Sharks

Report: Sharks 'strong contender' to land Nash

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Report: Sharks 'strong contender' to land Nash

The Sharks are emerging as a strong contender to land Columbus scorer Rick Nash, according to the NHL Networks Darren Dreger.

Dreger reports that the Blue Jackets originally wanted Logan Couture to be a part of the deal, but were told that was a non-starter by general manager Doug Wilson.

The Sharks would reportedly prefer an offseason deal for Nash, but are expected to keep the dialogue open with the Blue Jackets until the trade deadline on Monday, Feb. 27.

If the Sharks were to land Nash, there's a strong possibility the deal would have to at least include forward Joe Pavelski and a combination of prospects and draft picks.

Play of Jones, Khudobin this season proof of how fickle goaltending can be

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USATSI

Play of Jones, Khudobin this season proof of how fickle goaltending can be

Martin Jones was a Boston Bruin for less than a week.

The “Original Six” franchise acquired Jones from the Los Angeles Kings on June 26, 2015. Four days later, Jones was traded back into the Pacific Division, this time to Northern California.

The Sharks gave up a first round pick and prospect Sean Kuraly for Jones. It seemed like a fairly high price at the time, but it’s one San Jose was happy to pay: No goalie started more games than Jones over the last two seasons, and the team signed him to a five-year extension this summer.

The first Jones trade in 2015 set off a flood of goalie transactions, as five netminders were traded during Jones’ extremely brief Boston tenure. One of those was Anton Khudobin, who will start for the Bruins as Jones backs up Aaron Dell against  his “former team” on Saturday night.

Khudobin was traded from Carolina to Anaheim, where he started seven games before getting sent down to the AHL. He then signed with Boston in 2016, returning to his former club as the Bruins tried to fill the hole that trading Jones left behind entrenched starter Tuukka Rask.

Jones and Khudobin will have taken vastly different paths to their respective creases on Saturday night. The former enters the game as his club’s undisputed franchise goalie, and the latter the unheralded backup.

Naturally then, Khudobin’s been the better goaltender this season.

Among the 46 goalies that have played 200 five-on-five minutes this season, Khudobin’s .962 five-on-five save percentage was the best entering Saturday, according to Corsica.  So, too, is his .954 save percentage off of high-danger shots.

Jones, meanwhile, ranks 27th (.920) and 14th (.833) in those respective categories.

What does it all mean? For one, it’s early in the season, and the fact that Khudobin’s made seven fewer starts undoubtedly plays a role in his superior performance to Jones.

Mainly, it speaks to just how fickle goaltending can be.

The Bruins backup is arguably getting the nod Saturday night because of how bad the man ahead of him has been. Rask, once one of the league’s best goaltenders, has steadily declined over the last three years and reached a new low this season: This year, he’s 40th out of 46 qualifying goalies in five-on-five save percentage.

Jones has demonstrated this, too. He’s stopped a lower percentage of low-and-medium danger shots at even strength than the last two seasons, but has stopped a higher percentage of high-danger shots.

Plus, he’s played behind one of the league’s best penalty-killing teams after playing behind one of its worst last season, and has benefitted from a corresponding bump in his shorthanded save percentage.

So much of what a goalie does is out of their control. Yet who’s playing in front of them, what kind of shots they see, and how often they see those shots all can affect their performance.

Khudobin and Jones are living proof of that this season.

Sharks fall to Bruins for second straight loss

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Sharks fall to Bruins for second straight loss

BOX SCORE

The San Jose Sharks lost their second straight game at SAP Center on Saturday, as the Boston Bruins ended their California road trip with a 3-1 win in the Bay Area. 

San Jose winger Joonas Donskoi appeared to open the scoring just over a minute in, but his goal was overturned upon review. Nearly four minutes later, Timo Meier got the Sharks on the board with his second goal of the season. Danny O'Regan, who was called up from the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) Saturday morning, picked up his first NHL assist on Meier's tally. 

Bruins forward Peter Cehlarik tied the game 6:17 into the first period with his first NHL goal, and Jake DeBrusk gave Boston a 2-1 lead with his goal 4:29 later.  Danton Heinen doubled their lead with 5:51 remaining in regulation, burying David Pastrnak's backdoor pass. 

The Sharks will try to get back in the win column host the division rival Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.