LAS VEGAS — San Jose Shark’s long-time great overtakes one of hockey’s most iconic players in the record books. Patrick Marleau is now the all-time leader in NHL Games Played. Unfortunately, Martin Jones fails to deliver a much-needed win.
Surprisingly, Martin Jones was given the nod after allowing five goals on 24 shots. A night that would end after the second period in the previous game against the Minnesota Wild.
While he wasn’t able to secure the win, Jones showed some solid play that has been lacking throughout this crazy season. Jones stopped 38 of 40 shots, with the two goals coming on the penalty kill.
When watching Martin Jones, in general, I tend to focus on how he’s playing. He frequently seems slow to react to situations and has difficulty on reactionary saves.
The first goal scored by Las Vegas’s power-play was a simple perimeter play with Vegas crowding the net with Mark Stone and Mattias Janmark blocking Jones’ lane to the puck.
It is a challenging situation, especially on the kill. You have to battle to find the puck, and by the time Jones got to see around traffic and find the shot, Stone had a pretty empty net to tip in the goal. I can’t blame Jones on that one. Personally, and maybe it’s my 5’8″ stature, I would have liked to see more of a challenge on top of the crease.
What do you think Jones could have done differently in this situation?
With Jones’ last goal against, it was a weird play where Mark Stone had freedom on the side of the net to step out and get a quick opportunity. Jones started the play strong with a complete seal on the ice with his pads, covering both posts.
Unfortunately, as Jones was transitioning to cover Stone, Jones brought in his left leg, which opening the far side for a quick Stone tuck.
In regulation, Jones made more positive plays than negative, which is something he can build on. The game would go into three on three overtime, where Jones and Robin Lehner both stood on their heads to make the saves they needed to so they could push their team closer to victory.
Forcing a shootout, only one puck out of two attempts for Vegas found its way past Jones to seal the victory. On both shots that Jones faced, I felt he was too deep in his net and crouched far too low.
Alex Tuch scored on his shot (left side of the above image) as he took Jones deep in the net and forced Jones to move laterally. Jones didn’t have much of a seal on either side, as his focus was clearly to stop a low or 5-hole shot.
Chandler Stephenson took a similar opportunity, driving Jones deep in the net to shoot high. Lucky for Jones, Stephenson overshot, and the puck sailed high.
Even on a momentous night for Martin Jones’ team, this is a good game for Martin Jones. It should give him some confidence knowing that he did play well against one of the top teams in the league. And if the Sharks have any hopes of making the playoffs and making a deep run, they need more of this Martin Jones.