Sharks start season hot on the ice

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Sharks start season hot on the ice

INFOGRAPHIC BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

INFOGRAPHIC BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

INFOGRAPHIC BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

INFOGRAPHIC BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

Maarquis Jaramillo,
Contributor

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After coaching replacements and new player acquisitions, the San Jose Sharks season has officially started with a bang with a 5-3 record.

San Jose ended the 2014-2015 season with a 40-33-9 record, which caused the team to miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-2003 season, snapping a nine year streak; the second longest streak in the NHL behind the Detroit Red Wings, who have an astounding 24 consecutive postseason appearances.

With this in mind, General Manager Doug Wilson vowed to make more changes in the off-season, starting with the dismissal of former Head Coach Todd McLellan, and hiring a new head coach and goaltender for the Sharks.

New Head Coach Peter BeBoer was hired after being fired mid-season from the New Jersey Devils where he was at the helm from 2011-2014. In just his first year there, he took the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost in 6 games to the Los Angeles Kings.

Doug Wilson saw potential in DeBoer. At the same time, Wilson was drooling over 25-year-old Martin Jones, a goaltender prospect being hoarded and trained by one of the Sharks biggest rivals, the Los Angeles Kings.

Jones did not get much playing time in Los Angeles, sitting behind 2-time Stanley Cup champion goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick is one of the best goalies in the league and Jones soaked up a Stanley-Cup-contending-mentality from the veteran.

Jones told an NHL writer that sitting behind Quick allowed him to learn and grow as a goaltender. Two rings and a ton of experience later, Jones has earned the starting job in the net for the Sharks this season.

Two rings and a ton of experience later, Jones has earned the starting job in the net for the Sharks this season”

Through the first five games, Martin has only allowed 2 goals on 110 shots including back-to-back shutouts. Jones has a save percentage of .957 and allowed just 1.18 goals per game. He has already enshrined himself in Shark’s history by setting the franchise record for the longest shutout streak at 234 minutes and 33 seconds.

While Jones’ stats look good, he looks better on ice and in action. He steers more pucks and shots away from the net into empty ice away from attackers, and smothers the puck when he needs to. His goaltending style does not allow rebounds or second chance opportunities for opponents.

The Sharks are still essentially the same team with their core players still on the roster, such as Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Matt Nieto, Tommy Wingels, defenseman Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and team Captain Joe Pavelski.

Center iceman Logan Couture will be out for a major part of the season due to a broken fibula he sustained before the fifth game of the regular season. However, with the new additions, the Sharks will go back to the post-season and be a Stanley Cup contending team.