The San Jose Sharks drop below .500 for the first time this season with a loss to the New York Islanders. It was a terrible start by the Sharks. They allowed a goal in the first 36 seconds of the game off of a lazy rebound by Sharks’ goalie, Martin Jones. John Tavares was alone in front of the net and was able to easily put the puck behind Jones. Only three minutes later, Mikhail Grabovski floated a wrist shot on net to beat Jones and send him to the Sharks’ bench for the rest of the night. Alex Stalock came in for Jones’ relief.
Stalock had some good saves after coming into the game cold, but he didn’t come into the game in the best situation. The rest of the first period was scoreless and the Sharks were able to enter the first intermission without allowing another goal.
Halfway through the second period, Joel Ward slipped a goal through Islanders’ goalie Thomas Greiss to make it 2-1. Greiss was a former backup in San Jose for most of his career. He was last in the Sharks organization during the 2012-13 season and was originally drafted by the Sharks 94th overall in 2004.
The Sharks seemed to enjoy giving up soft goals tonight in the first minute of periods because 45 seconds into the third period, Johnny Boychuk released a shot from the neutral zone that somehow made it past Stalock. There was no screen or anything in front of Stalock and this is the kind of goal that an NHL goalie can’t be giving up. Sharks’ Head Coach, Peter DeBoer, challenged the play for offsides, but it was deemed to be a good goal. The energy from the Sharks seemed to be zapped after this horrendous attempt at a save by Stalock.
Soft goals seemed to be the trend tonight as Brent Burns was able to make it a one-goal game after getting the puck between the near post and Greiss off of a nice pass from Tomas Hertl. Greiss would have liked to have not only this goal back but the first one he allowed as well.
Ultimately, it wouldn’t matter that Greiss let in a couple soft goals because the Islanders ended the game with an empty net goal by Tavares to take the win, 4-2.
For Sharks fans, this was a painful game to watch. Both Sharks goalies were terrible and leave fans with very little hope for the immediate future. Hopefully Jones is able to rebound and become the goalie that Doug Wilson thought he was, but after his last few performances, his future is looking bleak.
Stalock letting in a soft goal isn’t much of a surprise, but beach balls can be hard to stop when you’re a backup to a goalie that had less than 40 games experience coming into this season.
The Islanders are now 8-5-3 on the season while the Sharks are 7-8-0. Ward continues to be a silver lining for the Sharks and Hertl has also looked good as well. That’s about the only positive things that can be said about the San Jose Sharks currently.