Something relatively unique is happening around the Sharks fanbase — or more accurately, something isn't happening. With San Jose down 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final, I haven't heard a soul complain about the play of the Sharks goaltender. There's good reason for that, turns out.
That's because Martin Jones has put together one of the best Sharks postseasons of all time. With San Jose in a pretty big hole that probably comes off as a pretty mediocre silver lining, but it's extremely refreshing to open Twitter the morning after a tough loss and not see 1,000 new goalie coaches talking about how terrible the butterfly position is.
Let's do the numbers. Through 22 games, the most any Sharks goaltender has played in the postseason (duh), Jones holds a .920 save percentage. That's 10th out 30 — not exactly impressive until you add some necessary qualifiers. Let's look at the top 10, warts and all (from hockey-reference.com).
So right off the bat we can take the top three right out of here because of the tiny sample size. I'm all about save percentage, but we have limits here. In fact, let's make a new top 10 where the minimum game played is set at four games and see if that gets us closer to something accurate.
That...yeah, that looks a lot closer to right. Unsurprisingly we've got a lot of Evgeni Nabokov on this list, but what may comes as a bit of a shock to those who couldn't deal with Antti Niemi: He actually had a couple really good postseasons! His 2012-13 postseason, helped in no small part by a sweep of Vancouver, is one of the best the Sharks have ever seen. But we're not talking about Niemi, we're talking about Jones.
After filtering things down a bit, we can at least say Jones first postseason as a Shark is top five. I'd argue you have to put him ahead of Vernon, too, given the number of games played. I don't see much of an argument for putting him any higher than that, but sufficed to say: he's been really damn good this postseason. This doesn't just bode well for the Sharks' comeback hopes this postseason — it means San Jose can be competitive for years to come.
Jones' consistency has particularly been impressive. After a rough December, Jones has really gone on a roll. Take a look at his rolling save percentage below.
This chart shows Jones' save percentage over the last 20 games, which is why it starts out rather low before steadily climbing over the course of the season. As Jones has become more comfortable the Sharks and the Sharks more comfortable with him we've seen a steady rise in save percentage. Even if his peak isn't who Jones is going forward (it's still a little early to tell), if the Sharks can get .920 goaltending for the next two years, I like their chances in postseasons to come.
There are problems facing the Sharks as they sit at the edge of their postseason, but for once, it's nice that it's not the goaltending.