The San Jose Sharks are reeling after suffering a playoff elimination at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights, but in case fans were looking where to point a finger of blame, the goaltender should not be the target.
Sharks’ goalie Martin Jones came into the 2nd-round series playing strong, with a .970 save percentage during their first round series sweep over the Anaheim Ducks.
But Jones struggled in the 2nd round, posting a .895 percentage in the series, capped off by allowing 2 goals on 32 shots in the Sunday night loss that ended the series.
Sharks captain Joe Pavelski is quick to point the blame at the team when explaining Jones’ struggles.
“I wouldn’t look at those numbers as being anything on him,” Pavelski said, according to the Mercury News. “We need to do a better job in front of him. The games that got away from us we turned a few too many pucks over, didn’t spend enough time in the ozone, fed their transition. They’re a dangerous team when you give them that.
“Sometimes you have to give credit to the other guy,” Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said. “The enemy’s got a vote and the enemy this series was Fleury. I don’t know what his numbers are, but he played unbelievable. It was tough to get goals.”
Jones will be looking to bounce back in 2018. Jones posted a 30-22-6 record in the regular season with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage for San Jose in 2017-2018.
Sharks’ Erik Karlsson Feels Senators Would Have Traded Him Even If He Signed New Contract
San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson is still dealing with the recent trade that sent him from the Ottawa Senators to San Jose, and feels that even if he had accepted the Sens’ contract offer, they would have still traded him.
“I don’t think it ever got to the point where I had an option to sign anything,” Karlsson said, during an interview with Sportsnet’s Christine Simpson. “It never even got close to that, and even if I would have signed, they probably would have traded me anyways, and I would have been somewhere else.”
“They had me traded in February already at the (trade) deadline,” Karlsson continued. “We were told we were pretty much gone, and that was very tough to hear.”
Karlsson said that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion informed him that a trade was imminent just before the start of training camp.
“(He) called me in the morning and told me not to come into camp (on) the first day, and that’s when I probably realized that it was going to go down pretty quickly.”
Sharks’ Joe Thornton Expects to Be Back at Full Strength
San Jose Sharks star Joe Thornton, who is coming off his second straight season with a major knee injury, is confident that he will be back to 100% this season for San Jose, and is feeling pretty good as the 2018-2019 regular season is on the horizon.
“I feel good” Thornton admitted, according to The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz.
“I know my birth certificate says 39, but I think not playing a full 82 games and playoffs last year, my body feels really, really good and I feel healthy. It’s kind of like a lockout year for myself, you get time to refocus and finally train a little bit and go again. I’m real excited for the year… I think when I’m out there I dictate the play. It doesn’t matter who I play against, I usually dictate the play. I’ve had that criticism for 22 years. I think I’ve kept up pretty good.”
Thornton will have to show he still has it after tearing the MCL and ACL ligaments in his right knee last season, after doing so in his left knee in the 2016-2017 season.
Sharks, Logan Couture Agree To 8-Year, $64 Million Extension
The San Jose Sharks are ensuring that their longtime player stays on the team for many years to come as the Sharks agree to terms with Logan Couture on an eight-year, $64 million contract extension, according to ESPN.
Couture, who was a first-round pick by San Jose back in 2007, is entering the final year of a five-year, $30 million deal and now will be under contract through the 2026-27 season.
Couture, 29, has said that he never wants to leave the organization, and has collected 213 goals and 224 assists in 582 career games.
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