Deep Blue Sea: Martin Jones ranked as second-worst starting goalie

Plus: the Sharks’ helmet sponsors, O’Ree’s number is retired with the Bruins and more in today’s links.

It’s the day before the San Jose Sharks return for the season, and if you’re looking for good news on that front ... well ... at least the team is healthy?

The Athletic anonymously polled a group of six general managers, four head coaches and five goaltending coaches about their opinions on every team’s starting goaltender. They ranked each on a scale of one to five and assigned them to one of four tiers, based on the average score.

Surprising no one, Martin Jones has fallen off drastically in their rankings year-to-year. He peaked in 2018, with an average score of 2.23. This year? He’s one of two players in Tier 4, with an average of 3.77.

The only player to rank below Jones is Collin Delia of the Chicago Blackhawks, a name you’re probably only hearing for the first or second time, as he has just 18 NHL games of experience. It feels a little bit cheap to say Martin Jones is the league’s “second-worst” starter when the ones doing the voting admitted they weren’t familiar enough to Delia to have an opinion.

That said, the panelists weren’t wholly critical of Jones, either.

“He’s been in one spot for too long. A full career in one city is hard. It just grows old,” he said. “Another problem is the game is changing. His ability to adjust to broken plays is not that great. There are times a puck ends up in a spot he doesn’t think and he can barely get there. … I understand why people don’t like him, but I just think (a change) is overdue. I don’t think he’s as bad as he is.”

See the rest of their comments in the full article, linked below.

News & Notes

  • 2021 NHL Goalie Tiers: Anonymous panel of GMs and coaches rates all 31 starters [The Athletic]
  • NHL set to start season with new rules, protocols: Here’s what you need to know [The Mercury News]
  • Can Karlsson find old form to help Sharks get back to playoffs? [NBC Sports Bay Area]
  • 31 Thoughts: Intriguing NHL futures bets for 2020–21 season [Sportsnet]
  • Sharks to Wear SAP, Zoom Helmet Decals Throughout 2021 Season [NHL]
  • Kane Declines to Comment on Bankruptcy [SJ Hockey Now]/

Blood in the Water

  • The most interesting names on the NHL’s historic waiver day [Pensburgh]
  • Will All NHL Coaches Have Job Security in 2020-21? [Sports Illustrated]
  • Expecting billions in losses during short season, NHL’s Gary Bettman says ‘it would be cheaper for us to shut the doors and not play’ [ESPN]
  • NHL 2021 season debate: The worst and best offseason moves [USA Today]
  • O’Ree helmet decals to honor NHL’s first Black player, observe MLK Day [NHL]
  • Bouwmeester retires from NHL after 17 seasons [NHL]/

On the Schedule

  • Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers, 2:30 PST/5:30 EST on NBCSN, SN1
  • Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 PST/7 EST on SN, TVAS
  • Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning, 5 PST/8 EST on NBCSN
  • Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers, 7 PST/10 EST on SN, SN1, TVAS2
  • St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche, 7:30 PST/10:30 EST on NBCSN, ALT/