Well, I certainly didn’t expect this headline.
After admittedly stellar play last week, the NHL has named San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones the league’s Second Star of the Week.
Here’s what they highlighted in the press release:
SECOND STAR – MARTIN JONES, G, SAN JOSE SHARKS
Jones won a League-best four games, posting a 1.71 goals-against average, .942 save percentage and one shutout in four starts to lift the Sharks (17-16-4, 38 points) to a perfect week and within three points of the final playoff spot in the Honda NHL West Division. He made 48 saves over a pair of games against the Minnesota Wild, denying 22 shots – as well as six in the shootout – in a 4-3 win March 29 and turning aside 26 pucks in a 4-2 triumph March 31. Jones then picked up two wins against his former team, the Los Angeles Kings, earning his 25th career shutout with 30 saves in a 3-0 victory April 2 and making 35 stops in a 3-2 triumph April 3. The 31-year-old North Vancouver, B.C., native has appeared in 24 total contests this season, compiling a 14-7-2 record with a 3.03 goals-against average, .905 save percentage and one shutout.
This marks the first time this season that a Sharks player has been honored as a Star of the Week. Though the team has hovered around the bottom of the standings throughout the season so far, last week bumped the team up to fifth in the West Division and topped their 2021 consecutive win-streak record with four straight victories.
Jones backstopped all four of those wins, pushing his season save percentage over the .900 mark, currently at .905. At all strengths, he’s allowed 68 goals, with an expected goals against (xGA) of 59.79 (per Natural Stat Trick).
At 5-on-5, those counts shift to 44 goals against, with an xGA of 41.95. Of those 44 goals, exactly half were considered high-danger, with a high-danger save percentage of .828 (compared to .785 at all strengths). His goals saved above average is in the positive, sitting at 3.84 at 5-on-5 and 3.03 at all strengths.
Overall, Jones’ play is trending in the right direction, which can be reassuring for a team that is currently committed to him through 2024. But his history has shown these periods of exceptional play are the outliers, and often he’s unreliably streaky in his performance.
Still, it’s nice to see a Sharks player recognized by the league when they’re playing well, and it’s not as if Jones didn’t earn it this week. But four games are just four games. Let’s hope he can keep it up.
The league’s First Star was center Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders, who tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in three games last week, including a five-point performance and hat trick in a win over the Washington Capitals. The 23-year-old currently leads the Islanders in points with 34.
The Third Star was Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand, who also notched seven points (five goals, two assists) in three games. The 32-year-old scored his fourth career hat trick in a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.