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Series Preview: Sharks Goaltending

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The Sharks turned a new page in their franchise over the summer by bringing in Jones, and he's rewarded San Jose with some steady play over the season. But with James Reimer on the bench, the Sharks have some extra security for their playoff run.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While the Sharks do have a tandem of talented goalies, the Sharks have been riding with Martin Jones so far in this postseason. James Reimer, a deadline acquisition, had been a darling of the analytics folks for his work behind an awful Toronto team. He's a nice security blanket for a team that's choosing to go with the first year starter Jones.

Martin Jones was brought in to move the timetable forward for a franchise that's among the best constructed in the league. Jones replaced Antti Niemi, and that move is looking better by the day. As our friends at Fear The Fin mentioned, starting Jones in the playoffs is a move that's best for the future of the franchise.

Here are their 5v5 numbers for the Sharks on the season, including the playoffs:

Goaltender GP Sv% Adjusted Sv% Low-Danger Sv% Med-Danger Sv% High-Danger Sv%
Martin Jones 68 92.49% 92.46% 97.47% 92.58% 84.40%
James Reimer 8 95.15% 93.66% 98.91% 95.24% 83.87%

And now, shorthanded numbers for the year.

Goaltender GP Sv% Adjusted Sv% Low-Danger Sv% Med-Danger Sv% High-Danger Sv%
Martin Jones 68 87.80% 88.00% 91.13% 91.55% 80.43%
James Reimer 8 90.00% 88.00% 100.00% 80.00% 77.78%

And 5v5 since February 1st:

Goaltender GP Sv% Adjusted Sv% Low-Danger Sv% Med-Danger Sv% High-Danger Sv%
Martin Jones 30 93.71% 93.71% 97.50% 92.11% 85.08%
James Reimer 8 95.15% 93.66% 98.91% 95.24% 83.87%

And finally, the shorthanded numbers since February 1st:

Goaltender GP Sv% Adjusted Sv% Low-Danger Sv% Med-Danger Sv% High-Danger Sv%
Martin Jones 29 90.48% 91.23% 89.29% 100% 86.36%
James Reimer 8 92.77% 91.79% 100% 80.00% 77.78%


Verdict: Reimer is probably the better goalie, but the Sharks are committed to the future in net, and that's Jones. The shorthanded save percentage is interesting to see, especially down the stretch. And if Nashville is going to win this series, the power play has to do something.

Earlier this year, getting to the front of the net was a real challenge for Nashville. The blue area = less shots than the league average.

We posted this during the last preview, and it still holds true. Guess where Nashville's goals in game 7 game from? The blue area where they didn't get to enough during the regular season... that's where.

The Sharks do a good job of protecting this area, almost on par with Nashville. But that's the mission, folks.

What all of this means:

Someone has to be in front of the net at all times when the Preds are in the offensive zone. It's playoff hockey, and that idea shouldn't be a surprise. The good news here is that every line has an effective net-front player. Forsberg is very good in this area, and Johansen is a mutant on skates. But don't forget about Jarnkrok, who slips in behind the play while Johansen and Neal are drawing all the attention. Then you have Mike Fisher, and that's exactly how he scores.

It shouldn't take fancy charts and numbers to make that first point.

That's what I wrote for the Ducks series. It still holds true. A turning point in the Ducks series for me was this goal right here in Game 5:

That goal didn't mean much to that game... but Salomaki got the right idea in his head to fight for that position, and he's rewarded. That's when Nashville started getting to the front of the net. It works against every goaltender. And chances are if you protect your own net, you'll get chances going back the other way. Nashville was out-shot badly in game seven, but the shots were almost all from the perimeter. That's a fair trade, but Nashville lost two games by being forced outside themselves. They've been on both sides of that coin.

It will take a commitment to positioning and patience to beat the Sharks, as well as some absolute discipline. At times Nashville let the Ducks bait them into some penalties, and the Sharks power play has all the weapons it needs to make your night a long one. So goals will be needed, and the recipe is there for Nashville.

All stats are from War-On-Ice.com