks.

Hutton made his second start in the last five games and stopped 20 shots. Previously against the Sharks, he was 4-0-1 with a 0.98 goals-against average, a .968 save percentage and two shutouts in five career starts.

NOTES: The Sharks acquired C Eric Fehr from Toronto for a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft. ... Blues C Vladimir Sobotka was out of the lineup with an illness. It was the first game he has missed this season. ... The Blues have recalled forward Sammy Blais from the AHL for the fourth time this season. Blais, who leads the San Antonio Rampage with 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists), last played for St. Louis on Dec. 16, when he got hurt against Winnipeg. ... San Jose forward Tomas Hertl missed another game with an upper-body injury.


Sharks: At the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Blues: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Sharks pick up first win of homestand as Burns moves back to blueline


Sharks pick up first win of homestand as Burns moves back to blueline


SAN JOSE --Brent Burns and Chris Tierney each had a goal and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday for their third win in four games.

Mikkel Boedker and Marcus Sorensen also scored for the Sharks, who improved to 3-0-1 against the Canucks this season. Martin Jones stopped 29 shots.

Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks, who lost their sixth in seven games. Anders Nilsson made 40 stops.

Boedker scored at 8:41 of the first period, picking up a soft rebound from Tierney's shot.

Burns scored his 10th goal, tops among NHL defensemen, taking a pass from Joakim Ryan and sending a laser shot into the net just under five minutes into the second.

Sorensen scored his first goal since Dec. 23, punching it in with an assist from Justin Braun at 3:06 into the third. Marc-Edouard Vlasic had an assist in his third straight game, getting the second assist on Sorensen's goal.

Sedin scored at 6:43, taking a nice pass from Thomas Vanek that gave him clear shot into the net. It was Sedin's 14th goal, one shy of his total last season.

Tierney made it 4-1 after taking a nice pass from Burns with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.

NOTES:Tim Heed was recalled from the AHL and joined a makeshift Sharks lineup, allowing Burns to play up front at times. ... Sharks C Logan Couture has points in four of his last five games. ... Boedker recorded games in consecutive games for the second time this season, and the first since Jan. 15-16. ... Sedin has five points against the Sharks this season and 45 in 69 games. He's recorded points in three straight.


Canucks: Host Boston on Saturday.

Sharks: Host Dallas on Sunday.