Since joining the San Jose Sharks at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Martin Jones has been everything the club hoped for.
The former Los Angeles Kings backup netminder posted noteworthy numbers in his first full season as a starter, eventually helping the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in the franchise’s –year history. This season, though, Jones has improved on his statistics from just a year ago.
His 2.25 GAA ranks sixth in the NHL, while his 27 wins ties for third in the league. He’s been the face of many spectacular saves this season, but none were better than his glove save in overtime against the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 4.
After Shane Doan stole the puck from Sharks center Joe Thornton at the Coyotes’ defensive blue line, he and teammate Tobias Reider broke out on a 2-on-1 against Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Doan’s pass made it through to a waiting Reider, who cradled the puck and blasted a wrister into a seemingly open short side.
Jones wasn’t ready to lose this one, though.
In the butterfly, Jones was able to spring his body across the crease and keep his glove high, catching the puck and making a case for save of the year in the process.
Nobody was more shocked by the save than Reider, who could only stare at the net and slowly skate away.
Obviously, this is a tricky save for any goaltender to make. However, a closer look reveals that it may have been Jones’ only option.
Fast forward the video to about the 34 second mark. You can see that as Jones pushes off his right skate, his left leg almost seems to stick to the ice; in an orthodox sense, he can’t move any faster once he’s in that position. So what does he do? Improvises.
As his right leg is able to move a little quicker (since his body weight and momentum are completely on the left side), he pushes his body with his right leg, forcing his body to react to the momentum push by contorting in the manner you see in the video.
Although his body movement can be explained scientifically, his sharp goaltending skills are what allow him to make the glove save. A normal person would have likely flailed his arms about, but Jones’ keen focus allows him to keep his glove in a save position.
Although the Sharks ended up losing 3-2 in a shootout, Jones’ save allowed his team more time to attempt to win the game. Both goalies were stupendous in the Pacific Division tilt, as Jones ended the night with 26 saves and Mike Smith finished with 38 saves on 40 shots.
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