SAN JOSE –- There’s little doubt that Sharks goalie Martin Jones will be in net when San Jose plays its first playoff game next month. The 26-year-old has played exceptionally well, especially in the second half, in helping the Sharks regain their status as a contender.
But coach Pete DeBoer was still not prepared to confirm it’s Jones' job with just a few weeks to go in the regular season and the Sharks on the cusp of officially punching their playoff ticket.
“We’re not going to go into two weeks down the road here. We’ve kept this season in the day-to-day,” DeBoer said.
“All kinds of things can happen here over the next two weeks. We’re just going to worry about tomorrow. We think we’ve got two guys that we’re very comfortable with, and we’ll see where we are when we have to make those decisions.”
The Sharks acquired James Reimer as a significant upgrade over Alex Stalock on Feb. 27, and Reimer has started five of the past 11 games.
Still, Jones is signed for the next two seasons after this one at a very affordable $3 million a year, while Reimer is a pending unrestricted free agent that could be in line for a hefty payday in what is shaping up to be a thin goalie market this offseason.
Unless Jones’ game took a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse, it would be shocking if he were not in net for the Sharks’ playoff opener.
In 60 games this season, his first as a number one, Jones is 35-20-4 with a 2.24 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. Since Jan. 9, he’s 19-7-2 with a 1.95 GAA and .929 SP and two shutouts.
Earlier this month, DeBoer indicated that Reimer was acquired to give Jones more time to rest headed into the playoffs.
On March 3 in Vancouver, he said: “We were at the point where we were putting an awful lot on Jonesy’s plate. We want to make sure going into the playoffs that he wasn’t worn out, and that we would have a legitimate guy there that could come in and win games and had been an experienced starter in the league before.”
In five games with San Jose since the trade, Reimer is 3-2-0 with a 2.42 GAA and .919 SP.