The Sharks held their final scrimmage of an abbreviated training camp on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz. and the team is ready for the regular season.
First-year head coach Bob Boughner also shed some light on his team’s goalie situation heading into Thursday’s season-opener against the Arizona Coyotes. Martin Jones and Devyn Dubnyk are expected to split playing time throughout the compacted 56-game season. In Sunday’s intrasquad scrimmage, Jones’ Teal squad beat Dubnyk’s White team, 7-2, to wrap up camp.
“Jonesy was good again,” Boughner said. “He was really solid. The teams were a little bit mismatched, I think, and Dubnyk definitely saw a lot more chances than Jonesy. I could say this -- we challenged Jonesy to come in in top shape and have a good camp and find his game, work on his game this summer and he’s done that.
“For me, I think Jonesy, I’m not going to pick a No. 1 guy, but I think he’s put in himself in a real good position to be the starter.”
Jones and Dubnyk each struggled last year, but it appears Boughner has made his pick. Eventually, Boughner said he’d like to play the hot hand, but with eight games in 16 days to start the year, it’s smart to have two netminders share duties.
Both guys are trying to prove last year was a fluke, as Jones (3.00 goals against average) and Dubnyk (3.35 goals against average) were among the league’s worst goalies, statistically. And after a 10-month layoff between NHL games, Jones likely will have to shake off some rust to begin the year.
“It’s been a long camp,” Boughner said. “As much as it’s only been 11 days, it feels like the end of camp and we’re ready for the regular season.”
The Sharks will remain on the road for their first eight games of the year as the team holds out hope the pandemic situation will improve. As it stands now, Santa Clara County still is imposing a ban on contact sports. Ready or not, the 2021 season is almost here.