Sharks leaning towards starting Jones in opener vs. Coyotes


The Sharks weren't a very good team last season. There's no hiding from that fact. 

They enter Thursday's season opener against the Arizona Coyotes with a long list of questions that must be answered. Better play in net has to be one of their main concerns. Coach Bob Boughner hasn't decided who he will start in goal against the Coyotes, but he seems to be leaning towards Martin Jones over Devan Dubnyk.

"We haven't made that decision," Boughner said Wednesday to reporters. "I would say more than likely yes. We want to have talks individually meeting with guys to make sure we talk to the players first before we announce anything.

"But he's had a great camp, he definitely deserves it." 

There's a reason the Sharks traded for Dubnyk last October. Jones simply wasn't very good last season. The recently-turned 31-year-old had an 89.6 save percentage last season, which tied his career-low of the season prior. He also had a career-high 3.00 goals against average.

A panel of anonymous coaches and general managers even ranked Jones as the second-worst starting goalie in the league.

However, Boughner has shown trust in Jones throughout training camp. All the blame can't be placed on the netminder. The Sharks are making it a point of emphasis to cut down on quality scoring chances this season. 

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"I think as the season progresses here, guys are gonna get more comfortable with the systems and all that," Jones said Wednesday. "I think the messages have been spot-on in the meetings and videos.

"I think that's definitely gonna be a focus of ours throughout the season."

The Sharks have to get off to a strong start in the 56-game shortened season. Better play from Jones of course will help with that, and Boughner seems to believe his goalie is up to the challenge.