Sharks goaltender Martin Jones had a night to forget in Game 2 of San Jose's first-round playoff series Friday. He was pulled in the 5-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights after allowing three goals on the first seven shots he faced.
According to longtime NHL goalie Marty Biron, the Sharks' netminder didn't do himself any favors on the Golden Knights' second and third goals. Biron tweeted Friday that Jones was off his angle on both, allowing Colin Miller and Max Pacioretty to beat him blocker-side.
Martin Jones losing his angle on the 2nd and 3rd VGK goals.— Martin Biron (@martybiron43) April 13, 2019
- First picture he never had the right angle on Miller’s entry.
- Second picture the blue line should be between his leg as the dot angle is the corner of the crease.
Overplaying the short side makes it easy on shooter pic.twitter.com/GwLZqKygre
Miller tucked his shot underneath Jones' right arm, and Pacioretty wristed his into the top corner.
Jones stopped only one Golden Knights shot in between the two goals, and he left the game with a 3-0 deficit just 6:11 into what became an historic first period. It also was the fifth time in 15 regular-season and playoff games against Vegas that Jones did not end the contest in San Jose's crease, as backup goaltender Aaron Dell took over in net for the remainder of Game 2.
The Sharks did not point fingers at Jones after the loss, which evened the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. Logan Couture told reporters that it was hard to fault the goaltender for any of the three goals he gave up.
"Well, the first goal, he made a big save and they got it out in the slot and went bar and in," the Sharks center said. "I don't think he has a chance on that one. The second one was a ... short-handed 2-on-1, [and] it goes off the inside of his blocker. Maybe he can save it, [but with] a 2-on-1, you never know. Third one was a pretty good shooter off a turnover in the neutral zone. Mistakes led to those chances."
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said Friday that he pulled Jones in order to give his team a"shot in the arm." San Jose responded in kind, scoring three unanswered goals to tie the score before the end of the first period. Plus, Jones also stopped 24 of 26 shots in a Game 1 win.
But the 29-year-old, who back-stopped the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, struggled during the regular season. He ranked 61st among goalies who played at least 10 games in overall save percentage (.896), and 68th out of the 69 who played at least 500 minutes at full strength in 5-on-5 save percentage (.895). As a team, the Sharks ranked dead-last in the NHL in overall save percentage (.889), and goaltending has been a question mark for most of the season.
The Sharks will stick with Jones in Game 3 on Sunday, DeBoer told reporters at the Sharks' practice facility Saturday. Based on Biron's analysis, Jones' angles will be worth watching.