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Snap out of it, Martin
Sharks' usually stellar goalie has been shaky
1/14/18 - By Paul Krill -

Recently, stories have floated about the Sharks trading possibly backup goaltender Aaron Dell, who has been playing well and will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end. The Sharks could probably get a decent player or two for him. But all that talk has to be put on hold for now, because of what has been happening with Sharks starting goaltender Martin Jones.

Jones has been inconsistent lately, losing his last three games not counting Saturday, where he was pulled a bit more than halfway through the first period. In that misadventure, he gave up three goals on six shots. The Sharks should have exited that period with no worse than a 3-1 lead.

Instead, the game was tied, 3-3, with the Sharks fighting hard for their goals while the Coyotes merely had to flip the puck toward the net and it stood a 50 percent chance of going in. Thankfully, Sharks ended up clawing back to win, 6-5. (They wouldn't have even gotten to OT without the heroics of Joonas Donskoi at both ends of the ice late in the game.)

I've been a big fan of Jones since he got here. He gave us Sharks' fans our first-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final and he's been a topnotch goalie for the most part. Doug Wilson's trading of a first-round draft pick for him has paid off. But lately, nobody can have a lot of confidence in how he's been playing. He did have a shutout on December 23 in a 2-0 win against his old team, the Kings, so hopefully he can return to that form in short order.

The Sharks are in a tough battle just to get to a playoff spot. If Jones is not able to work his way out of this funk soon, Dell could find himself with the bulk of the playing time for the rest of the season. While we all admire Jones, it's a business and results count. Three goals on six shots is not the kind of results that will get us into the playoffs.

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