In late March, we passed along this bit out of San Jose — when CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz asked Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer if he was ready to commit to Martin Jones as his playoff starter, DeBoer replied curiously.
“We think we’ve got two guys that we’re very comfortable with,” he said. “We’ll see where we are when we have to make those decisions.”
Well, today was apparently the day to make that decision.
DeBoer put any potential goalie controversy to bed — at least for now — by confirming it would be Jones in Game 1 versus Los Angeles, with James Reimer serving as the backup.
More, from the Mercury News:
Jones has been the Sharks’ No. 1 goalie all season but San Jose has had one of the NHL’s better goaltending tandems since they acquired James Reimer from Toronto in late February. In eight starts for the Sharks, Reimer, who has played in more playoff games than Jones, is 6-2 with a .938 save percentage and a 1.62 goals against average.
Since the All-Star break, Jones is 14-10-1 with a goals against average of 2.08 and a save percentage of .922.
Jones, of course, has been the guy for San Jose this year. He’s posted solid numbers (37 wins, .918 save percentage, 2.27 GAA) while carrying one of the league’s heaviest workloads. His 65 appearances were fifth-most among goalies.
But Reimer’s arrival made things interesting.
Prior to, the guy Reimer was traded for — Alex Stalock — was mired in a disappointing campaign, and regarded as one of the league’s weaker backups. So with Stalock in the fold, there was a sense Jones almost had to play as much as he did.
Which might explain why DeBoer hesitated before officially naming Jones his Game 1 starter. But what the head coach might’ve done — inadvertently or not — is create a situation where Jones is looking over his shoulder, or plays like he’s on a short leash.