Troy Grosenick leads the AHL in shutouts as he picked up his third in a row on Saturday in the Barracuda’s lopsided 5-0 victory over the Bakersfield Condors. Grosenick has returned from injury with a vengeance and boasts a goals against average of 1.80, a save percentage of 0.935 and a 6-4-1 record.
In a normal circumstance that might put a little fire under San Jose Sharks backup Aaron Dell, but since Dell hasn’t done much other than wear a baseball cap this season I don’t see that as much of an issue. Martin Jones is seeing almost all of the action, so all Grosenick is doing is bettering his trade stock while improving the Barracuda’s playoff positioning.
Speaking of which, the Barracuda have now won three in a row and four of their last five. San Jose sits in third place in the Pacific Division with a .620 points percentage (11-6-0-3) behind the Stockton Heat and Ontario Reign. The Barracuda have two games in hand on both teams and are tied with the Reign in Regulation Overtime Wins. San Jose has a +18 goal differential, second only to Stockton’s +28 in the Pacific.
Stockton goaltender David Rittich is right behind Grosenick with three shutouts and holds a .941 save percentage. Fellow San Jose netminder Mantas Armalis has one shutout and a .906 save percentage. The Barracuda will likely keep starting Grosenick while he’s riding this streak, but my guess is the overall plan is to have the goaltenders swap starts instead of having a true No. 1 netminder.
San Jose plays host to the Ontario Reign on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Reign last played on Friday, also against the Bakersfield Condors, and won 3-2. In the team’s last meeting the Barracuda beat Ontario handily by a score of 5-2 in Southern California.
Notes: Nikolay Goldobin scored his third goal of the season, snapping a long goal scoring slump. He now has three goals and 12 assists in 20 games this season. ... Daniel O’Regan scored another point and leads the team with 22 points in 20 games. ... Defender Tim Heed is right behind him with 17 points in 20 games.