I never thought I would be saying this at any point this season. These San Jose Sharks have been playing some great hockey recently. With the roster they had this season, it looked like another lottery pick was coming to San Jose. After making the Western Conference Finals two seasons ago, it has been a few disappointing seasons for the San Jose Sharks. This has mainly been from lack of scoring and the goaltending situation has been sporadic.
All of a sudden, with one month to go in the season, the San Jose Sharks are in a great position. Who would have thought? The Sharks currently sit just one point out of the final playoff spot in the West Division. They trail the Arizona Coyotes for that final playoff spot. It seems like it will be a dog fight between the St. Louis Blues, Arizona Coyotes, and San Jose Sharks for that final spot.
Give me one more playoff appearance before the half decade of lotto picks kicks off.
— Cam / NoSleeves (@NoSleevesGaming) April 4, 2021
Martin Jones Stepping Up
Martin Jones was acquired from Boston to San Jose before the 2015-16 Season. He led the San Jose Sharks to their first Stanley Cup Final in club history that same season. Everyone believed he was the answer to the Sharks’ long history of goaltending issues. It turns out he was. Up until the last season, he was spectacular for the Sharks.
These last two seasons have been a struggle for the Sharks and Jones in particular. It was becoming such a problem that the Sharks went out and acquired Devan Dubnyk from the Minnesota Wild for some stability in the crease. It hasn’t been the best year for Dubnyk in a Sharks uniform. He has gone 3-9-2 on the season. Martin Jones needed to step up for these Sharks to save their season. He has done just that.
Jones has posted a record of 14-7-2 on the season and has backstopped the Sharks to the cusp of a playoff spot. In his last five games, Jones has posted a 4-1-0 record and has only allowed seven goals in those four wins. That is a true starting goaltender. They are going to need him to keep playing this way to have a chance at the playoffs.
— Dobber (@DobberHockey) April 4, 2021
Evander Kane’s Production
We all know the story of Evander Kane this season with his money problems. Even though all the scrutiny this season. Kane is producing at a marvelous rate. He leads this team in goals (16), assists (17), and points (33). That is what you should expect from a guy like Evander Kane and his status. He has four points in his last four games, including two goals. He has managed to put home at least 25 goals in his previous two seasons with the Sharks. At this rate, he looks to reach that milestone once again.
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) April 4, 2021
Will the Sharks Make the Playoffs?
Just because a team has a chance at the playoffs doesn’t mean they will get in. The real question is “will they?”. The Sharks are playing some great hockey recently. They are 6-2-0 in their last eight games. That is mighty impressive for a team like the San Jose Sharks. In the end, I think it may be enough. There is plenty of veteran talent on the San Jose Sharks like Kane, Couture, Burns, and Karlsson. With Jones playing the way he is these last few weeks, they have a legitimate shot.
Arizona is a very skilled hockey group, but they seem to lack a lot of experience. Darcy Kuemper is a great goaltender, but we saw in last year’s playoffs that he can’t do it all himself. Even with the emergence of Hill as their backup, I don’t know if it will be enough. As for St. Louis, they have completely fallen off the tracks in the last few months. They were once in contention for first in the division. Now it is looking like a repeat of the 2018 season where they became instant sellers at the deadline.
If I am the San Jose Sharks, I would keep my mind open at the deadline. While you are probably looking to get some young talent for the future, you never know what can happen if you make the playoffs. Keeping that in mind, do not blow up the team at the deadline like last season. Maybe ship out a few pieces, but not a lot. This could be a great story if they make it.
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