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Sharks goaltending takes opening night off
10/4/18 - By Paul Krill -

The table was set. The Sharks would open at home Wednesday night in front of an enthusiastic sellout crowd, with new star Erik Karlsson taking the ice and Joe Thornton returning to action after nine months off. They would be facing off against the Anaheim Ducks, the same team the Sharks swept in the playoffs last year, which would play without one of its stars, Corey Perry.

So, this would be an easy win for the Sharks, no? Not exactly. It was another case of the Sharks working and working and sweating to get a whole two goals while the Ducks just had to throw the puck at the net and it had a good chance of going in.

Two goals on 33 shots for the Sharks while the Ducks had four goals on a mere 14 shots on Sharks goalie Martin Jones plus an empty-netter. Even the first shot he faced all night lit the lamp. The Sharks outplayed the Ducks throughout, but it did no good.

We now have to ponder whether this was simply an off night for Jones or fear that the Sharks have some serious issues at goaltending. Adding Karlsson and Evander Kane to the roster and getting Thornton back won't make much difference if the Sharks' goaltending is like Swiss cheese.

Bad goaltending = no playoffs. Did GM Doug Wilson perhaps take the goaltending for granted in his pursuit of Karlsson and John Tavares in the offseason? Jones also didn't look so hot in the exhibition game I attended a couple weeks ago, either.

I'm a fan of Jones; he's the only goalie who's ever taken us to the Stanley Cup Final. What I saw on Wednesday night, though, was discouraging, to say the least.

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