Sharks vs. Kings: Who has the goaltending edge?
The Sharks are starting a former King in this series — who has the edge in net?
One of the more interesting storylines during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be the goalie battle between the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks.
The Kings have Jonathan Quick, arguably one the best American goalies to play the game. Quick has 252 regular season wins, a GAA of 2.27, and two Stanley Cup rings during his eight year career in Los Angeles. When the playoffs begin, though, Quick turns into an absolute animal as his career playoff stats highlight below:
Martin Jones had the luxury of backing up Quick for two years in Los Angeles and winning a Stanley Cup before making his way to San Jose last summer. Jones' playoff stats look quite different than Quick's: two relief appearances and a save percentage of 1.000 on 7 shots. Jones may not have much playoff experience but with a regular season record of 37-23-4, he certainly has proved he can carry the workload that comes with being a No. 1 goalie.
Quick and Jones' advanced stats mirror each other, something not too surprising when you consider Jones watched Quick every day for two years. Quick's stats are slightly better but there's a reason why "slightly" is italicized because his stats are only a few percentage points higher than Jones's. Quick's even strength save percentage is .929, Jones' is .925. When on the penalty kill, Quick and Jones have an identical .873 percentage.
In the past the Sharks goalies have struggled replicating their regular season success in the playoffs; both Antti Niemi and Evgeni Nabokov were never as strong in net once the playoffs started. In their series against LA in 2014, Niemi had an .884 save percentage and a 3.74 GAA in six games.
The Sharks brought in James Reimer to take some of the workload off of Jones and it's been a great acquisition so far; Reimer has three shutouts in eight total games played in teal. Jones couldn't have ended the year on a stronger note, shutting out Arizona 1-0 with 20 saves. The chance to beat his former mentor and teammates in the first round of the playoffs should only be added motivation.
Based on his track record, Quick has the edge over Jones but this series could display some of the best goaltending throughout the whole playoffs.